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McInerney’s Role

Full Disclaimer

Thomas McInerney, Lt Gen, USAF (Ret) is an odd case. A man that rose to the rank of a three-star general and then made a career of acting as a talking head on cable news, descended, sometime around 2017 into increasing absurdity. Most of us dismiss such cases, ‘he is old now, perhaps losing some faculties’, etc., these are our explanations.

However, as MJ is beginning to expose, McInerney is simply not an old general that perhaps ought to stay close to the house and play more cribbage. There is a network around him, folks that boost and highlight his words, use his image and rank, and spin further tales based upon that assumed credibility. McInerney is not the center of the universe that MJ is exposing, he is not the master-mind. But he has been important, for two reasons, his words, actions, and association with things that increasingly appear nefarious and deceptive have had a measurable effect, a couple of effects in fact.

It would seem, that in the aggregate, the effects of these deceptions have 1) made arguments about election fraud in 2020 look absurd to moderate, normalized bias people. 2) believers and followers of these deceptions have drifted further and further toward an extreme of incoherence, incapable of making solid arguments because so much poison has entered the reservoir they draw from.

There is no space here to dissect McInerney’s descent from talking head to what he has become, but two key points are relevant.  Early on in the 2020 election saga, McInerney made claims that 1) “a raid on servers occurred in Germany” [1] [2] and 2) that the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion was somehow involved perhaps in that raid and was certainly involved in sorting out the election mess. (Twitter was quick to spot this nonsense and those that never wanted to consider election fraud held it as proof of their position.)

The 305th claim originated, it seems, from things McInerney was told by Sydney Powell or by folks associated with her claims. Powell based her knowledge on a “whistleblower” known as ‘Spyder”.  There are two major problems with these claims, problems that a Lieutenant General ought to have seen immediately, it matters not that he is old and was Air Force, this is basic stuff.

First, despite the flashy name, the 305th is a TRADOC unit. It is designed for and tasked with training people. TRADOC units in the US Army are not designed to conduct operations, they do not have the right personnel nor structure. These sorts of units generally do not even have access to the latest technology. The schoolhouse is often years behind the field, particularly since the initiation of the GWOT. McInerney could have and should have known this in an instance.

Second, “Spyder” appears to not even be an intelligence soldier at all, rather a mechanic.

I argued with people, some D-list influencers, at the time that were boosting this story that it was not just wrong, but absurdly wrong, so absurd that it smelled of something else. For my efforts, I received only chastisement and blocks on social media. It seems there was a reason for circling the wagons.

Make no mistake, this sort of chicanery has effects. Innumerable Americans associate claims of election fraud with crackpot theories.  As MJ pointed out in her initial piece on their story, as early as 2 November 2020 some outlets in this circle were spinning up their explanation for why the election debacle occurred (two days before the election). They already had a story in place before it happened!

Many regular Americans and decision-makers in state government and on local election boards have simply refused to consider the matter because it was tainted so badly early. The left uses this as a tool to paint everyone talking of the issue as a wingnut. There was a definite effect.

One could also argue that the claims of ‘white-hats’ in the government fighting for us, and the ‘military is going to save us’ were not that much different than many things the QAnnon community said and believed. The deceptive narrative released and boosted by the circle MJ is now exposing played up that connection. They reached out to an audience that had been conditioned to expect these sorts of actions. It would not be a large leap to argue that some of those involved in the events of January 6th were in no small part motivated and influenced by these lies.

@onlyBarryLClark


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Brannon Howse and Absolute Sabatoge

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A few days after it was published, this piece, “Absolute Sabotage: The Rise and Coming Fall of a False Narrative” by Jeffrey Nyquist, appeared in my Twitter feed.  Mr. Nyquist outlined a series of events that informed him of a possible “trap” that could impact far more than Mike Lindell’s credibility in is his claims of electronic election interference in the 2020 Presidential election and he seemed to hold Mary Fanning responsible for creating the situation in which Lindell might find himself if he fails to deliver evidence he has promised. But Mr. Howse has played a much larger role in events involving Mr. Lindell than Nyquist gives him credit. This is not a story of a stolen election, but a story about people who came together to create a narrative about an election they seemingly knew could or would be stolen.

This story began on November 2, 2020, two days BEFORE the presidential election when Sidney Powell and Lt. General Thomas McInerny appeared as guests on, former Trump campaign manager, Steve Bannon’s show Warroom Pandemic.

Sidney Powell gained recent fame as an outspoken critic of the Department of Justice prosecution of Lt. General Michael Flynn for FARA violations.  Ms. Powell later became Flynn’s attorney while LTG Flynn was awaiting sentencing after his guilty plea. LTG McInerny’s fame grew from an accusation that he and Adm. Ace Lyons made on the Dave Janda show in March 2017 that one Dennis Montgomery, a former government contractor, insisted that former President Obama had directed James Clapper to use a “secret computer system,” nicknamed The Hammer or Hamr to spy upon prominent Americans including judges and politicians.

That story has been debunked since Mr. Montgomery’s lawsuit was later dismissed and other stories about Montgomery had been proven to be fabricated tales. Despite her charges being unprovable, journalist Mary Fanning pushed the story of the Hammer on her website.

Soon, WorldViewWeekend.com founder and conspiracy theorist, Brannon Howse, would broadcast Fanning’s wild and misleading stories on mass spying. This story was shared millions of times on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as months and years went by – there were still believers because the story sounded so convincing because of the U.S. Government’s alarming actions in pursuing those who helped Donald J. Trump become the forty-fifth President of the United States.

Fanning had published an article on October 31, 2020, claiming that Biden was “stealing the election “just like Obama had done in 2012.”

On November 2, 2020, Lt. General Tom McInerny called into Steve Bannon’s show and proclaimed that President Obama had used a tool called SCORECARD to access and change votes in the 2012 election and that Joe Biden planned to do the same in the 2020 Presidential election to ensure that he won.  Bannon asked McInerny to state his credentials. Bannon then reinforced McInerny’s point by stating that “Hammer was a very effective tool used after 9-11 to monitor jihadis.”  McInerny continued that Sidney knows all about it and that they “know where it is.”  Bannon then asked about Dennis Montgomery and his involvement in these new accusations. This even though Montgomery’s case had been dismissed.  There was no evidence presented that might prove McInerny’s case.  In Bannon’s defense, he did ask Sidney Powell why his WarRoom Pandemic audience should believe him.  Powell offered zero evidence either.

On November 4, 2020, Brannon Howse enlarged McInerny’s tale when he hosted Mary Fanning and LTG McInerny who repeated their concerns nearly word-for-word. Over the ensuing weeks and months, others joined the chorus with Mary Fanning, Brannon Howse, and Mike Lindell – in a song based ENTIRELY (in practical terms) upon Lt. General McInerny’s claim that the “election was stolen electronically” through switched votes.

The three produced a 3-hour documentary with guest appearances by Matthew DePerno, Russ Ramsland, and Col. Phil Waldron. Howse frequently includes unaware and/or compliant guests such as the three above, who were involved in investigating and testifying about questionable election happenings. Others include Gordon Chang, Rich Higgins, and even LTG Mike Flynn, who Howse claims gave his post-pardon interview on worldviewweekend.com in December. Mary Fanning then echoed Howse’s Flynn interview under her own byline on Howse’s WVW website. Does Mary Fanning work for Brannon Howse?

In early July, Mike Lindell announced that “Trump would be re-instated on August 13th” once the evidence comes out at his planned Cyber Symposium on August 10-12.

And then, on July 22nd, Jeffrey Nyquist dropped his bombshell

Nyquist identified, Former CIA agent, Mary Fanning as the culprit in the “swindle.”  Mr. Howse was mentioned nine times!  It’s as if Mr. Nyquist is unaware of Howse and Fanning’s long “informational relationship.”  Google says:

 

Do you see the problem? Howse says the CIA is “behind the coup d’etat” yet his partner Mary Fanning is “former” CIA – is there even such a thing?

The entire story is rooted in the story of “The Hammer” spying tool and a program called “SCORECARD.” It is also a story that no one else has told and it provides no evidence at all.  Mike Lindell’s entire life, for the last nine months, has centered on a fabricated piece of disinformation.

Let’s not forget, it was Howse who produced, for Lindell, three full-length documentaries: “Absolute Proof”; “Absolute Interference”; and “Absolutely 9-0.”  It was Brannon Howse whose IT people developed and launched Lindell’s “not really” Social Media platform, Frank Speech.

So, I will ask Mr. Nyquist: Shouldn’t you give at least equal credit to both “influencers” Mary Fanning and Brannon Howse as “people with platforms” who have “mislead thousands?”

And yet…

@realmajordan


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Consolidation Phase Danger

We sense the import of the events of the last nineteen months, we know something has changed, that much hangs in the balance. There is one reality, one explanation, that if true, eclipses all others issues and data points; not just because it includes and explains all the others but because it directly impacts our present and future.

Stated simply, the United States underwent a color revolution in 2020, the final phase (crescendo) was completed on January 6th,2021. The methodology was executed almost textbook-like, it included all of the elements. It was also more advanced and complex than any other color revolution operation. It involved a whole-of-government approach in concert with political parties, the media, and other institutions. All of the chaos, crisis, lawfare, deception, all of it supported the effort. (see an explanation of color revolutions here)

Color Revolution

There are numerous implications generated by the claims above. Even if one can follow the methodology and template events and actions onto the model and see it present, it is hard to fathom how it could encompass not just the United States, but involve much of the world. This seems incomprehensible, impossible. Even if one can accept and see that the media played a pivotal role, it is hard to accept they did so willingly. The degree of coordination that would take, logically we assume that is not possible.

And yet, the explanation fits. The methodology is clearly present to the observer that is honest and objective.

There is one key difference between our color revolution and those the US has supported in other places. It appears the goal here was not to replace a regime but to replace the system of government with one that looks and sounds the same but is ultimately very different. Some claim the world will never go back to how it was, but few consider that it never can once this is complete. There will be no ability to simply vote it all back because foundational things will change, safeguards will have disappeared and our conception of law and liberty will change. It is much more than just COVID going on. All of the coincidences, chaos, crisis, the deception (left and right) all of it built toward state capture.

Few have written or talked of this phenomenon, not the totality of it, not the methodology and fewer still have used the terminology to define it. Darren Beattie, of Revolver News, perhaps became the most famous last year, but he began talking about it months after others. And here is the thing, Beattie uses the term to claim it was simply an effort to get rid of Trump. This line of reasoning ignores a couple of enormous difficulties, facts. This took a whole-of-government approach firstly, and secondly, it required the implementation of policies that enabled the mosaic of crisis. It took the President and the support of both parties to make this happen. Trump did the things that enabled this, whether one wants to argue that he was duped or part of it, I will leave to others to decide. I can only state as fact that the color revolution could not have occurred without Trump. Beattie is wrong, intentionally or unintentionally I do not know.

What Beattie gets right is to point out the history of FBI and other National Security apparatus (NATSEC) involvement in a number of various plots and schemes they themselves uncover. Often the plots would never gain any steam if the FBI was not pushing, plotting, and planning the event. 

The primary difficulty of most to grasp the above is the scope and scale of it all, by implication, this effort had to reach into many offices, public and private. It did. But it did not have to involve everyone, and not even those involved had to know much more than what they needed to. Undoubtedly, there were internal information operations aimed just at keeping key people on task and on the talking points. It is not difficult to do that, particularly considering the incestuous nature of the beltway.

It is not even difficult, if one is honest, to understand the global nature of this. The World Economic Forum has not made a secret of its goals, goals presented to most of the world’s leaders, goals that seem to be progressing very nicely over the last year and a half.

The methodology compared to what has happened is easy to see. Objections based upon normalization bias are easy to overcome. The only question remains; what is to be done.

 

What to Do in the Consolidation Phase

If you pay attention, you cannot help but wonder, “How did Alex Jones know all this, years ago”? The guy went from being a joke in 2019 to a Nostradamus in 2021. But how?

The most logical answer is, he is part of it, he is playing a role. The old joke that if YouTube kicks you off you should build your own, Jones did just that. It seems comical, but ponder that. How did he know, almost step-by-step what was going to happen, how did he build a video platform that supports millions of views? The best lies have a lot of truth in them, you attract people with the truth and lead them astray with the lie.

Jones is not alone, not by a long shot. Q, BLM, ANTIFA, MAGA all have their lesser deities, folks like Jones. All of those have elements that indicate they were run as disinformation and PSYOP operations. People that know and say things, people that gain trust; many of these are not what they seem. You can, for instance, find many of the same voices that boosted Q and other obvious PSYOPs still active and drawing audiences, now boosting new influencers. To what end? The people that were ultimately behind Q (it was not a pig farmer at the top) did not just go away, that was state-actor level skills.

Here is just one twisted tale of how influencers, heroes, and people with platforms have misled thousands - by J.R. Nyquist

In a time of crisis, people seek answers and they seek heroes, they want hope. It is that desire and that promise that resulted in January 6th and provided those that want total control the pretext to begin the steps necessary to remove the possibility of resistance.

January 6th was not enough. It was not kinetic enough. It is absurd that they have people locked in solitary confinement for trespassing and ordinary people know that. Reasonable people see that. It was not big enough to be their Reichstag fire. They need another event.

Many influential voices are building toward that now. Jones will state on each show “humanity is doomed, but you can stop them if you act”. Others speak more subtly, but it is there to see. “We must act”. Many such voices are saying this now, almost in concert.

Unless they are actually working for the other side (and by that, I do not mean the political divide – and many seem to be compromised DISINFO agents) many making this call fail to realize the scope of the threat. They do not realize that we are in the consolidation phase and the oligarchy wants an overreaction. They want the pretext.

Historically, no nation has ever escaped a color revolution in the consolidation phase. This was the most advanced color revolution to date. Those are facts. These things can be and have been thrown off, but it takes years. The best advice we can seek is to look for new heroes, vet them better, and act only at a time and in ways that do not actually tighten out bonds.

@onlyBarryLClark


We do Not Believe You

The below is really nothing more than a diary entry of sorts. A snapshot in time of things many around me see. If you observe the world with discernment, there is nothing here for you, just a restatement of what you know. If you are confused about the world, this article is not a polemic intended to convince you. This is just a snapshot of what I see, others too.


Yesterday, July 27, 2021, the United States Congress began hearings related to the events of January 6, 2021. The initial hearing included testimony by four, I believe four, police officers and not a small bit of crying by members of congress and the officers themselves.

January 6th (1/6 as it has been labeled to place it in a properly 'ominous' category) was an “assault on the sacred and holy institutions of Democracy” we have been told, many times. It was an “insurrection” we have been ad are increasingly told.

To a reasonable observer, we saw something in between soccer hooligans in Britain and the riots and looting in the summer of 2020, and frankly, it was objectively much closer to soccer hooligans than rioters and looters burning cities.

But those statements are polemic. There is a reason that soccer fans are so rowdy, there are reasons that people burned, looted, destroyed, and killed people in the summer of 2020 and there are reasons that the events of January 6th happened.

Don't get the next paragraph twisted alert

I am intellectually honest enough to say that the people involved in riots last year had justifications. The people that marched through the Capitol building had justifications. Not all of the justifications of either group were or are always based upon the complete truth, sometimes each group got many things very wrong. Sometimes they were deceived and spun up by grifters, agitators, and very likely by people within our own government.

I am not making an analogy between the riots and January 6th. I am saying that I am honest enough to know that even though I think almost all of the reasons that people held to be true that drove them into the streets with bricks and matches last year were perversions of something that held some truth. It is curious, and disturbing that nobody wants to give those that entered the Capitol the same benefit of the doubt.

Just this week, crowds in France surrounded their president's house and when they were not heard, brought on tractors hauling tanks of liquid excrement and sprayed his residence. Not an insurrection it seems.

In France the government stopped getting in the way of mobs that were angry, they stopped that about 1791, which did not turn out very well. The French get riled up every year and take to the streets about something. They have justification, I usually do not agree with them but the French government has come to the conclusion that they have to blow off the steam of their frustration. It is either that or kill them all, which often ends poorly.

We know what nations kill and imprison protestors and mobs of people that are angry, China. We remember Tiananmen square, they literally machine-gunned hundreds and then rewrote the history of the event. They exercised more patience with the Hong Kong protests, they simply placed people on a list and made them disappear over time. Never go full China, and yet, what are we about to do?

Therefore, some of us look at the January 6th commission and see a pretty dangerous thing occurring. We do not believe the testimony of the “brave” officers that came forward to cry. We do not believe that January 6th was more terrifying than deployment to Iraq (unless the person sat comfortably on some FOB at a desk, in a bunker).

We know there are video cameras everywhere in D.C. and that in the crowd there were thousands of more recordings of things. If this commission wanted to get to the truth of the matter, there is enough video to start that process. Why has the public not seen this video? Why does the DOJ only release small bits, often out of context with the other things going on?

The “lived experience” and testimony of four guys, most of which have said some pretty partisan things online, is not evidence, not when there is real evidence available.

We do not believe you; we do not believe you are seeking truth. We do not believe you have good intentions.

An intellectually honest and decent person can know something is both wrong, and that there are reasons that people believe it.

I think folks that want to burn, loot and kill because they believe they are oppressed are immoral. I also know there are reasons (yes, they have liars in their ears) but some of them, for reasons, (sometimes their fault sometimes not) cannot get jobs, our system is not perfect and can always be improved (the right way).

Leftists that are now salivating about the fact that those “disgusting MAGA people” are going to “get theirs” ought to try and be a little intellectually honest too. Yes, those people were told some lies and deceived….but why did they believe them, what is true that made them susceptible.

What about our system that is so corrupt, illegitimate, and flawed that makes people want to burn cities and march through the Capitol? We need a commission for that.

Curtis Yarvin

Before two days ago I had never heard of Curtis Yarvin, nor of his prior pseudonym. I have never read anything he has written. I thought that I kept up with the current flow of political ideas, undoubtedly I have run across people influenced by Yarvin (more on that below), but never him.

H/T to @realmajordan, a couple of hours on chat, dissecting Yarvin's words we were able to find them literally everywhere on 'influencer' Twitter.

It is odd then, to me at least, that I have written things that sound much like his criticism of modernity and postmodernity. A piece on Locke and one on the absurdity of western political philosophy after Kant are two examples. According to Wikipedia, Yarvin moved from paleolibertariansim and against democracy after reading Hoppe. I walked a similar path, I came out of the ‘90s as a paleoconservative and then found Hoppe and his arguments comported with my observations. However, our view essentially ends with a common criticism of what the system has become. I disagree with his solutions. (spoiler alert he has not written all of it yet, you have to read between the lines to see it, he provides numerous breadcrumbs.)

Yarvin is a gifted writer. He uses literary references to drive home points that he does not write directly. People can come away from his writing with separate meanings. There is a school of thought and a method for that, Leo Strauss taught it, Yarvin is a master. But he is more than a gifted writer, he is a genius. If the Dunning-Kruger effect is real, he is sufficiently more intelligent than me that I can spot it. He is much smarter than most of his followers and detractors too I learned over the last couple of days, many of them do not recognize it. Yarvin is not a conservative, not in the least. He is part nihilist, wholly a rightist for lack of another term, but not a conservative. He seeks to replace and build, not preserve.

Many leftists know who Yarvin is, or at least a caricature they have created and reference often in a pantheon of boogeymen that scare them. If you are such a person and have stumbled here believing you will find meat to tweet hear this. Yarvin is a natural and expected counterreaction to the absurdity, idiocy and ultimately the authoritarianism you support. I cannot help you understand that statement if you do not already, but have a go at this.

Most normal folks on the right, and apparently even people that believe they have their finger on the pulse of ideas probably do not know of him. But he is there, particularly when you look. Some of your favorite young social media influencers (Claremont Lincoln fellows) parrot his words, sometimes subtly, at other times directly. Major conservative publications echo his words, even Chronicles.

He is no more and no less a boogeyman than intellectuals on the left who argue that looting is reparations or that Marxism, if we try it just one more time, will really work out and would never result in millions of people dying like all those other times. If idiots on the left that support that outcome, it is intellectually impossible to deny that Marxism is authoritarianism, and are afraid of a counter-reaction they ought to look hard in the mirror to understand why neo-reactionism has become palatable.

Why have I written this? Am I afraid that because I have written things for years that sound like his criticisms without ever encountering him that I might be labeled a follower? No. I say and write many things that someone somewhere will not like. I am not hard to find, these are just words and ideas. Am I telling people on the right not to listen to one of the only guys offering a real solution (even if it is one I do not like?) No. I would not have told the Carlists to reject Franco in 1936, considering the Communists would otherwise kill them and they had no other options.

I suppose my point is that we really screwed things up, and some people are intent on completing the job. Absurd notions of justice without truth and equality where it does not exist in the free market, those ideas have consequences. Those ideologies are dangerous and authoritarian and they were bound to create a reaction. My grief is not just with the left, the right did its part too. Holding power so often but never conserving much of anything or ever working to enhance permanent things. There is plenty of blame to go around.

We are in the midst of a great paradigm shift. Everything is going to change whether we want it or not. The days of moderate-liberals and prissy-cons (like The American Conservative and David French) are over. The tide has shifted and poles are forming, and each extreme cries louder each day for action.

Making the Southern Tradition Relevant

Summary: There is a void in conservatism that will eventually be filled by dangerous ideologies. The Southern tradition already has the answers that the alt-right and populists seek, but we have not packaged these in a way that they can absorb and use. If we seek to preserve Southern traditions we must seize this moment to present a practical political theory for contemporary use. This will require that we change some things that we have done, that we expand our horizons, and that we start new efforts; all of that must begin by developing a comprehensive strategy that we can operationalize.


The Abbeville Institute began with a noble goal, to “preserve the history and culture of the American South. Our efforts are to view the South’s history through an academic lens to help others understand the rich traditions and culture that was born here.” Yet, if we are honest, has the organization done much more than preserve history? Is it practically anything more than a historical society? Has it preserved culture?

It does great work reaching a number of young folks each year and it provides bread and meat for a dwindling remnant, but is this alone enough?

The answer, the honest answer is that it certainly has not preserved culture in a meaningful way. In fact, it has a difficult time preserving history, its presentations are often forced to cover topics and foundational matters that ought to be common knowledge to a high school student.

These are harsh words, they ought not to be taken as coming from the wrong place. The Abbeville Institute and similar efforts are good works, engaged in by people with sincere and well-placed principles. It is work done in an environment where every possible variable is set against the effort. The criticism herein is not directed at people or previous efforts. The intent is to ask what it would mean to preserve history and culture, perhaps in such a way that our traditions and the rich intellectual heritage of Southern thinkers might offer practical solutions to contemporary problems.

If our traditions have no practical contemporary use, what good are they in preserving? We know they have practical contemporary use; therefore, we must evaluate what we are doing.

The United States now sits at the ledge of a precipice. A long train of abuses, sloth, absurdity, and ignorance have left Americans without a compass, in terms of political theory. Conservatism has conserved and preserved nothing since WWII, and many are beginning to realize this. Young folks are searching for answers, they in many ways agree with those on the radical left; neoliberalism combined with corporatism, centralization, and cronyism has utterly failed. The left seeks answers in classical and cultural Marxism. Some elements of a rising young conservative movement are seeking answers in the Fourth Way, they have found the writings of Alexander Dugin and even Theodore Kaczynski. We might assume that if they have slipped that far there is no hope of reaching them. That is a flawed assumption.

Ironically, at the base of the criticism of the new young right, we find words very similar to those written in 1930 by the “twelve Southerners”. Their reading of Kaczynski sounds true to them because they see a criticism of post-modernism that Wendell Berry and many agrarians wrote of industrialization. There is truth in the base criticism, that they have found solace in a mad man is perhaps our fault for not offering an alternative that they could understand. The same can be said of their growing admiration for Dugin, he frames the original problem in a way that is foundationally true, then presents a political theory solution that ultimately is very dangerous.

In our tradition, our thinkers warned of what would become of us if particular trends flowed to their natural conclusions. Our writers spoke out at numerous points across our history highlighting what was good and wholesome of tradition and dangerous in idealism. Our traditions are rich with warnings and prescriptions. However, we have been increasingly incapable of packaging the medicine in a way that can be easily digested.

If we want to preserve Southern tradition, culture and history we must first admit a hard truth. There is no more “South”, not in practical terms. There is no more of a South in existence today than there is a Scotland that remotely resembles the land and people my family left in 1705. We are talking more than mere subtle changes over time, everything that the South was has been paved over and replaced. Ultimately, we adopted every single tenet of the evil Yankee empire we often rail against. We are them.

One can argue with the above claim because perhaps their little pocket of the world fits with their conception of “the South” or perhaps because many of us retain some distinctive traits – those traits and peculiarities alone do not make us Southern. The entire south has gone in for commercialism, banal entertainment, and popular religion that increasingly approaches heresy. Politically we are little different than the rest of the country on things that matter, when we vote it is not for traditions or values that one might attach to the ideal of our tradition. One might try to argue that the South exists, but it is nothing more than a geographic region at this point with a few folks here and there that resemble Southerners.

Take Greenville, SC as an example. Once merely a large town, surrounded by farms and small towns, part of the textile mill boon but very Southern, there existed once even a distinct dialect amongst a certain class. Look at the area closely today. Numerous major neocalvinst, emergent, seeker-sensitive mega-churches flourish in Greenville – these teach and act in ways utterly contrary to historic Christianity, but thousands in the city attend places their ancestors would not only not recognize, but would rebuke as apostasy. Subdivisions abound, each little micro-mansion, and even less ostentatious abode, display all of the trappings of inhabitants that have sold their souls to the consumer schemes of buy, buy, buy. The frequent sightings of large trucks in driveways may give one temporary pause and the sense that real Southerners live there but that would be an illusion. Downtown Greenville has become a complete synthesis of this new hipster/bubba class, they flock there, like any major city, looking and acting only slightly different than perhaps their peers in Cincinnati, or Syracuse.

If we are to hope to preserve the Southern tradition, we must therefore expand our reach beyond people that we believe are still actually Southerners capable of understanding our words. Just as Southern music, art, and literature impacted almost everything of what came to be called American, we should also rejoice in the fact that our traditions of political thought have also diffused far and wide. The young and restless young right would not so easily see the valid base criticisms presented by their new heroes if something of the Southern tradition had not already informed them that those criticism are true.

We have always been the true resistance to the centralizers, those that would do much harm in an effort to do a little good. None of our traditions caused any of the problems we now face; problems that cause some to look for authoritarian solutions in either Marxism or Duginism.

The Way Ahead

If we are to practically preserve Southern culture we cannot merely be about speaking to the choir. Gray-headed white men are not going to fix things. We need a new organization with a new purpose, less historical, more practical theory-oriented.

(**there is and always will be a place for a “Historical Society”, the Abbeville Institute and others can fulfill that role. But if we are frank, in its current incarnation, the AI will never reach a broad audience, it will never truly preserve our culture for any but a small remnant. It has a role in the way ahead, but the grunt work must be done by something new.)

There is a tremendous void in the populism of MAGA, it is and was rudderless, based upon words of hope but lacked principles. It lacked a conservative political theory. Also, as mentioned above, the youngsters, what some have called the alt-right (a term that is less applicable now as many more mainstream voices are finding a home there), as Paul Gottfried remarked a few years ago suffered from an ideological void. They are filling that void with dangerous thinkers.

We need to fill that void with a practical conservative political philosophy that is true to our traditions. We have men and women with the talent and credentials to do this. Our traditions and the intellectuals of our history provide a template. We need merely to put it in words and a format that can be readily consumed by those in need.

There are others, intellectuals with ideas contrary to our traditions and conceptualization of history, the founding, and of principles that see the voids I describe above. The West Coast Straussians and their numerous organizations and outlets are already courting both the populists and the alt-right. We are, as we have been for years, at a tremendous disadvantage in terms of institutional support and reach compared to the Straussians, but if we do not saddle up now, if we do not carry the banner of traditionalism into the fray, nothing of who we were or any of our ideas will have any chance. Some paleoconservatives now suggest we ally with the Straussians – but how can we ally with men that are opposed to almost everything we believe, the foundational items at least?

We Must Act

As a first step, we must conceive of strategies to enter the fray. It is not my intent here to lay out a complete plan, the problem is too complex for such in this treatment. At a minimum, we need a strategy meeting that brings together folks with multiple skills (operational design, strategy, marketing, philosophy, history, communications, to name a few). Out of such a meeting, we should arrive at a phased operational approach that consists of numerous lines of effort, all building toward an objective of presenting a practical political philosophy based upon the very best of the Southern tradition as an alternative to the trash now presented to the masses.

I call therefore upon the graybeards of our movement, to send out the call for such a meeting, not a mere lunch or dinner, this will require a few days, whiteboards, sweat, arguing, and in some cases abandonment of presuppositions. We face what we called in the Army a Wicked Problem, the solution(s) will require work, just to formulate the strategy at the beginning; and ultimately that will be the easy part.

(strategy first then operationalize the strategy – all the nasty and nitty-gritty details will emerge once lines of efforts are developed)

The Problem of Interpreting Scripture Through our Emotions

Growing up, and far into adulthood, there were several things about the Bible that I did not understand. Invariably in each instance, my confusion generally began and ended with the insertion of my emotions into my reading, my value judgments onto the text.

Post-modern pastors do this a lot from the pulpit. They often begin each little talk they give with a story about themselves, grab a verse and then invite the audience to put themselves in the verse. Us looking to Biblical stories for examples is not wrong, per se. Us completely misunderstanding that the Bible was written for us, not about us, that is a pretty big flaw.

As a child, I first encountered a problem of doubt created by inserting my emotions into the text in Sunday School. All of the Old Testament stories repeated the theme of Israel being a chosen people, and of God doing things for or speaking with ‘his people.’ My second problem centered around the Parable of the Prodigal Son; “it is not fair”! I always thought. Lastly, as a child and a large fan of stories of the old West, I had serious questions about the idea that the only way to salvation was through Jesus; how unfair to the Indians I thought.

It took me years to understand the ‘chosen people’ thing. I had to go to college, study history, and become a fan of studying civilization and culture. I finally came to understand what ‘Judeo-Christian’ heritage meant, and how that was intrinsically tied to Western civilization. If you take that out of the equation, you no longer have Western civilization as we know it; different art, architecture, laws, and history. Likewise, if you take the Judeo part of that equation out, you really can no longer have the Christian part. Jesus said that he was all in the Old Testament and that it was essentially about him. The Old Testament is referenced many times in the New. Without scribes that diligently worked to ensure that every space, period, and vowel was faithfully and accurately copied, over numerous centuries, we would not have the Old Testament. If for no other reason, God needed a people to reveal to and to transcribe and pass down the Scripture. There are other reasons, but that one is sufficient enough to answer why God needed a ‘chosen people.’

A child misunderstanding the Parable of the Prodigal Son is not uncommon; particularly for a child with siblings. The problem begins and ends when one stops listening to the story at the point where the Prodical returns and the father clothes him and feeds him. If one but reads on, it is clear that the true and faithful son was not slighted. I stopped listening for years as a child mid-way through! I let my emotions take over.

My last objection, “what of the Indians”, well that is more complex, and frankly, man does not have an answer because the Bible does not tell us everything. It does tell us of the nature of God and it does say that Jesus is the only way.

Now look, do not take what I am about to say too far, after all, we only know what we know. But in addition to the above, we know that God gave us general revelation, built into the creation. We know he wrote natural law into our hearts, the hearts of all men. Those are facts that our faith, that the Scripture and our metaphysical view tell us. One thing that is not settled is eschatology, Christians mostly agree that so long as one’s eschatology does not produce a bad Christology, we can agree to disagree within a set of options on the end of the age of man sort of things. Some views of eschatology would perhaps have an ‘out’ for people that never heard the Word (key words there), could never know of the Revelation of Jesus but lived by the natural law; something like a second chance to choose and follow Jesus. We do not know. We only know God is just and there are many mysteries we are not provided answers to.

What all of the above does not mean is that Universalism is correct, or that once a person has access to the final revelation they can choose to ignore it and “just be a good person”. It does not mean we get to make up our own doctrines to fit our emotions because you know, God is love (and only love…).

My faith is big enough to understand that things I do not understand still make sense, my ignorance has zero effect on that fact. My discernment tells me that my emotions, my heart is very often wrong and that it is a terrible voice to ask for help understanding theology.

Principles First

On the periphery of public discourse, off in a dusty corner, in recent weeks a quiet and often ignored conversation has occurred. ‘Conversation’ is perhaps an overstatement, mostly it has been just a few of relatively close views of history discussing amongst themselves, or perhaps past one another, how to dialogue with a group that has a very different outlook. Why does this matter? Most people, even if they read the various post and articles that I am referencing, do not really understand, and if they do, they simply do not care.

It is as simple as this, there is a scramble within ‘conservatism’ to fill a massive void. What and who wins that scramble will define what opposition, insofar as it might ever again appear, exists in our solidifying uniparty oligarchical system.

Tyranny is on the menu. Most recognize the threat of Marxism, but there are other ideas in the water. A form of Maoist-capitalism is a menu option, so is a form of nationalism fascism/socialism (Duganism) – just under the surface. All three of these would serve a uniparty oligarchy well. What will oppose these ideas that are taking root in various ways? What can? Nationalist populism alone is certainly incapable. There are groups that recognize this.

Conservatism in America has failed to provide solutions to every problem since 1960, perhaps since 1929 or prior. It is inarguable that particularly over the last forty years, “conservatism” has conserved nothing, has won nothing that defended permanent things, and has stood for nothing other than flaccid resistance. I am not speaking here of individuals, or even some ideas, I rather mean the movement in the aggregate. Most that are honest see this now.

Here is the fundamental question. Can we build an oppositional philosophy based upon thinkers that believe Abraham Lincoln is a paragon of virtue?  Most Americans grew up believing Lincoln was close to sainthood, and few have ever really examined his actual words and his actions. This fundamental ignorance was by design.

In short – Lincoln started a war, not to emancipate slaves (his own words), made war on states (the right of the Federal government to do that was not held ubiquitously), suspended rights, violated the constitution, and arrested opponents in the North, and ultimately on 1 January 1863, dismantled an economic system, with no plan to address the void, that ensured a region would be impoverished for a generation, or more, and blacks would endure economic servitude for another 100 years. Lincoln began a war without a plan to put things back together, his goal, (his words) was to maintain the union (central power) regardless of the costs. There was nothing moral, rational nor reasonable about Lincoln’s actions. He is not an example for conservatives or of conservatism.

So, what of these small conversations held in dusty corners. Paul Gottfried published a piece in Chronicles recently, Clearing Up the Confusion on Leo Strauss. To the initiated, this was nothing short of an olive branch. Pedro Gonzalez, the editor of Chronicles, followed up, “Gottfried, like myself, thinks an alliance between paleos and populist-aligned Straussians is possible.” A day later, Chronicles published a review of Michael Anton’s The Stakes, going so far as to call Anton a “Paleo fellow traveller”.

It seems Gottfried and Gonzalez are in agreement with many of us, we face an existential crisis. I wrote a piece at The Calhoun Institute discussing this. The Straussians have a much bigger voice than true paleos, we do face an existential crisis, tyranny is on the rise. We need allies.

But in classic form, Brion McClanahan points out the danger of the ideology of Claremont, Hillsdale and the West Coast Strasussians (Jaffites).

“Conservatives like Anton consistently choose longtime heroes of the left, like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a calculated move, but one that will never have the desired effect. These conservatives believe that if they can somehow convince enough Americans, left and right, to view “equality as a conservative principle,” as Harry V. Jaffa wrote in 1975, or Martin Luther King, Jr. as a conservative (as Anton suggests in his book The Stakes), then Americans will come to embrace them as sober revolutionaries in a common American enlightenment.”

What Brion did not say explicitly, but has, as did those in his intellectual genealogy before have said innumerable times is this. It would be better to stand on true conservative principles, those that protect and enhance permanent things. In the times, near and far where conservatism failed to provide answers to problems, we would be better served by seeking to know where we abandoned our principles, rather than adopting and attempting to usurp men that ‘solved’ the problem in ways contrary to our principles. (read The Conservative Mind)

We cannot move forward, in this existential crisis harkening back to men that did not act from the principles we hold dear as examples. Only folly and tyranny can follow such a mistake. Indeed, which way Western man?


Postscript: Criticism of Lincoln quite often falls on deaf ears, "he ended slavery, slavery is bad and without Lincoln, there would be no United States as we know it" is the retort.

By what authority and at what cost?  These are valid questions, too complex for treatment here. Slavery being such an inefficient and nasty business, there were many in the south that would have replaced it long before 1860, if there was a workable solution, one that the banks and industrial interests in the North, that became rich off the slave trade and slave labor, were willing to consider. The question is and was much more complex than we paint it generally. But by what authority did Lincoln do what he did, to upset the economy, a region, the lives of blacks, and the very meaning of the federal compact? At what cost, surely considering the lives lost and the generations-long economic cost there were other options?  But it was never about slavery, not at least about ending it or being concerned with the welfare of former slaves - it was all about his (Lincoln's) conception of what the Federal government was, something that was at odds with men more brilliant than he before and after his term in office.

It is valid to call into question a man that 'conservatives' since WWII have championed. We need a new way forward, one that begins and ends with principles.

Which Way Western Man?

I sit, happily ensconced on my balcony overlooking my little piece of the world on a beautiful Friday morning, I am reminded of two things. Social media was a terrible mistake and enormous changes are afoot, just under the surface in terms of political alignment.

Most do not sense the developing realignment. Others know something is changing but do not understand it. Of the latter, many of those are angry, confused, and scrambling to find their people, a place to fit in. The talk of change is not new, it has been with us since Obama was elected, it did not arise as a reaction to Obama per se, but rather to the mechanism that enabled him to be elected at all. The populism that fueled MAGA and elected trump only increased these conversations. Discussions are held in the virtual dark and smokey corners of a tavern not unlike perhaps The Green Dragon of the Inklings or City Tavern in Philadelphia. We mere mortals, not invited to sit and have a stout and cigar and parley in this developing theme, can catch glimpses of the proceedings in some long-form articles and, if you are astute, in snippets on social media.

TL:DR  You on the alt-right have many valid criticisms of the system and of conservatism. Just be careful which snake-oil salesmen you buy your philosophy and ideology from. Those Straussians that court you so hard are wrong and dangerous. Look back to paleo-conservative thinkers.  

There are, of course, competing camps of intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, disaffected souls now refugees from neoliberalism and neoconservatism. Many never fit into either category, sitting just outside the fire waiting for the inevitable failure of both. Of those we might call ‘rightists’ (and this term is problematic at best), we find West Coast Straussians (Jaffites), Federal Vision Reformed thinkers, a particular brand of Catholic Traditionalists, and others. These were the vanguard, those that subtly talked of a realignment, the absolute need for such, and dispensing with many of the flaws of commercialized neoconservatism. But these smokey ideas, from pompous men, were never going to appeal broadly, and perhaps they knew as much.

There was another trend on the ‘right’, it began near the end of the 1990s and accelerated after 9/11. libertarians and young paleoconservatives, disaffected by the utter routing of paleo-conservatism by the Jaffites, the rise of neoconservatives, and the wars of empire drifted off into an intellectual void. In that void they found the writings of Theodore Kaczynski and then of Hegel, Nietzsche and Heidegger. Eventually, they found Alexander Dugin. The alt-right, born of disaffected young traditionalists that came to disdain the government as it stood and the system that enabled it, is not and never was just childish Groypers – their memes had thought and deep meaning behind them; secret knowledge they knew was there.

The United States is ruled by an oligarchy. A partnership between corporations, political interests, and institutions (both within and outside the government). The young alt-right recognizes this, the folks above that have called for a realignment recognize it. There are groups on the ‘left’ that recognize it. The oligarchy is not per se ideological, we make a mistake assuming that. It exists for power and operates to maintain power. The ideologies that individual members and groups within that class espouse are merely designed to keep power. To appease the plebes, to secure support, and to maintain position. The intellectuals that have long called for a realignment know this, to them the alt-right is a vehicle to influence the oligarchy, to obtain a seat at the table. These intellectuals believe they are ultimately so smart they can influence the outcome and control their tools.

I watched one of the minor front-men of this school reveal parts of the realignment last evening on Tim Pool’s podcast (now deleted). It met with the expected pushback, but I suspect this is by design. Throw out the idea and let it percolate.

There are three paths forward on the table at present, none of which align with traditional left-right dichotomy. The real battle is being fought to both shape these and to present them to us for purchase.

If a traditionalist of the paleoconservative persuasion offers the black pill it is merely because the fact is of all the options on the table, none of them offer either conservatism, liberty or truly protect tradition. But this seems defeatist to those that are confused.

And many are confused at present. Many fell for the populist promises of Trump and are now realizing that none of it was true, it was never about any of the fundamental stuff promised. In the end, it was more dystopian and brought on more massive government than at most any point in our history. They resist the black pill, and by that, I mean grim reality. They acknowledge the oligarchy, that institutions are captured and complicit and that politics has simply not worked. They spent so much of last year being apologists for what they knew in their hearts was wrong. It is hard to come to terms with this. (One such chap refused to dialogue and blocked me for pointing this out.)

These are the exact sorts that the intellectual class above needs, it is to these they will offer hope in the form of solutions hitherto unimaginable. These unwitting, confused, and lost souls, when joined with the ideological fire of the alt-right and fueled by real intellectual propellant in the form of new way (fourth way) thinking as offered by Alexander Dugin has the makings of a realignment. The combined weight of affable social media personalities (many of which are constructs), midwit sycophants that follow and boost them, a detailed political philosophy, and perhaps a ‘hero-savior’ political personality is enough to carry the masses. This has the potential of a solution, a way to recapture institutions, to get corporations on board and to grab the attention of the oligarchy. It is a ‘solution’, it appears better than “defeatism” and some recommendation that we engaged in a generational struggle….but it is dangerous.


Edit:

@realmajordan wisely points out that the mutations and permutations of disaffected libertarians and paleoconservatives into what has become the alt-right (a splinter, not all) was much more complex than depicted above. Indeed it was. There was the anti-war movement, Ron Paul's support, and the Tea Party. The establishment crushed or usurped those movements, but the angst of the core remained. Not the ordinary voter, but the young adult that began to see it all as rigged.

There was a divorce of sorts and some went on to support Occupy Wall Street - many that supported Ron Paul could easily get on board with that, the core principles are the same. Afterward, some of those went on to become Bernie supporters and when the establishment crushed Bernie populism twice (and Bernie took his 30 silver and said nothing) many came back to the alt-right and often brought Bernie supporters with them. Groypers welcomed them back with subtle memes.

As for the interview I mentioned above; It is not surprising that Tim Pool, a former OWS guy would host Darren Beattie, a West Coast Straussian as Beattie revealed some of the big ideas floating around to 'solve' our dilemmas. It all fits. The criticism (often valid), comes from the same place for all of the disparate groups that will soon synthesize into a fourth-way opposition. Those Straussians are a crafty lot, never willing to be left on the sidelines.

It is easy to lose the theme, the forest, for the trees. The theme is there developed a young cohort that saw the system for what it is and tried and lost on many occasions to use the system to fix it. They are ready for something more out of the box now. They are ready for a big idea, and some people that believe themselves very smart have just such an idea.

Theonomy is Bad, Why call us all Thonomists?

Count Dooku
A joke, if you know you know

Theonomy is an error, so why does there appear to be such a concerted effort to conflate all of Christianity with 'fascist theonomy' (this is their implication)? This reminds me of a topic that has puzzled me for years. Why do polls and the media lump so many disparate groups under the term ‘evangelical’ – what exactly is a typical evangelical? More on that below, but this appears to me to have an intent, and if not an intent at least an effect.

Look at this headline, “Hobby Lobby advocates for a Christian-run government in Independence Day ads placed in many national newspapers”. I did not see all of the advertisements, but the ones I saw can be placed in many different contexts – jumping straight to ‘theonomy’ is not on the top five I came up with.

To place things in perspective, we ought to evaluate U.S. history. The United States is not and never was a Christian state. The American nation, her people, were never and are not now wholly Christian. Those statements are provably true. However, it is also true that for much of U.S. history a significant portion of the American people held to a Christian worldview, it was predominant and affected even those that did not believe. It shaped public policy, politics, and culture. Lastly, and importantly, that worldview never stopped sin, it never banished error or mistakes. It simply provided a foundation from which decisions began; what humans did with that afterward is the story of what humans always do.

So, Hobby Lobby is not incorrect, if you filter their statements through an accurate historical lens. What has changed is that the historic worldview that previously prevailed is simply not held by many. What it means for culture and politics, this change in worldview, is that no longer do we operate from our historic worldview in the public square. In the context of speaking of people, individuals that make up a nation, it is correct to say that a nation that turns from God is in danger. These are nuanced things that those seeking to simply hate Christianity refuse to see. They hate Christ and his message, they do not have to see.

Whether it was intentional to lump all of ‘evangelical’ Christianity together (the crazy, the error, the wrong, and the less wrong) and then paint it all as hateful and fascist we cannot know for certain. The fact that two of the greatest deceptions of our time heavily influenced many in this group in 2020 seems not coincidental to me. I stopped seeing much of this as random chance some time ago. Were those deceptions intended to call out the crazy, make people look foolish, and then taint all that hold to foundational Christianity? I suspect so.

This is one of the reasons I am often so confused when people write of ‘evangelicals’. I personally know one person that bought into the Q stuff, they are NAR. I am not even certain we worship the same God, yet, I bet in the big umbrella group of the media, they lump us together. I stopped attending churches that hold massive pagan flag rallies years ago – but we are in the same group I bet. I do not buy into Gary North or Rushdoony, but, it seems we have been placed in the same club. I am not Catholic, but devout haters of Christ believe they do harm to me when they destroy their icons. Do you see the pattern? They do not understand nor do they care about doctrinal differences. Their hate casts a wide net, just to make sure they get authentic, real, orthodox (small o) Christianity no matter the pew it sits in.

Pull your head out of the sand. Politics is lost, the cultural war is lost. Others with less discernment and less understanding will fight that, and in doing so further endanger us all, but the danger is coming regardless. They put us all in one box for a reason, and that is a hatred of Christ. We can forgive them for not recognizing Him from imposters that claim Him but we ought not ignore them.