It's Not About Winning

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by Michael Peirce

Last year Braves fans would have lynched me writing a piece with that title. Exiled Rhodesians and despairing American constitutionalists might take issue with it as well. So let's examine what "winning" means to Americans.

The last year of the War of Northern Aggression pitted a Union general, Grant, who knew how to win, against General Lee, a man who knew how to lose. Which of them fought the better fight? Which of them is remembered as a man of dignity and honor? A better question might be, which of them thought it a sound military tactic to burn people's homes and farms?

Grant and his master, Lincoln, had no honor, but they won. The history books excoriate the Union general McClellan, remembered by Lee's staff as the cleverest of all the Yankee generals, because he failed to take "stern" measures against Southern civilians. He was not prepared to fight a "total war" and so the result was, he failed to "win." But he died with no hint of dishonor attached to his name, and that counts for something.

That same Federal government decided at the turn of the century, that America should take her place among the world powers. What better way than by killing a lot of people? After liberating the Philippines from the feeble clutches of the Spanish, we proceeded to slaughter a quarter million of the folks we "liberated." Their ingratitude still astounds some Americans. It was a taste of "victory" that should have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Americans, but it didn't.

Great power that we now were, we used our place on the world stage to turn a war that was already a general massacre, into an outright catastrophe for human kind. In his search for "peace in our time" President Wilson managed to break the stalemate in that murderous European war and create a situation that virtually assured that there would be another and worse war to follow. His "genius" for leadership was such that the United States, having lost one hundred thousand dead in a war that had exactly nothing to do with our national interest, would fail even at his own silly dream of a league of nations. To the rare American who is even mildly aware of history, Wilson is typically remembered as a great leader, proving the premise that slaves are born, not made.

Wilson pursued a personal agenda. Wilson can be said to have "won." His countrymen however, might take a different view but maybe not, since we continue to pursue "peace" through military aggression.

Fast forward to the Second World War. Winston Churchill declined Hitler's peace overtures after the fall of France and continued to work furtively to drag the United States into yet another European military adventure. Churchill claimed to have spent his life opposing the communists but in his crazed fanaticism he pursued a policy that drowned the world in blood and turned over much of Eastern Europe to his former enemies. How many Jews, Poles and other civilians were killed in that insane war? How many German civilians, and soldiers of many different nationalities, including our own, were to die because of Churchill's intransigence? Could he not have turned the horror off, then built up his war machine and followed a policy of containing the Germans at the channel and in Africa? Did he really care about Poland, the country over which England ostensibly went to war? The answer is obvious — Poland was delivered into the hands of Stalin, who continued the same barbaric policies as Hitler! And Churchill sat at the table with those sinister men at Potsdam as they sealed the fate of millions, smoking his cigar and posturing.

Ultimately, Churchill did what he did, simply because he felt like it. Remember, at that time (1940) Hitler was not practicing genocide and had merely won a first rate military campaign against the French and British, with relatively low losses on both sides. Even the air war had not yet escalated to the terror bomber raids on civilian targets — not that is, until Churchill ordered his ludicrously inaccurate "area" bombing against major German cities. Since he lacked the power to do them any real harm at that time, it's pretty obvious that he was trying to provoke retaliation from the Germans. He was sadly, quite successful. Soon much of the world was in flames.

Hitler too thought winning was everything, and did it, he said, for the German people. Yet who suffered more than the German people whom Hitler claimed to cherish? As Alan Clark put it in his classic Barbarossa, "…Hitler's lust for blood seemed only to grow, when the price was to be paid in good Aryan coin." God save us all from politicians who "do it for the people." Hitler and Churchill, like two vicious school yard bullies, inveighed against each other across the radio waves and stirred their darker natures with ad hominem attacks, until there could be no turning back. The dignity of dictators seems hardly worth dying for but to those men, it was certainly worth killing for.

Now everyone, sharpen your sticks and light your torches — this bum must be talking about appeasement! Am I really? Or am I talking about what I learned at the US School of Law Enforcement, years ago? There is a thing called the triangle of violence — at the wide base of it, no one gets killed — when it escalates to the point of the triangle — blood flows. Law enforcement types (and diplomats!) are supposed to keep it down around the base of the triangle — for truly, sticks, stones (and cruise missiles) may break our bones, but words? Nah… I used to train labor relations teams (security guys for strikes) by abusing them and talking about their families, their race and their bad breath. The ones who got angry were off the team. Should we not hold diplomats to a similar standard?

How many wars are caused by very small men, who find themselves thrust into very large circumstances? Consider the United States, a military super power with enough weaponry to knock this planet out of orbit, like a bloody great billiard ball, and send it spinning off into space. Then carefully consider the qualifications and the selection process of the men who command this vast military machine. Better take a Valium now.

Our leaders are those who "win" an election, starting with small elections right up to the recent debacle in Florida. An ability to say things sufficiently bland to be pleasing to those on both sides of an issue, an ability to project "gravitas" and charisma across a TV screen, and an ability to raise money, are the key ingredients we require of a successful leader. Ronald Reagan was an effective president (in some ways) because he was an actor, not despite it.

There is a point to this history lesson and it is this: the last just war waged by Americans was lost in 1865. The principles we fought for in that war were not however, lost. Those folks who risked all, and lost, were the spiritual and political heirs of those who risked all and won, in 1776. From the day the constitution was ratified until that black day in April 1865, there were in America people who believed in the principles our founders had fought and died for. Who spoke on issues like foreign entanglements, and wars of aggression. There are still a few of us around — but now we are called "extremists" by those in the majority, and our republic has morphed into a mobocracy.

It was not however, an accident that both Lee and Grant spoke of the Mexican war as ultimately unjust.

So we ask ourselves, how could they have formed that conclusion? Partly because they were educated so much better than men are today — they actually understood the basis of our freedom. They understood that freedom could only exist under the most limited of governments. They were educated privately in those days — no government schools censoring history and pushing satanic lies upon hapless children. Both Lee and Grant subsequently attended West Point, a quintessential government school. That government schooling is effective is proven by this sad statistic, over half the men who attended West Point before the War of Northern Aggression, chose to fight for the oppressor. To get a feel for how horrific this really is, consider that Douglas Southall Freeman wrote that nearly forty percent of Virginia's officers chose to fight against their own homes and families, after being trained in that "school." Yet how many of the officers educated at VMI turned their coat? None?

We can infer then, that men of honor, brought up to conduct them selves with dignity, schooled in history, theology, philosophy, linguistics and the politics of our founders, can be corrupted at a rate of about fifty percent by what they learn in college. Corrupted to the point that they will support a tyrant, mock the constitution, burn the homes of others and turn their backs on the history of their own country, and that in only four years. In a school where the common background of those attending was largely Christian and morally superior to those of us in this age by a considerable margin. Now remind yourselves that our children spend all their formative years in state schools. Columbine and other such incidents reveal pretty clearly what these kids are learning. Now take the ones who didn't blow up the school, who quietly took their Ritalin and nodded their heads in bovine agreement as they were taught the wonders of diversity. Put u2018em in a black SWAT costume and you get Waco…

Our colleges too, have become virtual insane asylums, deconstructing all that is good, and holding students to a strict code of "ethics" that harks back to the Red Guard of the unlamented Mao Tse Tung. Thousands of years of Western civilization reduced to jokes about "dead white guys." A favorite writer of mine, Joseph Sobran, likes to debate the authorship of Shakespeare's plays, but sadly he'll soon be talking to himself since Shakespeare after all, was a racist, a sexist, and all the other unkind epithets our masters of academe shower upon those suspected of having real merit or ability. So we don't talk much about Shakespeare any more, it might offend somebody. This sounds like some kind of a cruel joke but nobody is laughing. Take a long look at those people who peddle this nonsense and you will notice something very sad about them — they never smile. But then, they have little to smile about. Deconstructing the history of man is a serious task.

What of the free press, self-appointed fourth estate and defender of all that is good? In those early days, before government took over the schools and crushed the South, media was local. Southern papers were Southern and Midwestern papers Midwestern — the media reflected the cultures of the communities in which they were published. Journalists even then leaned toward the sensational and breathed fire at the very hint of a war. There was at least, some accountability because the journalists of that era lived in the communities they served.

Today we have the horror of a single newspaper, nationwide. Oh yeah, I know, it goes by different names but take a hard look at the content and you'll find it's exactly the same everywhere. The pathetically silly and left wing Atlanta Journal Constitution is ideologically the twin of the boorish LA Times. Both print from the same editorial slant as the New York Times, mouthpiece of the government. All of the big city newspapers are staffed by "journalists" who are quite unable to follow a logic path or string words together in a coherent sentence. Such posers are ubiquitous in the print media today, and exist merely to pontificate against those who have violated the strictures of political correctness, and to function as the "amen corner" for government.

Isn't it interesting that our big media conglomerates are all left wing to the point of being pro communist, yet are owned by fabulously wealthy men? I hate to shatter the faith of liberals, but now, as always, the folks on the left are people of privilege, who want their socialist strictures to apply to you, not them.

Shall we tie all this together?

  • It is men who lead countries into unjust wars, men to whom too much power has been vouchsafed. Our founders new this to be true and tried to build in checks and balances to restrain us from such folly.
  • The path to such power is one not likely to be taken by men of honor and decency. Men who strive for power for it's own sake are dangerous. Again, the founders were aware of this proclivity and attempted to build a system of government "service" rather than "privilege."
  • Government schools teach that power should be centralized and to that end censor history and political thought. They teach that patriotism should be directed to the government rather than to the country. The founders believed very much in education yet made no attempt to form state schools and would have been appalled at those who consider education a proper role for government.
  • The public media has a symbiotic relationship with government and routinely extols the state schools, plus assisting in the rise to power of the worst men, and the deconstruction of history. Compare Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine, journalists and commentators of the early days in America, to their pathetically inept successors, and weep. Note that serious analysis of political issues will not be found on television or in the newspapers; how long the Internet will remain free is anybody's guess.
  • Our government is overly centralized, putting a dangerous amount of military and political power in the hands of morally and intellectually feeble men. Even our generals and admirals have their heads deep in the trough — so when we ultimately blunder into the next war, a price in blood will be exacted of us, in the form of our children. The founders warned us against foreign entanglements and the danger of large standing armies. They knew, like Mao, that power comes out of the barrel of a gun, and created a republic where the guns were to be in the hands of the people, not the state.
  • Corporate America has contributed greatly to the destruction of entrepreneurial capitalism by use of lobbyists and lawyers to manipulate the power of government to further their business aims. The government regulations our corporate captains of industry complain about so loudly are largely a Frankenstein monster created in their own labs. The founders would have been amazed to find that government has itself become one of the largest corporate interests in America.

We ponder these things and ask ourselves, has there been some awful conspiracy to erode our freedoms and destroy our fundamental principles? Sure, lots of them. But men are so fallible that to assume what has happened to the United States is the result of one or more conspiracies is downright silly. Napoleon warned us to "…never attribute to malice what is merely incompetence." The problem is that men are imperfect critters — the Bible thumpers (like me) are quite right about that. I won't waste print arguing it — consult your encyclopedia. Man's folly and wickedness has been well documented over the years. That is why the key is to put chains on the government, to tie it tightly and minimize its ability to do harm. Governments are composed of men. That should put up a red flag right away!

The folks who clamored for public schools were highly motivated for what they saw as a good cause — they wanted to do it for the children, of course. Since it was a good cause, we allowed it to happen, violating the principles upon which we founded our republic. It is the same with firearms – The idea of all of us disarming has a surface level appeal, sort of like watching "Little House on the Prairie." Yet to buy into the anti gun nonsense we must reject our history as a country founded by men who believed in carrying personal side arms. We have to assume that they were either stupid or wicked. And yep, that's just what we are hearing from the state media these days.

When we have wicked men subverting the body politic with promises of largess in place of freedom, we should reject their proffered "gifts" but we don't, do we? When we see good people with a cause that makes some sense, it can be tempting to say "Yeah, maybe there ought to be a law…" We should resist that temptation to bully our neighbor but it's mighty hard to some times. Like when Republicans and other so-called conservatives actually strengthened the Federal Department of Education — it feels good so let's do it. This is what we get these days, instead of reasoned analysis. When you combine the bad deeds of the wicked with the foolishness of the good people, you end up with a great big mess. And that is why government should be minimal — power should not be concentrated in the hands of anyone, any group. They will abuse it, all of them, always. With that power is the power to coerce, and history has proven it to be a power that will be used, by any and all governments, if not somehow restrained. It is an irresistible temptation.

Equally irresistible is the temptation of the masses to seek a master. They usually don't have to look very far to find one.

We have, through our willingness to attack problems from a simplistic, emotional perspective, handed our freedom over to folks who know how to crack the whip. We wrote a constitution to protect our freedoms, knowing that freedom is to be cherished; then we created a nanny state to care for our needs, gave it our children and our weapons, and trusted that very state to protect our freedom. When I think about that I feel like we must be a very stupid group of people, we Americans. Me included, since I'm sitting here in my office in my home, knowing full well that I don't really own it and never will since I will continuously pay tribute to the state for the privilege of staying here.

There was never such silly infantilism among the founders, who knew that government had been the source of their problems, and would be again if they failed to prevent it. That they did fail is obvious — they had anticipated men of character following them, but alas, it was not to be. It has all taken a dreadful slide to the left: government, "art", education — even our use of words is now tinged with an unspoken suggestion of compliance with oppressive and intrusive codes enforced by very small men.

So it appears we are in a battle, and with a little more thought it becomes apparent that this battle has been raging since the beginning of time, and we have been largely unaware of it. What happens next is anyone's best guess. The Internet has helped a lot — many people have been exposed to knowledge by sheer serendipity. The interpersonal communication of it helps to make up for the loss of community engendered by suburban sprawl (ain't it grand?)

If we're in a battle we should first do what our government routinely fails to do, when going to war, and that is define a clear objective. To me, that objective is to create a world where my successors will have the same level of freedom envisioned by the founders of the United States. I think we all understand by now that freedom is not a clear personal goal with many people; it never was. The rise of the Southern Confederacy was the one bright moment in American history, since the time of the revolution, when a substantial number of Americans stood up to the usurper and resisted with arms. The vision is revealed by the letters of the men who fought for the South, they are full of sentiments relating back to the founders and what they called the "first revolution," theirs being the second. They fought a defensive war when invaded by soldiers recruited from the Northern and Western states by the central government. This war was lost and a serious attempt made to extinguish the memory of the principles that motivated the men who fought under the cross of St. Andrew.

What of us today? There are so few of us that arms are hardly an option. Numerous readers have written to me expressing their deep pessimism as more and more of our freedoms are corroded. Others wonder, "What can we do?" Can freedom-loving individuals ever "win" against the government behemoth?

In truth, we can never lose. Freedom is not something to be won. It is a gift of God and comes from within. Free men can be killed but not enslaved. We can live free every day of our lives, in the midst of the most appalling conditions. The future is to be feared only if we create a future that is less than what our best efforts can make it. Consider that much of our current mess is a result of the sloth and ignorance of the American people. What's the solution? Why it's quite simple actually — don't be slothful and stupid!

That includes never voting for local officials who are willing to accept money from the central government. A simple enough starting place — so let's start on that today.

It's time to make informed decisions and stop making excuses. A radio commentator noted that of black activists whining about the so called "digital divide," all the whiners were quite able to afford a color TV of sufficient value to be equal in cost to a decent computer. We live or die by the decisions we make. Many of us know what the public schools are doing to our children but won't pull them out — we claim we are too busy or we lack the money to do so. Fine, but if that is the case we must not complain about losing our freedom — we are already in bondage to "stuff."

Rather than complain about the corrupt media we must simply opt out. Don't buy their newspapers, don't watch their TV shows. We have the Internet, we have the public library, we have two thousand years of civilization waiting to tell us all we'll ever need to know. It is a waste of valuable time to complain that ABC/NBC/CNN is showing a slanted view of some issue or the other. Of course they are! That is what they do. Why act surprised by that which we already know to be true? We can use that time to get on with the job of creating something better.

We complain with all the justification in the world, that our government is corrupt and war like. But we use their services, we vote for bums and we tolerate their intrusions into our lives. We don't have to though. Consider what happened when OSHA decided to come after those of us who work in our homes. That was quite interesting and even inspiring, since OSHA found such a wall of resistance that they backed down and sought weaker prey. We all know what happened to Smith and Wesson — they displeased freedom loving gun owners in America by licking the boots of the oppressor — so long guys! The tyrannical attempts of state governments and teachers unions to oppress home schoolers is having the happy effect of forcing freedom loving people to concentrate in specific geographical areas, and is doing more to alert Americans to the danger of our dreadful public school system than scribblers like me could ever do. Our power increases the more they attack us.

We have the power — we must use it and use it frequently. And we must use it consistently and thoughtfully.

We have Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Light; Who is the very source of all freedom.

So it's not about winning, which assumes some sort of contest with an ultimate goal — it is about freedom, which is not merely a goal but also a means to an end. A wall is built one brick at a time. So is a revolution, and that is what is required. We may accomplish our goal through the electoral process (not likely), or through secession (my personal favorite), or worst case, by simply picking up the pieces when then this farce of a culture finally collapses under its own weight. What we do today, will most assuredly influence what we are able to accomplish tomorrow. If our children are the only ones left who can read, we will have accomplished peacefully what our ancestors failed to accomplish through force of arms — we will have taken our country back from those who would enslave us. Our duty is merely to do what is right — it sounds so simple because it truly is that simple — evil is always illogical and works against itself.

A man who finds himself in a fight for that which is right, has already won at the game of life. The task itself is an honorable one. Perhaps instead of bemoaning the scope of the opposition, we should be praising God, who honored us by assigning us to such an important task. This sort of thing is not of course, for the weak in spirit — there can be a cost associated with standing up for freedom. To which I say, "So what?"

Southerners are in the habit of signing off with "Deo Vindice" which means "God is our defender." That being the case, who can stand against us?

Mr. Peirce [send him mail] fought with the Rhodesian freedom fighters (the Ian Smith side, of course).

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