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GODS COUNTRY.rtf

VIEWS: 20 PAGES: 1383

									                                GOD'S COUNTRY

                              A THREE VOLUME

     CONSERVATIVE, CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW OF HOW
    HISTORY FORMED THE UNITED STATES EMPIRE AND
   AMERICA'S MANIFEST DESTINY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

                               By STEVEN TRAVERS

COPYRIGHT © (20011 BY
STEVEN R. TRAVERS

                       “I don’need ta know history I know now.”
                               -CHARLES BARKLEY

      “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to re-live it.”
                                -SANTAYANA

       To not know about things prior to one's birth is to remain forever a child.
           To conquer and achieve without contribution is to leave no dent.

RES IPSA LOQUITER
         THE THINGS SPEAKS FOR ITSELF; I.E., THE THINGS STANDS ON ITS OWN.

          “YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.”
                      -THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO MY DAUGHTER, ELIZABETH TRAVERS, BECAUSE I WANT HER
                              TO KNOW THE TRUTH!
                                    GOD'S COUNTRY
BY STEVEN TRAVERS

      THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 21ST CENTURY IS THE
GREATEST, MOST POWERFUL NATION AND EMPIRE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND! THIS FACT
HAS BEEN REINFORCED BY THE EVENTS THAT FOLLOWED SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. THE U.S.
HAS ACHIEVED EFFECTIVE VICTORY IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM, RENDERING OSAMA BIN
LADEN AND AL QAEDA RELATIVELY IMPOTENT; ACHIEVING TOTAL VICTORY OVER
SADDAM HUSSEIN; AND LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR AMERICAN HEGEMONY IN THE
MIDDLE EAST. POWERFUL U.S. DEMOCRATIC, MILITARY, DIPLOMATIC, ECONOMIC, AND
CULTURAL INFLUENCE SPANS EVERY CORNER OF THE GLOBE, IN A WAY THAT NO
COLONIZING EMPIRE HAS EVER KNOWN.
       IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY, LIBERALS HAVE WRITTEN THE
MAJORITY OF HISTORY. CONSERVATIVES HAVE BEEN SPOON FED THE LEFTIST POINT OF
VIEW TO US IN SCHOOLBOOKS, FROM COLLEGE PROFESSORS, BOOKS, MAGAZINES,
NEWSPAPERS, NETWORK JOURNALISM, AND HOLLYWOOD. ALL ALONG, CONSERVATIVES
HAD A SNEAKING SUSPICION THAT WHAT THEY WERE BEING TOLD DID NOT ADD UP.
       STEVEN TRAVERS, AMERICA’S POET-WARRIOR AND RENAISSANCE MAN – AN
ATHLETE, SOLDIER, WRITER, POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIZER, HISTORIAN AND PATRIOT - HAS
WRITTEN HIS MAGNUM OPUS. HE IS ONE OF THE NEW CONSERVATIVES WHO HAVE
RECENTLY DECIDED TO FIGHT BACK AND TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT HISTORY AND AMERICA'S
EXTRAORDINARY PLACE IN IT. HE SAYS THAT WE ARE EMBARKING ON THE AGE OF THE NEW
AMERICAN EMPIRE, BUT THAT IT IS A "NEW KIND OF EMPIRE." HE WRITES THAT THIS
CONCLUSION IS BASED NOT ON VANITY BUT ON MORAL RESPONSIBILITY, AND THAT IT IS
IDEAS, NOT MILITARY SUCCESS OR OCCUPATION, THAT WILL SHAPE THE NEW EMPIRE OF THE
21ST CENTURY. TRAVERS CONCLUDES THAT AMERICA IS AND WILL CONTINUE ON THE
PATH OF GREATNESS BECAUSE WE ARE A NATION THAT SUBMITS TO GOD'S WILL, INSTEAD
OF SUCCUMBING TO THE VAINGLORIOUS PAGANISM THAT HAS MARKED TOO MANY
HISTORICAL POWERS. HE HAS TAKEN ON THE TASK OF OUTLINING HOW AMERICA’S
EXTRAORDINARY PLACE IN THE WORLD CAME TO BE, AND DETAILS THE NO-HOLDS-BARRED,
UNFLINCHING STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE OF AMERICA AND THE WORLD. THIS IS NOT YOUR
AVERAGE "OBJECTIVE" HISTORY BOOK. INSTEAD, IT DETAILS THE FACTS OF THE PAST 3,000
YEARS, INTERSPERSED WITH THE SLANT OF A COLUMNIST'S RIGHT-LEANING OPINION.
HOWEVER, IT OFFERS THE THEORY THAT THE SO-CALLED "END OF HISTORY" HAS
DEMONSTRATED THAT THE SOCIALIST-COMMUNIST THEORIES OF THE LEFT ARE THE
DEMONSTRABLE LOSERS OF HISTORY.
Travers boldly poses questions like, "Is it biased to say the New York Yankees are the
greatest sports team of all time, or is that simply stating a fact?" His answer is that the
statement is not opinion, but fact backed by empirical evidence. He offers that same logic
to his dissection of history. America is not hated, it is respected. It is the best country on
Earth, but being the best does not generate love. Time after time, conservatism,
Christianity and America have triumphed, and this is not an accident or a trend. Rather, to
state that this trinity represents the best hopes and aspirations of Mankind is not merely a
biased opinion, but rather a simple, accurate description of events that repeat themselves
time after time.
         If not for the U.S., according to the author, "the world would be one big
concentration camp, with German, Soviet, Japanese and Chinese nuclear missiles
crowding the skies above us."
             “God's Country” is a comprehensive history book, covering Mankind’s
triumphs and failures, including the rise of Christianity and a study of all the world’s
great religions. Travers gives treatment to the most influential philosophies (giving equal
weight to good and evil). Covered are the wars, politics, territorial disputes, cultural
influences and dramas that shaped the world, leading to the rise and fall of great empires
in Rome, China, England, and France; and the minds of those who are most responsible
for great movements, ranging from Athenian Democracy, the anarchism of Rousseau,
Thoreau and Emma Goldman, Marxism-Leninism, and finally the ultimate triumph of
Jeffersonian Democracy.
         The second phase is the history of America, from the Revolution to Iraq. Travers,
an unapologetic conservative, boldly offers that America is the greatest country ever
conceived by man, and theorizes that the young nation has not achieved this by accident.
First, he offers “evidence” that America, from the Founding Fathers to the present day, is
a country Divinely Inspired and protected by God, a notion that no doubt drives the
liberals crazy! Rather than paper over or justify America’s controversies – the
U.S.-Mexico War, Manifest Destiny, slavery, Vietnam – Travers explains each of these
events with unflinching honesty, rebuffing the lies of detractors without excusing the
human failings that demonstrate that this great country is neither infallible, nor
impervious to future threats. The author is able to show the huge advantage that the
United States has. Idealistic, intelligent, Christian Europeans who were brave and moral
founded the nation, thus inculcating a unique ideal. Geography and natural resources
have proven to be of enormous benefit. But most important, by outlining the patterns of
history, he demonstrates that the wise men who built America had centuries of lessons to
learn from and avoid the many mistakes of history. That is why the Great Experiment is
such a resounding success.
         Finally, Travers writes that the U.S has "saved” the world and must accept its role
as the greatest superpower of all time. He details the wisest plan to make use of this status
in a way that will best benefit his country and the world as we enter the new Millennium.
“America’s Manifest Destiny” is written from the perspective of his Christian worldview,
and an interesting back-story permeates this view. That is the concept that good and evil
constantly battle each other. The author outlines his fascinating theories of how the devil
has strategized and schemed to gain advantage through a never-ending series of lies,
bluffs, false alliances and rear guard actions involving governments, despots, religious,
political and military leaders.
         "God's Country" also posits fascinating "what if?" theories, including a dissection
of John Kennedy's "stolen" Presidential victory over Richard Nixon in 1960. The author
offers that had Nixon been in office, the Bay of Pigs would have ousted Fidel Castro and
freed Cuba, Nikita Kruschev never would have risked the Cuban Missile Crisis, and
Communism would have been halted in Vietnam before that war escalated. He also
argues that Communism is worse than Nazism, and details how the Cold War
"normalized" it. Travers makes the point that had World War II ended in a stalemate with
Adolph Hitler, a Cold War with the German Empire would have resulted in off-shoots of
international Nazism that Western appeasers would have dismissed as less threatening
than in fact it would have been.
         “God's Country” is not your average "history book,” the dry ruminations of a
Ph.D. thesis. "God's Country" serves as "one-stop shopping," offering 2,000 to 3,000
years of history under a single cover, while at the same time providing the information
with conservative opinion. It used the gathered knowledge of centuries to demonstrate the
victory of conservative thought and why America is where it has flourished. It is highly
opinionated and filled with personal reflection. Travers contends that the world needs
liberals, but left to their own devices with unchecked power, their criticisms of American
policies would lead to ruination. The good news, Travers says, is that America is so great
even the Left cannot bring it down. Their formulas are untenable in the real world. So
even when they come to power, they must govern conservatively because they have
viable alternatives. Liberalism has failed and those on the Left have little left except to
blame America first. He informs the reader with stories, drama and modern cultural
humor, providing a scathing review of unpatriotic Hollywood, the falsehoods of the
Blacklist, liberals who find themselves on the wrong side of history, media bias, and how
new communications are feeding a public thirsting for Truth.
         His fascinating "Reagan Theory" details how Ronald Reagan should be credited
with winning the Cold War without firing a shot, and will do more to enhance his legacy
than any other retrospective. In the end, Travers outlines the next century, where he sees
a battle for the world's soul between liberalism and conservatism. In a chilling
"cautionary tale," he details how Communism has found a substitute international
ideology which stands at odds with American values. He describes how Plato's "warrior
spirit" is a concept that the U.N. and Europe have abandoned for the worse. Travers
warns that unless Christianity makes a comeback outside the U.S., Napoleonic mistakes
of the past may repeat themselves. The Internet has the potential to disseminate evil on a
massive scale.
         HE IS A FUTURIST WHO MAKES A SURPRISING OBSERVATION, WHICH IS THAT THE
"DEFEAT" OF LIBERALISM HAS THE POTENTIAL OF LAUNCHING DESTRUCTIVE FORCES.
POINTING OUT THAT NAZISM AND COMMUNISM STROVE FOR A "PURITY" OF FORM,
TRAVERS SAYS THAT THE EVIL SPECTER OF WHITE SUPREMACISM AND RACE WARS MAY BE
IN OUR FUTURE UNLESS STOPPED. AFTER 3,000 YEARS OF HISTORY, HE FEELS THE ONLY
WAY TO PREVENT THIS CATASTROPHE IS THROUGH THE MESSY IDEALS EMBODIED BY
AMERICA, AND THAT IT IS THIS GREAT COUNTRY THAT WAS EMPOWERED BY A LOVING
DEITY TO PREVENT SUCH A THING. THE FUTURE OF OUR WORLD, THEREFORE, DEPENDS ON
THE SUCCESS OF AMERICA.

                            ALSO WRITTEN BY STEVEN TRAVERS

                        BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL’S SUPERMAN
THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WHO MAY ONE DAY BE REGARDED AS
THE GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME, TRAVERS DELVES INTO THE INTENSELY
PRIVATE, PROUD MIND AND EGO OF THE WORLD'S MOST CELEBRATED ATHLETE. THIS BEST
SELLING BOOK, CURRENTLY IN RE-PRINT, AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AND NOMINATED FOR
A CASEY AWARD FOR BEST BASEBALL BOOK OF 2002, EXAMINES BONDS' CHILDHOOD, HIS
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE YEARS, HIS ENTIRE PROFESSIONAL CAREER, AND HIS
RELATIONSHIPS WITH HIS FATHER, BOBBY BONDS, AND HIS GODFATHER, WILLIE MAYS.
TO ORDER BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN, LINK TO:
HTTP://SPORTSPUBLISHINGLLC.COM/BOOK.CFM?ID=3

OR CALL TOLL FREE: 1-(877) 424-BOOK

OR SEND CHECK, MONEY ORDER OR CREDIT CARD NUMBER BY MAIL:
SPORTS PUBLISHING LLC
804 N. NEIL ST., STE. 100
CHAMPAIGN, IL 61820

FAX: (217) 363-2073

GO TO A MAJOR BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU.

GO TO www.sportspublishingllc.com OR www.amazon.com.

ISBN: 1-58261-488-1
$22.95

                               ANGRY WHITE MALE
A NOVEL THAT COMBINES BASEBALL, SEX, PORNOGRAPHY, CHRISTIANITY, RACIAL
TENSIONS, AND ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING. THIS IS THE STORY OF
STAN TAYLOR, A YOUTHFUL BASEBALL STAR WHO NEVER ATTAINS THE GREATNESS
PREDICTED OF HIM, WHILE HIS BOYHOOD RIVAL, THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN BILLY
BOSWELL, BECOMES THE GREATEST PLAYER IN THE GAME. STAN, NOW A WRITER,
CONTRACTS TO GHOSTWRITE BILLY’S SUREFIRE BEST SELLING AUTOBIOGRAPHY, BUT A
BLACK WRITER, JEALOUS OF STAN, FIRST SETS HIM UP TO BE FIRED FROM HIS SPORTS
COLUMNIST’S JOB, THEN SNAKES THE BOOK DEAL AWAY FROM HIM. WHEN BILLY’S
EX-PORN STAR WIFE TURNS UP DEAD, IT FIRST LOOKS LIKE BILLY DID IT, UNTIL THE COPS
DISCOVER THAT STAN HAD AN AFFAIR WITH HER AND PLANNED TO “GET BACK” AT BILLY
BY CO-WRITING A “TELL ALL” BOOK WITH HER. THE TWISTS AND TURNS HAVE JUST
STARTED.

                           THE WRITER’S LIFE (2004)
A COMPLETE COMPILATION OF ALL THE ARTICLES, COLUMNS, ESSAYS, SONGS, POEMS,
STAGE PLAYS, TELEPLAYS, SCREENPLAYS AND BOOKS BY AMERICA’S HARDEST-WORKING
AND MOST PROLIFIC WRITER.

STEVEN TRAVERS' YAHOO SEARCH:
HTTP://SEARCH.YAHOO.COM/SEARCH?P=STEVEN+TRAVERS+AND+BARRY+BONDS%3A+
BASEBALL%27S+SUPERMAN&SUB=SEARCH&FR=FP-TOP

STEVEN TRAVERS' WEB PAGE:
HTTP://HOMETOWN.AOL.COM/__121B_CGCGOUHM43YNTZIGF53J2NI4PDX4SCFGKWFQ
OTUQOBCSJUA+IZMX7G==
OTHER WORKS BY STEVEN TRAVERS

SCREENPLAYS
ONCE HE WAS AN ANGEL
21
THE "K" CONSPIRACY
 A MURDEROUS CAMPAIGN
ROCK `N’ ROLL HEAVEN”
THE LOST BATTALION
BAJA CALIFORNIA
WICKED
THE HUNTER’S DREAM
ON THE EDGE
SUMMER OF ‘62
BURNING SNOW
BLACKJACK

TELEPLAY
BANDIT

STAGE PLAY
THE COOL OF THE EVENING

SONGS
YOU ASKED ME TO LOVE YOU
THE ONE I LOVE
PUTTIN’ UP WITH ME
NEVER QUIT

SHORT NON-FICTION
BROKEN WINGS

                           ABOUT THE AUTHOR

STEVEN TRAVERS IS THE AUTHOR OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BEST SELLER
"BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL’S SUPERMAN" (WWW.SPORTSPUBLISHINGLLC.COM), IN
MULTIPLE RE-PRINT, NOW IN PAPERBACK, AND NOMINATED FOR A CASEY AWARD FOR BEST
BASEBALL BOOK OF 2002. TRAVERS WRITES FOR HUMAN EVENTS, AMERICA'S LEADING
POLITICAL MAGAZINE FOR THE PAST HALF CENTURY. A FORMER COLUMNIST FOR THE SAN
FRANCISCO EXAMINER AND STREETZEBRA MAGAZINE IN LOS ANGELES, HE WROTE FOR THE
L.A. TIMES AS WELL. TRAVERS IS ALSO AN AWARD-WINNING SCREENWRITER AND AUTHOR
OF THE NOVEL "ANGRY WHITE MALE" AND “THE WRITER’S LIFE”, HIS COMPLETE
COMPILATION OF ALL THE ARTICLES, COLUMNS, ESSAYS, SONGS, POEMS, STAGE PLAYS,
TELEPLAYS, SCREENPLAYS AND BOOKS WRITTEN BY AMERICA’S HARDEST-WORKING AND
   MOST PROLIFIC WRITER.
             An ex-professional baseball player, Travers struck out 1989 National League
   Most Valuable Player Kevin Mitchell five times in one night (striking out 15 that game)
   while pitching in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He was also a teammate of Jose
   Canseco in the Oakland Athletics organization. Pitching for the A’s vs. San Francisco in
   a Major League exhibition game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Travers struck out the
   side against the Giants en route to three scoreless innings.
   Steve’s suburban California high school team won the National Championship team in
   his senior year. The 6-6, 225-pound Travers attended college on an athletic scholarship
   and he was an all-conference pitcher. Steven graduated from the University of Southern
   California, where he studied in the USC School of Cinema-Television, as well as in the
   UCLA Writers’ Program.
   Steven served in the United States Army during the Persian Gulf War. He coached
   baseball at USC, the University of California-Berkeley, and for one year in Berlin,
   Germany. After attending law school, he was a political consultant and a sports agent
   before embarking on a writing career. His screenplays include “The Lost Battalion” (a
   true tale of patriotism, valor and Congressional Medal of Honor winners during World
   War I), “Wicked”, and “Once He Was An Angel”, the story of ex-baseball player Bo
   Belinsky.
   "The defining event of my life is the fall of the Berlin Wall and America's victory in the
   Cold War," Travers says in explaining his outlook. "Growing up, I did not think I would
   ever see it fall, but I was a young man when the wall came down, and lived in Berlin for a
   year shortly thereafter. This experience taught me that the United States can do anything
   we have the will to achieve, and my studies conclude that astounding achievement is a
   continuing trend in America's history. This comes with the great responsibility of doing
   good."
   Travers is a sixth-generation Californian who still resides in the Golden State. He has one
   daughter, Elizabeth Travers, and comes from an old political family. His uncle, Colonel
   Charles T. Travers, was a longtime Republican advisor to politicians ranging from U.S.
   Senator William Knowland, Vice-President Richard Nixon, Governor Ronald Reagan,
   and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Tired of the Leftist slant of his alma mater,
   the University of California-Berkeley, Colonel Travers began the Travers wing of Cal’s
   political science department, based on the premise of providing fair, balanced study of
   government, policy and history. It has expanded each year, and today is the most popular
   source of elective classes at the university.

                                TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                  GOD'S COUNTRY

Chapter   Title
                ABOUT THE AUTHOR
             AUTHOR’S NOTE
                PROLOGUE

                    BOOK ONE
                   HISTORY LESSONS FOR A YOUNG AMERICA
1              A MODERN THEORY OF GOOD AND EVIL
           THE FORMATION OF DEMOCRACY
                       The Hindu Vision of Life
                       Plato's "Republic" applied to modern politics
2               MACHIAVELLI AND REALPOLITIK
          THE ORIGINS OF COMMUNISM
5             INFLUENTIAL CONTRARIANS
                       HENRY DAVID THOREAU: ANARCHIST?
                       FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY AND THE GRAND INQUISITOR
                       ANARCHISM AND LIBERALISM
6             HITLER, GANDHI AND THE LIE OF MORAL RELATIVISM
7             CIVILIZATIONS AND CHRISTIANITY
                       THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
         HOMER AND THE TROJAN WARS
         THE LIFE OF CHRIST
         CHRISTIANITY SPREADS, THE CHURCH IS FORMED, AND RELIGION TAKES DIFFERENT
SHAPES
8            THE MIDDLE AGES
                    THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
                    AFTER ROME: IS WAR THE TRUE NATURE OF MAN?
                    THE CRUSADES AND THE POLITICAL MILITARIZATION                 OF
CATHOLICISM
                    THE HUNDRED YEARS' WAR AND JOAN OF ARC
9            THE RENAISSANCE
10           THE FORMATION OF WESTERN EUROPE
                    THE TRANSFORMATION OF ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND INTO A MODERN
                  POWER
FRANCE STRUGGLES UNDER THE CATHOLIC MONARCHY
                    THE FAILURE OF THE FRENCH        REVOLUTION,   THE   "REIGN   OF
                  TERROR," AND THE
                NAPOLEONIC WARS
                       DRESS   REHEARSAL FOR   COMMUNISM: 19TH CENTURY      SOCIAL
               REVOLUTIONS
11    A DIFFERENT KIND OF REVOLUTION: AMERICA FORMS "A
                MORE PERFECT UNION"
                   THE RIDE OF PAUL REVERE
LAFAYETTE AND THE AMERICAN-FRENCH ALLIANCE
NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION
THE EXPERIMENT
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS: GEORGE WASHINGTON
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS: THOMAS JEFFERSON
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS: JOHN ADAMS
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS: ALEXANDER HAMILTON
OUR FOUNDING FATHERS: BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
12         MANIFEST DESTINY
                INDIAN WARS
13        AMERICA: WHERE SLAVERY CAME TO DIE
14        THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
                       CIVIL WAR TIME-LINE
                  BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG
                   GETTYSBURG ADDRESS
                   GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE
                  ULYSSES S. GRANT
                       PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
15        A MODERN WORLD POWER
                  "THE MAN IN THE ARENA"
                     THE OLD WEST
                     THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
                   WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN
                   PRESIDENT THEODORE ROOSEVELT

          BOOK TWO
     THE AMERICAN CENTURY: A NEW KIND OF EMPIRE

     TITLE
PART ONE
         SUPERPOWER
                          WORLD WAR I
                     LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
                    THE FALL OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: LESSONS OF THE MIDDLE
EAST
                    ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
                    THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
                    V.I. LENIN
                    THE "LOST GENERATION"
                    THE ROARING '20S
                    THE GREAT DEPRESSION
PART TWO
        MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR CHRISTENDOM
                   DID FDR ALLOW THE JAPANESE ATTACK AT PEARL HARBOR
         ON PURPOSE?
                   ADOLF HITLER AND THE RISE OF NAZI GERMANY
                   THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT
                   THE "FOUR FREEDOMS"
                   THE GATHERING STORM
                   BLITZKRIEG
                   THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
                   THE RUSSIAN FRONT
                   THE "RAPE OF CHINA"
                   AWAKENING THE "SLEEPING GIANT"
                   DEALING WITH THE DEVIL
                          THE HOLOCAUST
                          HOLOCAUST TIME-LINE
                          THE EAGLE AGAINST THE SUN
                          HISTORY IS WRITTEN BY THE WINNERS
                          JAPANESE-AMERICAN INTERNMENT
                          GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON, JR.
                          GENERAL JOSEPH "VINEGAR JOE" STILWELL
                          GENERAL SIR BERNARD LAW MONTGOMERY
                          THE "DESERT FOX"
                          PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
                          WINSTON CHURCHILL
PART THREE
          ASIA AND THE COMMUNIST MENACE
                           BERLIN AIRLIFT AND THE MARSHALL PLAN
    GEORGE C. MARSHALL
    MAO TSE-TUNG
    KOREAN WAR TIME-LINE
    THE "FORGOTTEN WAR"
    HARRY S. TRUMAN
    AMERICAN CAESAR
    THE "SOLDIER OF DEMOCRACY"
    JOSEPH STALIN
    KENNEDY AND VIETNAM
    THE KENNEDY'S: AMERICAN ROYALTY
    LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON AND VIETNAM
    LBJ: THE CONUNDRUM
    VIETNAM AND TRIANGULATED GLOBAL DIPLOMACY
                           JOHN LENNON SANG "GIVE PEACE A CHANCE," AND
                     SOUTHEAST ASIA
"IMAGINED" POL POT
          THE AGE OF NIXON
                          HENRY KISSINGER: "DR. STRANGELOVE", REPUBLICAN
             SVENGALI, WAR CRIMINAL OR DIPLOMATIC HERO?
PART FOUR
           THE REAGAN THEORY
                           Time-line of the Cold War and Red Scare
           Glossary of Cold War terminology
           The gulags: Communism's holocaust
           The Venona Papers
           Eastern Europe under Stalinism
           Democrat Communists sell out Eastern Europe
           An interview with Alger Hiss
           East German uprising of 1953
           Hungarian revolt of 1956
           Fall-out of the East German uprising in Poland and beyond
                           The "church of America": The CIA's covert action in
               Guatemala, 1954
                            McCarthyism
             Voices of the Left and not-so-Left
             Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution
             Bay of Pigs
             Cuban Missile Crisis
             Che Guevara
             Nikita Kruschev (1894-1971)
             "The Right Stuff"
             The nuclear "arms race"
             The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76
             Prague Spring: 1968
                            The after effects of Watergate: Détente; the appeasement of
               Jimmy Carter; the Cold War is "passe" on the Left; the Battle of the Third
               World; apartheid; the "eve of destruction"
                            The "church of America": Central Intelligence Agency and
               the Church Committee
            TIME-LINE OF CIA COVERT OPS, 1946-1984
            SOUTH AFRICAN APARTHEID
            RUSSIA'S "VIETNAM": AFGHANISTAN
            LECH WALESA AND POLISH SOLIDARITY
           GLASNOST, PERESTROIKA AND MIKHAIL GORBACHEV
           MARGARET THATCHER: BRITAIN'S "IRON LADY"
           RONALD "DUTCH" REAGAN
           CASPAR W. WEINBERGER
           PRESIDENT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH

            BOOK THREE
   AMERICAN HEGEMONY

CHAPTER   TITLE
   1         THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
                               AMERICAN GANDHI: DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
                         MALCOLM X
                         GEORGE WALLACE
                         J. EDGAR HOOVER
   2         THE MIDDLE EAST
                            ISRAEL
              TIME-LINE OF MAJOR EVENTS IN ISRAEL'S MODERN HISTORY
            1967 SIX-DAY WAR
            1973 YOM KIPPUR WAR
            MENACHEM BEGIN, SIXTH PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL
            GOLDA MEIR
            ARIEL SHARON
                          BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
                          ANWAR AL-SADAT
          BLACK SEPTEMBER: YASSER ARAFAT'S MURDERERS KILL ISRAELI ATHLETES AT
THE 1972 OLYMPICS
          THE IRANIAN HOSTAGE CRISIS
                        1987 PALESTINIAN INTIFADA AND BEYOND
    PERSIAN GULF WAR
3      WHY THE RIGHT GOES AFTER THE CLINTONS
                        VINCE FOSTER'S MURDER
                        THE CLINTON BODY COUNT
    TIME-LINE OF THE CLINTON PRESIDENCY
                            CLINTON RAISES TAXES; "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL"; WACO,
"BLACK HAWK
           DOWN"; HILLARYCARE
                        WAR IN THE POST-COMMUNIST BREAKAWAY REPUBLICS
                         RWANDAN GENOCIDE
                         NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR BUILD-UP
                         NEWT GINGRICH'S CONTRACT WITH AMERICA AND THE
REPUBLICAN
         REVOLUTION OF 1994
                  1996 CLINTON-DOLE CAMPAIGN
                  THE MONICA LEWINSKY SCANDAL
                  THE CLINTON LEGACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
                         THE INTERNET BOOM, ELIAN, CLINTON'S PARDONS AND
DEMOCRAT
        VANDALISM
                 "THE BITCH IS BACK": IS HILLARY CLINTON WORSE THAN BILL?
4     THE NEW WORLD ORDER
                         2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
                         9/11
     AMERICA'S MAYOR: RUDY GIULIANI
     WAR ON TERRORISM: OSAMA BIN LADEN AND AL QAEDA
     WAR ON TERRORISM: THE TALIBAN AND AL QAEDA
     WAR ON TERRORISM: AFGHANISTAN
     WAR ON TERRORISM: IRAQ
     PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
     AFTER TERRORISM, THE NEXT CRUSADE: AFRICA
5     THE DOMINANT MEDIA CULTURE, AND THE EFFECT OF SPORTS ON
       AMERICAN SOCIETY
                        HOLLYWOOD AND THE MCCARTHY "BACKLASH"
                        TALK RADIO
                         "USEFUL IDIOTS" AND LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS
                         ARE LIBERALS LESS PATRIOTIC THAN CONSERVATIVES?
                         OUR NATIONAL PASTIMES
6       "LET'S ROLL"
                         APOCALYPSE NOW? DRAWING U.S. INTO WORLD
CONFLAGRATION IS
          TERRORIST'S GOAL
                             ARABS AND DISTORTIONS OF HISTORY
                             LETTER TO GEORGE W. BUSH
                             AIDS AND THE DEVIL
                             THE KISSINGER DOCTRINE: SELF-INTEREST AND HISTORY ARE
KEYS TO
                MIDDLE EAST DIPLOMACY
                             ONE MAN'S TAKE ON A NEW KIND OF WAR
                             THE AMERICAN INSTINCT
                             THE TRUTH ABOUT POLITICIANS
                             CALIFORNIA
                             UNITED NATIONS
                             GEORGE W. BUSH, THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND
G.O.P
            STRATEGY
                      THE NEXT WAR
                              G.O.P. POLICY: TAXES, SMALL GOVERNMENT, AND OTHER
ISSUES
                        AMERICA'S MANIFEST DESTINY: A NEW KIND OF EMPIRE
                  CHRISTIANITY
           BIBLIOGRAPHY

                                     AUTHOR'S NOTE

         AS I   SIT HERE AT MY DESK IN      WRITING THE LAST WORDS OF “GOD'S
                                          2004,
COUNTRY", I ENVISION THIS TO BE A "MANIFESTO” FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. I FIND IT
IRONIC THAT THAT THE WORD MANIFESTO AND ITS DERIVATIONS CAN BE SOURCED NOT JUST
TO JAMES MONROE, BUT TO A VERY UNLIKELY SOURCE, KARL MARX. IN THE 1840S MARX
WAS A GERMAN EMIGRE LIVING IN SUCH MISERABLE SQUALOR IN LONDON THAT HIS
BELOVED DAUGHTER DIED FROM A LACK OF MEDICAL CARE. IT WAS DURING THIS TIME
THAT MARX WROTE “DAS KAPITAL”, AND LATER THE “COMMUNIST MANIFESTO”. HIS
POLITICAL IDEAS WERE FORMULATED FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING ALL BUT PENNILESS
IN ENGLAND DURING THIS TIME. HE WANTED TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS WRONG WITH A
SYSTEM THAT HE MIGHT HAVE CALLED DARWINIAN CAPITALISM. HE SET OUT TO FIND A
UTOPIAN "WORKERS PARADISE.”
I make no pretense that my book will create a revolution. My ideas are a continuation of
conservative philosophy that has been expounded for many years, especially since 1964.
Nevertheless, I would not write this if I did not feel as if I have something new to offer
the debate. Marx was a revolutionary. While many of his ideas came from the French
philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Marx proposed ideas that were virtually unheard of.
MARX, FOR ALL OF HIS MISGUIDED IDEAS, HAD PASSION, AND WHILE IT MAY BE DIFFICULT
TO FIND TWO PEOPLE IN THE HISTORY OF THE EARTH MORE DIFFERENT THAN KARL MARX
AND STEVE TRAVERS, I MUST ADMIT THAT I ADMIRE HIS PASSION. MARX WROTE BECAUSE
IT WAS "IN HIM.” HE HAD NO PUBLISHER URGING HIM ON, NO ADVANCE, NO PROMISE OF A
BIG INCOME. HE JUST HAD TO DO IT. HE WAS AS WRONG AS WRONG HAS EVER BEEN, BUT IS
INFLUENCE ON THE 100 YEARS THAT FOLLOWED HIS PUBLICATION CANNOT BE DENIED.
I SEE THE FUTURE AS CLEARLY. ONLY TIME WILL CONFIRM WHETHER I AM A VISIONARY. IT
IS WITH VISIONARY ZEAL THAT I WROTE THIS BOOK. I FIND MYSELF IN A PERIOD OF
INTROSPECTION, LIKE HENRY DAVID THOREAU AT WALDEN’S POND, BUT EXAMINATION OF
LIFE IS NOT RELEGATED SIMPLY TO MY PERSONAL NON-ENTITIES, BUT RATHER TO THE
POLITICAL WORLD I LIVE IN.
I AM NOT A PH.D. OR A FELLOW AT HERITAGE, HOOVER OR BROOKINGS. I DO NOT HAVE AN
ASSORTMENT OF GOVERNMENT GRANTS TO STUDY THINGS. THIS BOOK IS NOT A THESIS,
NOR IS IT SOME OFFSHOOT OF A PROFESSORSHIP IN WHICH AT LEAST I AM GUARANTEED A
UNIVERSITY PRESS PUBLICATION WHICH FORCE-FEEDS DISTRIBUTION OF MY WORK TO
FUTURE STUDENTS.
        I AM JUST A GUY WHO READS A LOT OF BOOKS AND CARES DEEPLY ABOUT MY
COUNTRY AND THE WORLD WE LIVE IN. WHAT I HAVE SET OUT TO DO IS TO TELL THE STORY
OF AMERICA. HOW WE ARRIVED AT ITS PLACE IN THE WORLD, FROM A PHILOSOPHICAL,
MILITARY, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE. THIS REQUIRES A STUDY OF THE GREAT
THINKERS OF THE PAST, APPLYING THEIR IDEAS TO THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. MY BOOK
LOOKS AT THE U.S. AND THE WORLD FROM A CONSERVATIVE, CHRISTIAN STANDPOINT, AND
I MAKE NO APOLOGY FOR THIS.
        I ALSO WRITE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A MAN WHO KNOWS HOW LUCKY HE IS.
NOT JUST LUCKY TO BE AN AMERICAN, THE PRODUCT OF AN AFFLUENT FAMILY AND
COMFORTABLE SURROUNDINGS, BUT TO LIVE IN THE TIMES THAT I DO. I AM A WHITE MALE,
BUT THIS MEANS SOMETHING SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT IN CALIFORNIA AT THE END OF
        TH
THE 20     CENTURY, MY FORMATIVE PERIOD, THAN IT DOES IN ALABAMA IN THE 1930S.
THE FACT THAT I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO A DIVERSE CULTURAL WORLD HAS BEEN PART OF
WHAT SHAPES ME AND MAKES ME A BETTER PERSON. NO DOUBT FUTURE GENERATIONS
WILL LOOK BACK ON MY ERA AND FIND THINGS WE DO THAT ARE DISTINCTLY BACKWARDS.
HOWEVER, FROM WHERE I SIT, I THINK HISTORY WILL JUDGE MY GENERATION TO BE A
PRETTY ENLIGHTENED ONE. I THINK THE BASIC MORALS AND THINGS WE FIND VIRTUOUS
TODAY WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME.
        THERE ARE CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF VIRTUE THAT TRANSCEND EVENTS. ONE FINDS
GREAT VIRTUE, FOR INSTANCE, AMONG THE CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS OF THE CIVIL WAR,
DESPITE THE FACT THAT HISTORY PROVED THEIR CAUSE TO BE THE LOSING ONE. AS A
CONSERVATIVE, I HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF HINDSIGHT IN EXAMINING THE ORIGINS OF MY
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES. MEMBERS OF MY POLITICAL CLASS HAVE MADE MISTAKES IN THE
PAST, BUT SINCE HINDSIGHT IS 20/20 VISION, I AM ABLE TO IMPROVE UPON THEM.
HOPEFULLY. THIS IS THE DUTY OF EVERY GENERATION, TO IMPROVE ON THE PAST. THIS
DOES NOT MEAN TO RADICALLY CHANGE EVERYTHING. THE QUEST FOR UNDERSTANDING
THE PAST, AND MAKING USE OF IT, LIES AT THE HEART OF WHY I AM WRITING THIS BOOK.
        I WELCOME ANY AND ALL COMMENTARY, GOOD AND BAD. I CAN BE REACHED AT
(415) 455-5971, OR BY EMAILING ME AT STWRITES@AOL.COM.

      STEVEN TRAVERS
      MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
      JANUARY 1, 2004

                                    PROLOGUE
              AMERICAN CENTURIES: THE 2OTH AND 21ST

                                       WHO WE ARE.
HOW WE GOT HERE.
WHAT HISTORY TEACHES US.
WHY AMERICA IS SPECIAL.
WHERE WE ARE HEADED.

         THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE HISTORY OF
MANKIND, BUT WHY? TO MERELY BOAST SUCH A STATEMENT IS EMPTY UNLESS IT IS
BACKED BY A SOLID PREMISE, AND THIS IS THE BASIS OF MY PROPOSED HISTORICAL
ANALYSIS OF MY NATION AND HOW WE CAME TO BECOME THE GREATEST, MOST DOMINANT
EMPIRE IN WORLD HISTORY.
FIRST, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE U.S. ACHIEVED ITS STATUS BY PURE CHANCE. MY
WORLDVIEW IS BASED ON A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE, BUT RATHER THAN CENTERING ON
THE CONCEPT OF THE UNITED STATES AS A “CHRISTIAN NATION,” I PREFER TO LOOK AT
         OUR ADVANCEMENT AS THE RESULT OF A “GUIDING HAND” THAT DEFIES
DENOMINATION. PERHAPS IT IS NOT MEANT FOR US TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE ARE THE
"CHOSEN NATION,” BUT RATHER TO FOCUS ON THE EVIDENCE THAT WE ARE WITHOUT
PROBING INTO A SPIRITUALITY THAT IS BEYOND OUR KEN.
The first evidence of divine guidance comes during the Revolutionary War, a time in
which men with much to lose chose, for reasons more often than not against their
personal interests, put themselves on the line against King George’s England. This war
could have been lost during many periods, yet somehow fate drove us to victory. To
consider the intelligence of the resulting Constitution and its lasting importance without
believing that it was a Godly document is, to my mind, almost impossible.
The lack of self-preservation that lies at the heart of our Founding Fathers lies at the heart
of America’s history. Herein we discern the difference between all other countries and us.
While certain diplomats such as Henry Kissinger practiced a European kind of
realpolitik, our ultimate purpose has always been one of benevolence. How else to
explain that we have achieved unprecedented power so benignly? The U.S. possesses the
ability to dominate all others, to turn the globe into a Pax Americana, to enslave and
conquer beyond the realm of all previous conquerors. Can one envision the Romans, the
Chinese Dynasties, the Soviet Bloc, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, even the British
Empire, possessing our weapons and also our restraint? What about modern countries
like Iran and China? The question is impertinent in the face of what we know.
So how did we get that way? While the hand of God cannot be discounted, one must
consider that timing and the quest for human knowledge has been the weaponry of our
good fortune. By that I mean that we had the wonderful hindsight of world history to
study and determine what mistakes had been made, and how to improve on the
performance of our predecessors.
USING AS A MODEL THE STUDY OF POLITICS ENDEAVORED BY DENNIS DALTON, PH.D.
FROM BARNARD COLLEGE AND COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, WE START BY EXAMINING THE
HINDU VISION OF LIFE. AT THE HEART OF HINDUISM IS A FOUR-PART "LIFE EDUCATION”
CENTERED ON THE VALUE OF PROPERTY (CAPITALISM), SENSUAL PLEASURE, RELIGIOUS
                                                                               TH
DUTY, AND SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT. THE STUDY OF HINDUISM, EMBODIED IN THE 20
CENTURY BY MOHANDAS GANDHI, CONTRASTS WITH THE STUDY OF THE MUSLIM
RELIGION. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO NOTE THIS IN LIGHT OF CURRENT AFFAIRS.
NEXT, WE ANALYZE THE CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY, GREECE AFTER THE PELOPONNESIAN
WAR. WAR IS SAID BY THE GREEKS TO BE A “VIOLENT TEACHER.” IT IS A PECULIAR FACT OF
MANKIND THAT TO OUR WORST MISTAKES HAS ALLOWED US TO GAIN OUR GREATEST
KNOWLEDGE. SOCRATES PROPOSED IDEAS THAT WERE SO RADICAL HE WAS GIVEN THE
HEMLOCK, AND HIS STUDENTS, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE, EXPOUND UPON THE LESSONS OF
THE LOSING BATTLE WITH SPARTA AND THE HINDU VISION OF LIFE. THE RESULT, IN SHORT,
IS A VIEW OF POLITICS THAT CONSERVATIVES CAN RELATE TO IN THE MODERN ERA.
FIRST, THE GREEK PHILOSOPHERS DISAGREED WITH THE HINDU "FOURTH STEP,” WHICH
WAS TO FIND PERSONAL ENLIGHTENMENT. THE GREEKS FELT THAT PERSONAL
ENLIGHTENMENT, WHILE ADMIRABLE, SHOULD BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF POLITICAL
CONTRIBUTION. THIS CAN BE FOUND IN THE CONCEPT OF NOBLESSE OBLIGE THAT IS AT THE
HEART OF THE GREATEST POLITICAL FAMILY TODAY, THE BUSH’S, AND CAN BE
CONTRASTED WITH THE MACHIAVELLIAN CONCEPT OF POWER THAT WAS JOSEPH
KENNEDY’S VISION OF HIS MASSACHUSETTS DYNASTY.
Plato argues that politics should be a science that, like Hippocratic medicine, trained
professionals to eschew personal ambition and, like doctors, desire to do only good. He
felt that Greek Democracy was too widespread, fomenting the mob mentality that
Americans, by forming representative government, sought to avoid.
His study of war teaches us that the liberal creativity at the heart of the Athenian military
was not a match for the strict discipline of the Spartans, a lesson worth remembering
when we contemplate our military as a social experiment instead of a bulwark against our
enemies.
The study of Machiavelli is important in trying to understand those who have opposed us
over the years. Like the Greek thinkers, Machiavelli arrived at his conclusions in light of
military disaster. Italy was in the throes of despair in the years after their Empire had
been broken up, and it was the lessons of that fall that Machiavelli applied to his view of
political power. We find Machiavelli’s ghost whispering in the ears of Hitler, Stalin, Mao
and the Clintons – both Bill and especially Hillary. The Republicans have not been
immune to the Machiavellian creed. McCarthyism and Richard Nixon’s paranoid
"enemies list” carry the Machiavellian touch, and from these periods we find cautionary
tales that we must heed or face disaster.
Contrasting the Greeks with Machiavelli allows us to get to the heart of unique American
designs, which are to do good. To do good, often at great sacrifice, is a concept perhaps
still too novel for those not fully understanding of American values to grasp. In that
regard we can offer only patience and continuing example.
Next, I address the politics that co-existed with the United States. This includes the
French Revolution and how it was inspired by the American Revolution, but veered so
far from that concept. Next, the English transformation from royal to parliamentarian
embodied by their Jewish Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. The U.S. influence,
embodied by Theodore Roosevelt, is studied as it applies to the eventual break-up of the
British Empire and its resulting racial implications.
NO STUDY OF AMERICA IS COMPLETE WITHOUT AN UNFLINCHING LOOK AT SLAVERY, AND
IT IS HERE THAT I PROPOSE A REVOLUTIONARY, BOLD MODEL THAT I CALL “AMERICA:
WHERE SLAVERY CAME TO DIE.” PLATO DETERMINED THAT SLAVERY WAS A NATURAL
RESULT OF THE HUMAN CONDITION, AND THE BRITISH COLONIAL VIEW DID NOT VEER FAR
FROM THIS CONCEPT. THESE VALUES WERE THRUST UPON AMERICA. YET SOMEHOW, IN
FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS, THE U.S. MANAGED TO ADDRESS A THRIVING INSTITUTION
THAT HAD EXISTED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND, EFFECTIVELY, END IT. THIS WAS
ACCOMPLISHED ON OUR SHORES, USING OUR LAWS. NO FOREIGN POWER CAME HERE,
DEFEATED US AND TOLD US WHAT TO DO. CONSIDERING SLAVERY’S ECONOMIC BENEFITS IN
THE SOUTH, AND THE COST OF THE CIVIL WAR, THE ENDING OF THE "PECULIAR
INSTITUTION” MIGHT BE THE MOST COMPELLING EXAMPLE OF HOW WE CHANGED THE
POLITICS OF SELF-INTEREST INTO THE POLITICS OF BETTER INTERESTS. THIS IS A PREMISE
MEANT TO CAUSE SOME CONTROVERSY AND PLENTY OF DISCUSSION, ALWAYS A HEALTHY
RESULT OF PHILOSOPHIES AND CRITIQUES.
HOW DID COMMUNISM RISE AND WHY WAS IT OPPOSED IN AMERICA? WHAT DID WE LEARN
FROM GANDHI? WHAT LESSONS DID WE APPLY IN THE POST-WORLD WAR II YEARS?
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, CONQUERING NATIONS HAD ENSLAVED AND COLONIZED. WE LEFT
EUROPE AND JAPAN WITH A LEGACY OF GOODWILL NEVER SEEN IN THE ANNALS OF
MANKIND. CONTRAST DOUG MACARTHUR WITH NAPOLEON, JUST TO START THE
DISCUSSION.
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF MCCARTHYISM? I ARGUE THAT HERE WE SEE THE TRUE
ROOTS OF LIBERAL BIAS. IT WAS A BACKLASH AGAINST MCCARTHY THAT LIES AT THE
HEART OF A LEFT WING DOMINANT MEDIA CULTURE, EMBODIED BY MILLIONAIRE ACTORS
RACKED WITH GUILT OVER THEIR GOOD FORTUNE, AND A “GOTCHA” JOURNALISTIC ETHOS
SPAWNED BY WATERGATE. BUT WHY SHOULD THE LEFT BE THE SOLE DISSEMINATORS OF
CORRECT POLITICAL THOUGHT? WHERE WERE BEN BRADLEE, KATHERINE GRAHAM AND
THE WASHINGTON POST IN 1960 WHEN THE GREATEST POLITICAL CRIME IN AMERICAN
HISTORY WAS BEING PERPETUATED? ORCHESTRATED BY JOSEPH KENNEDY, THE
DEMOCRATS STOLE THE ELECTION FROM NIXON BY CREATING TEXAS’ "TOMBSTONE” VOTE
AND RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN MAYOR RICHARD DALEY’S CHICAGO THAT RIVALS…NEW
YORK’S DEMOCRAT TAMMANY HALL. TO STUDY LIBERAL BIAS CARRIES WITH IT A STUDY
OF HOW TALK RADIO AND CABLE TELEVISION HAS FINALLY BROUGHT ABOUT A SEA CHANGE
IN THE WAY AMERICANS RECEIVE THEIR INFORMATION. BECAUSE OF IT, THE WORLD WILL
NEVER LOOK BACK. I ARGUE THAT THE CURRENT DEMOCRAT PARTY’S DAYS ARE
NUMBERED, IN MY LIFETIME. DESPITE MY OBVIOUS REPUBLICAN SYMPATHIES, HOWEVER,
THIS PROSPECT IS RIFE WITH POTENTIAL DISASTER, BECAUSE A THRIVING TWO-PARTY
SYSTEM IS HEALTHY.
We will look at the role of the Democrats in the Jim Crow South and how it was the
Republican Party that husbanded the region from its racist past into its current thriving,
functioning role in our society.
The Cold War is examined herein, and at the heart of my argument is the Reagan Theory,
which is based first on an observation of World War II. In that war, over 50 million
people perished from the Earth. Some 358,000 Americans died. Yet the country and the
world agree that the cost was worth it, to purge society of Hitler and the Japanese
warlords. The theory then delves into a scenario worthy of a Tom Clancy novel. The U.S.
and the Soviets enter into World War III in 1983. The war lasts until 1989. 50 million
people die. 360,000 of them are Americans. Better technology and Divine Intervention
bring victory to the U.S. The political result of W.W. III is exactly the same thing that
actually did happen! The Berlin Wall falls. The U.S.S.R. is broken up. The Eastern Bloc
crumbles. Communism is relegated to the dustbin of history, leaving rogue regimes in
North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba to live out their miserable, meaningless existences until
attrition takes its inevitable toll. The Reagan Theory asks the question, Would such a
result be worth the lives of 360,000 Americans? and posits the notion that a post-World
War III world would, like its World War II predecessors, agree that it was.
Except that Reagan and the conservatives who believed, endorsed and fought for him
achieved this without the loss of life. Is anything more telling? Still, this notion has never
been put forth, so herein I propose a theory that, at its heart, offers a revolutionary new
model for looking at history.
Finally, we must ask ourselves who we are today, and what the post-9/11 challenges are.
We see history repeating itself. It is America that stands, seemingly alone, ready and
willing to do the heavy lifting necessary to rid the world of terror, while Europe, long the
benefactor of our protection, reverts to its old notions of self-interest. As Santayana once
said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to re-live it.” I might add that
America is willing not only to remember the past, but in so doing, we willingly take on
the task of shaping a hopeful future.
Lastly, as you read this book and some of my ripe conservative views, I have a message
for liberals, conservatives and everything in between and beyond: There is love in my
heart for everybody, do not take the politics personally, and in the U.S., we are all
Americans.
"United we stand," Abe Lincoln once said. "Divided we fall."

                                      VOLUME ONE

HISTORY LESSONS FOR A YOUNG AMERICA

                                  CHAPTER ONE

                   A MODERN THEORY OF GOOD VS. EVIL

      AMERICANS LIKE TO CONGRATULATE THEMSELVES ON WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY
WE ARE. WE PAT EACH OTHER ON THE BACK BECAUSE WE GOT IT RIGHT WHERE OTHERS
WERE OFF THE MARK. OUR CONSTITUTION HAS LASTED WELL OVER 200 YEARS. WE
MANAGED TO EFFECTIVELY END THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY AS A VIABLE TRADE
BETWEEN LEGITIMATE NATIONS. WE HAVE FOUGHT WARS FOR THE RIGHT REASONS.
INSTEAD OF PLUNDERING THE CONQUERED LANDS FOR BOOTY, WE RE-BUILT NATIONS AND
ENDEARED OURSELVES TO GRATEFUL MILLIONS. WE MANAGED TO CREATE A POLITICAL
AND ECONOMIC MODEL THAT DEFIED THE PREVIOUS ASSUMPTIONS OF MEN. OUR MISTAKES
ARE PLACED IN THE STOREFRONT WINDOW, NOT HIDDEN FROM VIEW. WE STUDY OUR
ERRORS AND SEEK TO CORRECT THEM IN A WAY NO COUNTRY HAS EVER DONE.
       CONSIDER NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, EMPEROR OF FRANCE IN THE BEGINNING OF
       TH
THE 19    CENTURY. BONAPARTE WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST MILITARY STRATEGISTS OF
ALL TIME, BUT HIS STRATEGIES FAILED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF
CAMPAIGNS. FIRST, AGGRESSIVE WAR MAKES ENEMIES. SECOND, POST-WAR OCCUPATION IS
A BREEDING GROUND FOR CONSPIRACY.
       PEOPLE  ARE REMARKABLY PLIABLE OVER TIME. AS GENERATIONS CHANGE,
POPULATIONS GET USED TO THEIR SITUATION. BUT NAPOLEON WAS NOT MUCH MORE
BENEVOLENT THAN ALL PREVIOUS DICTATORSHIPS. THE ROMAN EMPIRE PLUNDERED AND
ENSLAVED CONQUERED TERRITORY, AND SO DID NAPOLEON. THE ROMANS DID BRING
THEIR CULTURE TO DISTANT OUTPOSTS, AND SOME OF THE NATIVE POPULATIONS MANAGED
TO PROSPER UNDER THEIR COMMAND. BUT MAINLY POPULATIONS CHAFED UNDER ROMAN
DICTATE. THIS WAS NOT THE IMPETUS OF THE EMPIRE’S CRUMBLING. HOWEVER,
BENEVOLENT STRENGTH THROUGHOUT THEIR EMPIRE COULD HAVE PROVEN TO BE THE
NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE OF ITS EXISTENCE.
THIS LESSON WAS NOT LEARNED BY NAPOLEON. HE THOUGHT HE COULD DO BETTER. HE
ATTACKED HIS NEIGHBORS AND LOOTED THEIR RICHES. HE DID NOT INSTITUTE
GOVERNMENTS OR POLICIES THAT IMPROVED THE SITUATIONS OF THE DEFEATED NATIONS
AND ARMIES. MANY OF THE DISPOSSESSED MULTITUDES WOULD HAVE WELCOMED
CHANGES THAT IMPROVED THEIR POLITICAL LANDSCAPES.
THE BRITISH, WHILE THE MOST PROGRESSIVE OF THE GREAT PRE-AMERICAN EMPIRES,
MADE THE MISTAKE OF TREATING THE POPULATIONS IN THEIR COLONIES WITH CONTEMPT
INSTEAD OF ENDEAVORING TO CREATE RESPECT FOR LAW AND EQUALITY. THE ONE REAL
EXCEPTION TO THIS WAS AMERICA, WHERE THE BRITISH VIEWED THE COLONISTS AS
SEMI-EQUALS BECAUSE THEY CAME FROM ENGLISH STOCK.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND, HOWEVER, IS THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS HAD
THE GREAT ADVANTAGE OF HISTORY, TIMING AND MODERN SENSIBILITIES GUIDING ITS
DESTINY. IMAGINE HOW MUCH RECORDED HISTORY HAD PASSED, LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE
HOURGLASS, BEFORE THE U.S. CAME INTO BEING. ENGLAND HAD CROSSED THE SEAS,
COMING UPON STRANGE LANDS FILLED WITH MYSTERIOUS, DARK-SKINNED PEOPLES. WHILE
THE PRECEPTS OF MORALITY AND GOODNESS TELL US THAT THE ENGLISH SHOULD HAVE
TREATED THESE POPULATIONS WITH RESPECT, IT MAY BE TOO MUCH TO EXPECT THE
ENGLISH RACE, FACED WITH THEIR OWN IGNORANCE, SUSPICIONS AND RELIGIOUS VIEW OF
“PAGANS,” TO ACT OUT IN THE MANNER GOD WOULD INTEND. THE ENGLISH, IMBUED WITH
A SUPERIOR VIEW OF THEMSELVES, WERE NOT ADVANCED ENOUGH TO WELCOME
NON-WHITES AS EQUALS. MANY HAVE TRIED TO BLAME CHRISTIANITY FOR THIS, BUT ONE
FINDS NOTHING IN THE BIBLE, OR THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST HIMSELF, ANY JUSTIFICATION
FOR THIS BEHAVIOR.
Holding historical people responsible for their acts, using modern knowledge, is a
standard that few can live up to. There are exceptions, but they are rare. The American
Ideal was born from what we knew about the British, but because we were colonists
chafing under their authority, it gave us the principles that lie at the heart of our country’s
foundation. Thank God for it.
This is not to discount our own dark moments. The slavery experience, and the Indian
Wars, in retrospect could have been handled much differently. But slavery did not
continue, and the Indian experience was not the holocaust it could have been. What other
countries in the 19th Century would have handled the Indian confrontations in a manner
substantially different from the U.S.? A reminder of the Spanish Inquisition offers some
perspective. The American West was an unavoidable clashof civilizations.
Mainly, the history of America occurs side-by-side with enlightened times. The civil
rights struggle, women’s suffrage, and modern religious, political, economic and
psychological ideas are part of America’s growth. The question is worth asking, Has the
world grown up because of America, or is America the by-product of a grown-up world?
No doubt a little of both. This chapters endeavors to place credit where credit is due, by
looking at historical figures whose writings and teachings influenced the formation of
American political thought.

Dennis G. Dalton is a Ph.D. who teaches a course at Barnard College, Columbia
University, called “Power Over People: Classical and Modern Political Theory.”
Professor Dalton teaches in a beautiful, non-judgmental manner that seems to be devoid
of the kind of political correctness and historical revisionism that colors so much
scholarship today.
Professor Dalton endeavors to tell us who we are by examining the giants of political
thought throughout history. He uses two major criteria: How important the questions are,
and the responses to the questions.
Since America is at its core a Democracy, it seems to make sense that one begins with an
examination of Democratic principles. This takes us to the cradle of Democracy,
Athenian Greece. But the three great philosophers of Greece, Socrates, Plato and
Aristotle (and before them, the medical ethicist Hypocrites) did not just come to their
conclusions without teachers of their own. Who and what influenced them?
Western political theory generally falls into three broad areas. The first involves the
characteristics of human nature and interaction within society. But what drives human
nature? Are we a product of internal or external matter? Does reason or passion drive us?
Let us cut to the chase. Are people sinful or good? Violent or non-violent? Understanding
these questions is as fundamentally difficult today as it was in Socrates’ time. It is the
essential question that drives public policy today and in our future.
The attempt here is not just to gain some understanding of these tenets of the human
animal. The purpose is to apply what we have learned to a study of the unique American
character. The premise of this treatise is an acknowledgement that in the United States,
we have made better and more moral decisions for the public good than any previous
power. Still, we have not achieved a perfectly harmonious society. The quest for harmony
goes back several Millennia. In order to achieve harmony, leaders must find a balancing
act between coercive acts of power and the containment of conflict, as outlined by the
laws written by institutions. Professor Dalton then asks, or really repeats the question, is
social unity achievable? Is it even what we are looking for? Ah, as Shakespeare once
said, there’s the rub. This is the nexus of struggle.
What about human rights? The American promise is based on the principle that man has
unalienable rights. Legal theory has over the years ascribed the term “natural law” to this
concept. It is brought up a great deal today. Natural law was a major part of the
questioning of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. When the inevitable
debate occurs over Roe vs. Wade, the abortion decision delivered in 1973, it will be the
central theme of this question.
To understand the rights of man, one must address whether a Creator endows his rights.
This requires that leap of faith religious people have made. But many do not take that
leap. Furthermore, remember that throughout the ages, many people lived under the rule
of people who thought they were gods. This premise creates further complicating
dilemmas when addressing the question of equality and human rights in the context of
social authority.
As somebody once said, the one constant is change. If this is so, should revolutionary
thinkers be extolled for endorsing their cataclysmic ideals, or are they just historical
conduits of necessity? Inevitable shifting sands of thought? To put it in plain terms, if
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle do not come along, does somebody else take their place?
Are we dealing with inevitability? If this is the case, one shudders to think that somebody
like Adolph Hitler was inevitable.
SO THE QUESTION OF DYNAMICS IS ADDRESSED, IN THE CONTEXT OF MORAL LEADERSHIP
AND INEXORABLE LAWS OF HISTORY. THE ATTEMPT HERE IS TO DEFINE SOME KIND OF
                                                                      ST
ABSOLUTE TRUTH THAT EXISTS AS OBVIOUSLY IN ATHENIAN GREECE AS IN 21 CENTURY
IOWA. LET US CALL THIS WHAT IT IS, THE QUESTION OF GOOD AND EVIL. TO DETERMINE A
KIND OF UNIVERSAL, ENDURING CODE OF ETHICS IS TO DISPUTE A PREMISE THAT MAKES ITS
WAY AROUND THE MODERN LANDSCAPE. THIS IS THE IDEA OF MORAL RELATIVISM. IS IT
OKAY FOR PALESTINIAN SUICIDE BOMBERS TO BLOW UP 50 ISRAELI MEN, WOMEN AND
CHILDREN AT A SHOPPING MALL, BECAUSE PALESTINE HAS NOT ACHIEVED INDEPENDENCE?
IS IT OKAY FOR THE STATE OF TEXAS TO PUT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING TO DEATH BECAUSE
THAT MAN KILLED ANOTHER HUMAN BEING? IS IT OKAY FOR A MILITARY COMMANDER TO
ORDER HIS MEN TO SHOOT INTO A CROWD TRYING TO BREAK UP A RIOT THAT WOULD CAUSE
MORE CASUALTIES THAN THOSE INFLICTED IN ORDER TO STOP IT?
ARE THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS FOUNDED IN THE REALISTS’ GRASP OF HARD
FACTS, OR SOME HIGHER TRUTH? THIS QUESTION HAS BEEN FRAMED AT TIMES AS, WHAT
WOULD JESUS DO? ONE FINDS IT DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE JESUS YELLING, “FIRE” AT A
COLUMN OF SOLDIERS WHO RESPOND TO HIS COMMAND BY SHOOTING AT CIVILIANS, EVEN
IF THEY ARE RIOTING CIVILIANS. IF HUMANS CAN OPERATE ON THE PREMISE THAT THERE IS
A GOD, AND THAT THE VAGARIES OF LIFE ON EARTH PALE IN COMPARISON TO AN ETERNITY
IN HEAVEN, THEN THE QUEST FOR TRUTH BECOMES OPERATIONAL. PERHAPS WE MUST
SIMPLY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WHILE WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY, THE KIND OF
UNDERSTANDING NEEDED TO AVOID LIFE’S HARD FACTS IS STILL FAR BEYOND OUR KEN.
WHAT IS REALISTIC IS THAT HUMANS WILL NOT DO THE SAME THINGS THAT JESUS DID,
BECAUSE WE ARE HUMANS. ASKING US TO DO WHAT HE DID IS NOT A VIABLE EXPECTATION.
JESUS HAD BETTER INFORMATION AT HIS DISPOSAL THAN WE DO.
As we look at ourselves in the beginning of the New Millennium, it is important to
address the nature of change. We live in a world of newspapers, cable televesion,
satellites, the Internet, and information that is readily available to much of the world’s
population. Change can occur much faster now than it did 300 years ago. Could the
Communist Revolution have survived the kind of available knowledge we have today?
National Socialism? Slavery? Or is technology a source of evil? This seems to be a
strange question, but the Internet has turned out to be a place where child pornographers
and terrorists communicate and readily find what they want. Is there some kind of
universal dark message on the World Wide Web? The Web dislocates us from our
communities, which have always operated as a kind of bulwark protecting us from
ourselves. Believe me, I am a guy who uses the Internet every day. Maybe the Internet is
just the way evil operates now. Through back channels. Via subterfuge. No more frontal
assaults. I have a theory, based on my faith not only that there is a God, but that there is a
devil, and that these forces of good and evil are constantly battling for the Earth. Maybe
if the devil wins, that is when Armageddon occurs.
Or, maybe Armageddon has already happened, and we are just living in a
post-Armageddon world. World Wars I and II could have been Armageddon. The atomic
destruction in Japan could have been Armageddon. Maybe the build-up of opposing
forces in the Middle East will lead to Armageddon. There actually is a place in the Holy
Land called Armageddon. Maybe we averted Armageddon when we defeated the
U.S.S.R. in the Cold War. Maybe the success of America thwarted the devil's
Armageddon plans and he was forced into a rearguard action.
Great advances in science do not equate with morality. Look at the world we lived in 100
years ago. We made great strides during the 19th Century in art, culture and political
philosophy. The work of Sigmund Freud symbolized a new Modernism, heralding a
dawn of understanding among men of goodwill. The United States was an optimistic
nation, led by Theodore Roosevelt, making its bid to be a world leader. We had settled
the terrible slavery question on our own shores, and the feeling was that we had learned
from our mistakes, our wars, and our misunderstandings. Hope sprung eternal.
But one might posit the notion that the devil had a plan. He might have seen the new
technologies of the Industrial Revolution, and determined that man would just as likely
put them to use for evil as for good. That is what happened during World War I. We
ended that conflict and called it the "war to end all wars." We formed the League of
Nations and told ourselves that civilized men and nations would keep the peace. The
great expectations of the new century had simply been postponed by unfortunate old
feuds between ancient European rivals. But evil has a face. It is the face of Hitler and
Stalin. It was symbolized for years by the swastika, and the hammer and sickle. In the
Roaring '20s, a group of Parisian-based writers called the Lost Generation sensed that the
horrors of war had unleashed darkness that was spreading, not receding. The devil
discovered, to his great delight, the machine gun, chlorine and mustard gas, the railroad
line; these were weapons to further his work. It was heard in the cries of Armenians who
died by the hundreds of thousands at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, in a genocide that
the world ignored.
How wonderful, thought the devil. How convenient. A massacre of an entire people, all
done under the color of “military
necessity,” and given the imprimatur of government respectability. The devil knew then
and there that the selfish people of the world, concerned only with their own petty
national problems, could be duped easily. We would just stand around while his work
was done. The devil set out to find the most efficient regimes to carry out his plan.
The United States? Naw, said the devil. It would be great if he could get those people to
carry out his work. He had had a few successful campaigns in the New World. Slavery.
The Civil War. But the U.S. was too Christian, and those Founding Fathers were
independent thinkers. Trying to overcome the Constitution was too difficult a task. So the
devil looked at the two huge countries hit hardest by the Great War, Germany and Russia.
How perfect, he thought. He would pit them against each other, and it would not matter
who won. The devil was hedging his bets for both sides.
First, and how perfect was this, the devil planted the seeds of hatred in Germany against
the Chosen People of Israel. By almost the middle of the century, over 45 million people
were dead. Among them were 6 million Jews, plus another 6 million who died within the
camps, and countless soldiers and civilians. Misery, disease, injuries, and displacement.
The devil was on a roll, but he was facing his old nemesis, the United States. A chosen
nation, given all the extra advantages that God could bestow upon it. The devil might not
have expected the U.S. to come out of this latest war so well, but that is what happened.
Damn, thought the devil. Foiled again. Just when it looked like the 20th Century would
be his greatest victory, America came along with its principles, its ideals of happiness
and equality. The French had espoused these ideals in 1789, but the devil saw to it that
greed and retribution would win the day. But these Americans kept doing the right thing.
The devil kept getting his licks in. He managed to divide this beautiful nation, just
enough to keep us from achieving our goals in the rice paddies of the Southeast Asia. He
smiled when Pol Pot’s minion’s killed millions in Cambodia. But when the Berlin Wall
fell, the devil new the old techniques would not work any more. He needed to change the
plan.
NOW, THE U.S. FACES NEW CHALLENGES IN A NEW CENTURY. EVIL IS A TRICKY THING.
LIKE COMMUNISM, EVIL LOOKS FOR DISCIPLES AMONGST THE DISPOSSESSED, THE LOSERS,
AND THE LEFT-BEHIND. WHO BETTER THAN THE ARABS, WHO CONTRIBUTED LITTLE TO
VICTORY OVER THE AXIS POWERS, THEN ALIGNED THEMSELVES WITH THE SOVIETS IN ONE
OF HISTORY’S POORER CHOICES. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIRD WORLD
SQUALOR. THEY HAVE OCCUPIED THESE COUNTRIES FOR CENTURIES, WHILE THE
DESPERATE, REFUGEE ISRAELIS MOVED INTO THEIR BACK YARD. WITHIN A FEW YEARS,
THEY CREATED THE ULTIMATE IN YOUR FACE: A THRIVING ECONOMIC AND MILITARY
POWER.
THE DEVIL KNEW HOW TO GET TO THESE ARABS. HE PLANTED SEEDS OF HATE, MASKED IN
THE GUISE OF DESTINY, WITHIN THE LITTLE HEADS OF HUSSEIN, ARAFAT, QHADAFI, BIN
LADEN, AL-ASSAD. HE FOUND IN THESE SMALL PEOPLE ADMIRATION FOR HITLER’S
GERMANY. HE TOLD THEM THAT DER FUHRER HAD BEEN DOING GOD’S WORK BY
MASSACRING JEWS, AND THAT IT WAS THEIR CHOSEN PATH TO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
THIS TIME, THE JEWS FOUGHT BACK, ARMED WITH BETTER BRAINPOWER, MORAL
AUTHORITY, AND PARTNERSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES, WHO WERE NOW CALLING THE
SHOTS INSTEAD OF FRANCE AND THE ANCIENT APPEASERS. THE U.S.-ISRAELI ALIGNMENT
SIMPLY SAID NO, AND THE LITTLE MEN WERE STOPPED.
In this new War on Terrorism, we are more and more facing an “enemy” that we call
Militant Islam. But is this the real enemy? Is the devil just using the Muslims, a
convenient group as it is, to hide his real agenda? He has, it would seem, just substituted
the Jewish face, or the Armenian face, with the musky, bearded face of Islam. Something
different and hard to understand. The enemy? Just as the Germans learned that the Jew
was not their enemy, we will learn the Muslim is not ours. The key is to do it in time,
before World War III breaks out in a massive misunderstanding of chaos and anarchy that
sounds like the laughter of evil.
Who will say, “Never again?” Who will do the heavy lifting necessary to advance
civilization in such a way that the devil retreats and cries “uncle” for 100, 500, maybe
even 1,000 years? That is a pretty good guess, pilgrim. The answer: The United States of
America.

                                   CHAPTER TWO

THE FORMATION OF DEMOCRACY

       My search for the American soul begins with the cradle of Democracy, Athens,
Greece during the time of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. As mentioned in the previous
chapter, their search for understanding was based on the teachings of history prior to their
times. Professor Dalton has chosen to center his initial study on the Hindu vision of life.
It is a very noble vision, pre-dating by many centuries the Muslim religion. A study of
Hinduism illustrates contrasts with Islam. It is not my intent to downgrade Islam. The
comparison really is worth its relevance when one considers that the two religions
coexisted as rivals in India prior to the break-up of the country after achieving
independence from Great Britain. Gandhi was a Hindu, not a Muslim. In light of recent
developments, as one gains understanding of Hinduism’s core tenets, one might wish that
the warped mind of Muslim extremism would have been imbued with some of those
tenets. The tide of history has divided the two religions, instead of allowing them to
co-exist and benefit one another. Hope remains that some day the twain shall meet.

The Hindu Vision of Life
        The two sacred texts of Hinduism are “The Bhagavad-Gita” and the “Chandogya
Upanishad”. The central theme of these texts is self-mastery, and the pursuit of ideal
conduct. Unlike other philosophies of ancient times, the self-mastery of this religion is
entirely peaceful, instead of instilling a warlord’s creed. Illusion and ignorance are the
enemies of self-realization, because they cause fear.
        Fast-forwarding over 2,000 years, we can apply these human frailties to the study
of 20 th Century racism. What we do not understand, we fear. This was at the heart of
Adolph Hitler’s persecution of Jews. Using skilled propagandists, Hitler replaced
misunderstanding with demonizing lies and mischaracterizations of Jews.
        Much of American racism against blacks can be traced to ignorance and fear.
Segregation bred the creation of division between the races, and what they did not know
of each other, because they chose not to know, they replaced with fear.
        Today, we face a protracted battle that, for better or worse, involves the
confrontation of Christianity and Islam. This is not the first time these forces have
collided. The Crusades were about Christianity’s attempt to defeat Islam. Today our
challenge is overcoming not only our ignorance of Islam, but Islam’s ignorance of
Christianity (and its natural co-religion, Judaism).
        The Hindu’s felt that there is an inter-connectiveness of all being, and tapping into
that can be approached through the light of knowledge, bringing forth the highest truth.
This search for truth is far more than an ephemeral term, a code word for New Age
seekers or parents trying to instill values in their children. It lies at the heart of everything
we do.
        The political or military leader worth his or her salt knows that the only advice
worth hearing is the unvarnished truth. To surround ones' self with yes men who tell him
only what he wants to hear is to court disaster. Hitler did it. Joseph Stalin did it. Mao
Tse-tung did it. Look at what history tells about their careers. Saddam Hussein took no
advice. Neither does Kim Jong-Il of North Korea.
        Contrast that with President George W. Bush, who has surrounded himself with
experienced military, political and diplomatic minds. Franklin Roosevelt gave George C.
Marshall carte blanche when it came to strategy and personnel decisions during World
War II. Roosevelt was unimpressed with the Midwestern farm boy, Dwight Eisenhower,
when it was proposed that the youthful Ike be named as head of U.S. forces in Europe,
but it was Marshall’s call.
         Leaders listen to their advisers. They also make calls that go against the grain
when they feel they have acquired the knowledge to do so. Abraham Lincoln listened to
his generals during the Civil War, but eventually saw through George McClellan’s stall
tactics, choosing instead a general like Ulysses Grant “because he fights.”
         BUT THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH IS NOT SOMETHING RELEGATED ONLY TO GENERALS,
PRIME MINISTERS AND PRESIDENTS. IT IS SOMETHING ALL OF US MUST TRY TO FIND. IT IS
PART OF WHY I AM WRITING THIS BOOK. I AM TRYING TO FIND CURRENTS OF TRUTH IN
HISTORY THAT ENLIGHTEN AND TELL ME THAT WHAT I HAVE BELIEVED, MY MORALS AND
THE GUIDES I HAVE USED TO MAKE DECISIONS AND SUPPORT CAUSES, ARE THE RIGHT ONES.
THIS SEARCH CAN TAKE ME TO TRICKY TERRITORY. THE TRULY ENLIGHTENED MUST BE
WILLING TO FIND FAULT IN HIS MOST SACRED COWS. IF THE TRUTH LEADS DOWN AN
UNWANTED PATH, ONLY WHEN HE ADDRESSES THIS FULLY CAN HE GIVE REAL SUPPORT TO
THE THINGS HE CHOOSES TO BELIEVE IN: GOD, POLITICS, NATIONS, FAMILY.
         WHERE HINDUISM DIFFERS FROM THE GREEK IDEAL IS IN THE DISTRUST OF
POLITICS. THE HINDU MODEL OFFERS A GUIDE TO EDUCATING THE INDIVIDUAL, BUT FALLS
SHORT IN ITS VISION FOR SOCIETY AS A WHOLE. SOME HAVE ATTRIBUTED THE HINDU
INFLUENCE TO MODERN ANARCHISTS AND THE DARK CONTEMPLATORS OF FRENCH
EXISTENTIALISM, BUT I FIND THIS TO BE A STRETCH.
         THE FIRST GOAL OF HINDU SELF-MASTERY IS TO GAIN ENOUGH SELF-KNOWLEDGE
TO EXERCISE POWER OVER OTHERS. THEY SAW THE EXERCISE OF POWER TO BE MORE OF AN
INDIVIDUALIZED PROCESS, SUCH AS A PARENT-CHILD OR STUDENT-TEACHER RELATIONSHIP.
THE GREEKS TOOK IT FURTHER, BEYOND TEACHER-STUDENT, TO THE CREATION OF MASS
LEARNING CENTERS (THE BEGINNING OF COLLEGES) AND TO THE APPLICATION OF
POLITICAL POWER.
         THE BEAUTY OF HINDU PHILOSOPHY IS IN THE THRIVING FOR IDEAL STANDARDS OF
CONDUCT. THESE ARE SEEN AS UNIVERSAL STANDARDS BY WHICH HUMANS GUIDE THEIR
BEHAVIOR. THIS IS IN DIRECT CONTRAST TO THE MURKY MORAL RELATIVISM THAT DRIVES
LIBERAL THOUGHT. THE HINDU’S SET HIGH GOALS THAT WERE NOT NECESSARILY
ATTAINABLE, IN ORDER TO AVOID SELF-SATISFACTION, COMPLACENCY AND CORRUPTION.
THE TEACHERS OF THESE PHILOSOPHIES WERE CALLED GURUS, WHO SOUGHT TO TEACH BY
EXAMPLE. APPARENTLY BILL CLINTON DID NOT EMULATE THESE TEACHING METHODS
WHEN IT CAME TO IMPARTING HIS EXAMPLE TO HIS DAUGHTER, CHELSEA.
         Karl Potter’s “Presuppositions of India’s Philosophies” states that the Indian
teaching tradition centers on the individualized instruction because the teacher can only
be effective if he knows his students innermost needs. This becomes more difficult when
teaching a large class or leading a mass movement. While the individualized method is
admirable, it limits those thrust into roles of leadership over many. However, it no doubt
offers a great first step.
         Education is the anti-dote to fear, which arises from the illusion of ignorance. The
Hindu’s said that evil and sin were illusions that arose out of their anxieties. By shedding
light on the object of their anxieties, they overcame fear of other human beings while
perceiving the “unity of being,” the collective tissue as it was, of all human existence.
Through this process, which requires great self-discipline, they attained the highest truth.
Let me examine this philosophy, which is the basis of Gandhi’s teachings, and while
noble fails to perceive some important things that I think history has taught us. The
concept that evil does not exist except in our fears is utopian, in my view. Gandhi, the
pacifist, was once asked whether he would have opposed Hitler if the Germans marched
into India, and the Mahatma actually said something about prayer and the power of
righteous causes.
Let me point out a few truths about Gandhi, which is not to denigrate his rightful place as
a great man, but to show him to be a limited one who made the most of a “perfect”
situation. First, Gandhi did little if anything to mobilize against the two great evils that
rose like giant snakes side-by-side with his historical times, Nazism and Communism.
Many brave Indians fought with the British against the Germans and the Japanese, but
not under Gandhi’s flag. Gandhi chose to oppose the British, forcing them to put valuable
resources into the Indian question, at a time when they were valiantly struggling, at first
all by their lonesome, against the Nazis. Gandhi’s victory over the colonialists owes
much to the depleted resources of the empire. It was World War II that ended the British
Empire more than any single factor.
Gandhi also understood that in the British he faced a peaceful, moral, benevolent foe. He
knew this, relied on it, played to it. It was a convenient way to achieve his ends, to realize
that the English were sympathetic to his peaceful cause. How many occupiers would have
let Gandhi lead his people in peace? The U.S., of course, but who else? The French?
Studying their history in places like Indochina and Algeria tells us differently. Certainly
not the Germans, Japanese, Chinese, or the Italians.
Gandhi’s revolution offers important lessons in realpolitik, and exposes a hole in
Hinduism. While the concept that evil is non-existent proves to be a questionable tool in
the arsenal of modern liberalism, it is the opposite of the Christian philosophy and flies in
the face of a world history in which violence and hatred has moved mountains.
Furthermore, one finds in Gandhi’s politics a sad futility. Once he was assassinated, his
best plans seemed to go awry. His country was torn asunder and has been the scene of
violent strife between Hindu’s and Muslim Pakistan ever since.
I apologize for my criticisms of Hinduism, and by no means do I wish to besmirch it.
Despite pointing out some holes in the concept, I am pointing out its precepts herein
because I find it an exceptionally worthy form of education. I see parallels that do exist
with Christianity. The truly enlightened Hindu and Christian does not fear violence
because he knows that beyond this realm of consciousness lies something beautiful and
eternal.
THE EDUCATION OF HINDU’S CENTERS ON FOUR VALUES, IN ASCENDING ORDERS OF
IMPORTANCE. I PARTICULARLY ADMIRE THE FOUR VALUES, AND FIND THEM NOT JUST
ENLIGHTENING, BUT FUN AND EASILY INCORPORATED INTO WESTERN THOUGHT. THE FIRST
IS CALLED ARTHA, WHICH VALUES WEALTH AND PROPERTY. GOOD FOR THE HINDU’S. THEY
ARE NOT SOCIALISTS! OF COURSE, THIS VALUE IS ONLY THE FIRST ORDER OF IMPORTANCE,
BECAUSE THEY FELT THAT WHILE PROPERTY IS IMPORTANT, THE ENLIGHTENED BEING SEES
THE ILLUSORY NATURE OF ITS VALUE. THIS MAY NOT PLAY WELL WITH THOSE WHO
IDENTIFY THEIR PLACE IN SOCIETY SOLELY ON THE SIZE OF THE BANK ACCOUNTS, BUT
NEVERTHELESS OFFERS AN ETERNAL TRUTH THAT LIES AT THE HEART OF OUR MORAL
COMPASS.
The second value is Kama, and again, I say God bless ‘em. Kama places value on sensual
and sexual pleasure, and I am all for that. I am a Christian, and there are some strong,
repressive attitudes in my religion that tell us sex is sinful, but I am not a hypocrite. I love
sex and find it healthy as all get out!
The third value is Dharma, which centers on imparting a sense of righteousness through
religious belief. The last value is Moksha, or spiritual liberation. As mentioned before,
the Greeks and Western philosophers depart somewhat from this value. While Moksha
brings freedom from illusion, fear and ignorance, thereby leading to the perception of the
unity of all being, it was urged that those who attain such enlightenment do so in a
singular way, not necessarily for the good of a larger community. The Greeks argued that
we are all political animals, and when we achieve this high education, we have a duty to
devote ourselves to a worthy cause instead of retreating within ourselves.
The four values co-exist with four stages of life. Brahmacharya encompasses the first 25
years of life, known as the “student stage.” It is devoted to studying and understanding all
the sacred texts of Hinduism. It is interesting to note that the Hindu’s felt that one was
still a student at age 25, at a time when people were lucky to live until they were 30 or 40.
Women often were married and having children in their early teens. One might
pre-suppose that a 25-year old man might be an elder of the tribe, so to speak. Still, the
Hindu’s were a patient people who did not try to rush the process.
Grihastha covers a stage of life, from age 25 to 55, which involves establishing and
providing for a family, and raising children. One can only determine that there were a fair
amount of people who lived to this ripe age. The Grihastha concept is an interesting one,
and worth examining as it relates to two major American political dynasties. The first is
the Kennedy’s. While Joseph P. Kennedy certainly provided for his family, his three
surviving sons, Jack, Robert and Edward, skipped this part of the process. All of them
inherited wealth from Joe instead of making their own marks in business, and entered
politics at very young ages.
The other great dynasty, the Bush Family, embodies the Grihastha ideal in that their men
all set out to make their marks, each earning fortunes that would be passed on to their
heirs, before embarking headlong into politics with a sense of Platonic noblesse oblige, or
"noble obligation."
Vanaprastha means “forest hermit.” The Hindu’s advocated that when a man becomes a
grandfather, he should leave society and “find himself” through self-knowledge. While
Christ went on this quest during his “wilderness” period, it was a relatively short time and
he returned with renewed determination to teach and lead his followers. The Hindu
self-knowledge period does not advocate this, but rather, curiously, advises the seeker to
virtually abandon his family obligations.
FINALLY, AFTER SELF-KNOWLEDGE IS ATTAINED, THE SEEKER ENTERS INTO SANNYASA, OR
“SAINTLINESS.” THE PERSON RETURNS TO SOCIETY, TRANSCENDS ITS RULES (OF CASTE)
AND OF TEMPTATIONS (WEALTH, PROPERTY AND SEX). THE SAINT IS STRICTLY
NON-VIOLENT BECAUSE HE UNDERSTANDS THAT TO INFLICT HARM ON OTHERS IS TO
NECESSARILY HARM OURSELVES.
Gandhi’s position in Indian society reflects Sannyasa with some variations. Certainly he
was revered beyond all others, and he resisted the temptations of wealth and sex. He
tested himself by sleeping naked with young women were presumably more than willing
to hook up with him should he make the move (JFK and Clinton could have used a little
more Sannyasa).
Where Gandhi veers is from Vanaprastha. He never became hermit, choosing a public
life early and maintaining that place in society until his death. This is to his credit,
although Gandhi yearned to seek a solitary state away from the adoring eye of the
populace. His life was a great exception, of course, and he simply had too many
important obligations to abandon his cause to lesser lights like Nehru while he
communed in the forest.
The Hindu’s liked their metaphors, telling the fable of a man entering a room at night. He
sees a shadow in the corner that looks like a cobra. Scared of the cobra, he stays away
from it all night. When the morning light exposes the room, the man sees that the shadow
was not a cobra, but rather a piece of rope, which he now fearlessly folds up. The period
of night turning to day reflects a man’s life, and his realization that the thing he feared
was not to be feared. In fact, it was a useful tool, a rope.
NOT TO CONTINUALLY RAIN ON THE HINDU PARADE, BUT IT IS INSTRUCTIVE TO
UNDERSTAND THAT THE ROPE MIGHT HAVE BEEN A COBRA. AS RONALD REAGAN ONCE
SAID, “TRUST, BUT VERIFY.” THE HINDU VISION OF LIFE PLACED MORE VALUE ON NURTURE
THAN NATURE, AND WAS BASED ON THE IDEA THAT THE HUMAN PERSONALITY IS COMPOSED
OF A COMBINATION OF WISDOM AND GOODNESS, COURAGE AND ENERGY, DESIRE AND
APPETITE, ALL IN VARYING PROPORTIONS TO EACH OTHER.
THEY ESTABLISHED SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS BASED UPON THE QUALITIES ATTRIBUTED TO
DIFFERENT CLASSES OF PEOPLE. BRAHMANS WERE THE PHILOSOPHERS OF THE PRIEST CASTE,
POSSESSING OF GREAT WISDOM AND GOODNESS. THIS TERM WOULD LATER FIND ITS WAY TO
THE DESCRIPTION OF A CERTAIN CLASS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND EARLY PERIOD
OF OUR NATION’S HISTORY. IT WAS APPLIED TO A KIND OF YANKEE WHO OCCUPIED THE
HIGHEST PLACE IN BOSTON OR PHILADELPHIA MAIN LINE SOCIETY. WITH THE ADVENT OF
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, IT HAS BEEN BASTARDIZED INTO AN INDICTMENT OF WEALTH
AND PRIVILEGE, ATTRIBUTED IN WAYS NOT MEANT TO COMPLIMENT THE LIKES OF AN OLD
MONEY NEW ENGLANDER LIKE GEORGE H.W. BUSH.
Kshatriyas were those identified for their courage and placed in a military caste. Vaishyas
were the engines of the economic caste because of their appetite for wealth.
The Hindu’s veered from their concepts over time. The original system was based on
merit, but eventually degenerated into an exploitative system based on privilege and
heredity. While education was valued as the way to determine what caste an individual
was best suited for, eventually people were seen as being born into their castes, with no
chance of raising from castes deemed to be of the lower classes. The crux of the Hindu
vision, as it applies to political theory, revolves around Vanaprastha. They felt a man
should seek solitude because to put a wise man in the public sphere would corrupt him.
Later, Plato argued that a system can be created where the wise man can wield power
safely.
One thing is clear, however. The Hindu vision, as beautiful as it is, has presided over a
country (India) that despite great size, a huge population, people of intellect, natural
resources and strategic geography, is a terribly poor, sick, Third World nation. Surely, the
philosophies of these people can be improved upon, and herein the study of how to do
just that continues. The debate rages on.

PLATO'S "REPUBLIC" APPLIED TO MODERN POLITICS
       THE STUDY OF SOCRATES, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE ARE INTERESTING AND BEGIN A
TREND THAT THREADS THROUGH HISTORY. THAT TREND IS TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING IN
THE AFTERMATH OF TRAGEDY. IT SEEMS THAT MAN OFTEN DOES HIS BEST THINKING WHEN
HE IS DESPERATE TO DO SO. WAR BRINGS ON SUCH DESPERATION. THE POST-MORTEM OF
WAR PROVIDES A BOUNTY FOR PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHT, BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT SUCH
PHILOSOPHIES CAN BE JUST AS DANGEROUS AS THEY ARE GOOD. NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI
DID HIS WRITING IN LIGHT OF ITALIAN MILITARY DEFEATS. SO DID ADOLPH HITLER. TO THE
EXTENT THAT ANY “PHILOSOPHERS” EXISTED IN THE RECONSTRUCTIONIST SOUTH, LITTLE
GOOD CAME FROM THEM IN THE ENSUING 100 YEARS OF KU KLUX KLAN TERROR.
LUCKILY FOR US, THE GREEKS EXTRACTED LESSONS OF GOODNESS, NOT EVIL, IN THE
DISASTROUS AFTERMATH OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR. THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR IS ONE
THAT GETS A LOT OF ATTENTION. IT IS STUDIED AT WEST POINT. GENERALS LIKE
NAPOLEON, GEORGE PATTON AND DOUGLAS MACARTHUR EXTRACTED LESSONS FROM
THIS ANCIENT CONFLICT, FOUGHT MORE THAN 400 YEARS PRIOR TO THE BIRTH OF CHRIST.
THE REASON THIS BATTLE LIVES ON IN MEMORY IS BECAUSE A GREEK GENERAL NAMED
PERICLES TOOK THE TIME TO ANALYZE THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR IN A BOOK CALLED
“FUNERAL ORATION”. IT WAS THE BEST SELLER OF ITS TIME.
PROFESSOR DALTON POINTS OUT THAT THUCYDIDES, THE “FIRST CITIZEN” OF ATHENS AT
THAT TIME, ANALYZED PERICLES' BOOK, WHICH IS THE BEGINNING OF THE WHOLE DEBATE
ON “HOW WE WENT WRONG,” TO PUT A MODERN SPIN ON IT. THUCYDIDES THEN WROTE
“HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR”, DETAILING ATHENS’ LOSING BATTLE WITH
SPARTA FROM 431 TO 404 B.C. ATHENS’ MISHANDLING OF POWER UNDER PERICLES'
LEADERSHIP SERVED AS THE CONSTRUCT ON WHAT TO AVOID IN CREATING A GOOD
SOCIETY. THUCYDIDES HAD A PESSIMISTIC VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE, BUT PLATO DIFFERED
IN HIS ASSESSMENT.
ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY GAVE EVERY MALE ADULT CITIZEN A SHARE IN DIRECT RULE. THE
ASSEMBLY MET ONCE A MONTH, AND NO REQUIREMENTS OTHER THAN THE ABOVE RELATED
WERE REQUIRED. ITS HUGE MEMBERSHIP WAS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO ITS RESTRICTIONS.
WOMEN, METICS (RESIDENT ALIENS) AND SLAVES WERE NOT ALLOWED MEMBERSHIP,
WHICH MEANT THAT ATHENS, A CITY OF 350,000, WAS RULED BY 40,000 OF THAT
POPULATION. OBVIOUSLY, CONSIDERING THESE NUMBERS, AMATEURS DOMINATED RULE OF
ATHENS. IT WAS THIS ABSENCE OF PROFESSIONALISM THAT STUCK IN PLATO’S CRAW.
Pericles was a leading general and dominant public figure in Athens during what was
called the “Golden Age” (461 to 429 B.C.). In “Funeral Oration”, Pericles extols
Athenian virtues of honor, courage and freedom, identifying the city’s political
achievements as a model for all of Greece. In so doing he differentiates Athens from
Sparta. He cited the Spartans’ “state-induced” courage. The Spartans were force-fed
military discipline instead of the spontaneity of Athenian society. Pericles also had, for
the time, not surprising observations of women. They should “avoid public duties and
strive not to be spoken about by men.”
Where Thucydides and Pericles differed was in their interpretation of the Peloponnesian
corruption of Athens. Pericles maintained a Pollyanna view of Athens, preferring to still
see glory, while Thucydides clearly saw attrition, embodied by the events of a civil war
on the island of Corcyra.
On Corcyra, a terrible fight erupted between pro-Athenian and pro-Spartan forces.
Thucydides pulled no punches, noting that, “People went to every extreme and beyond
it.” Fathers killed sons, and people were killed within the precincts of religious temples.
“War,” said Thucydides, “is a violent teacher.” His account was the crux of Plato’s and
Aristotle’s attempt to examine the corrosive nature of humans in search of a good society.
The war on Corcyra swept away civilization. People put new emphasis on words and
phrases, using them to characterize degenerative deterioration of people’s ungovernable
passions.
Thucydides found that power operated through greed and personal ambition, the “cause
of all evils.” This might be the root of the phrase “power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely,” for in Thucydides’ view power cannot be used for good. It was the
search for the good use of power that lies at the heart of Plato’s teachings. The contrast is
between Thucydides’ realism and Plato’s idealism. Thucydides did not feel that human
nature had much promise, even if exposed to education, once power was allowed to rear
its ugly head. Plato said people can be taught perfectible humanity.
The battle on Corcyra was so terrible because it came on the heels of Athens’ great
achievement. By 431 B.C., Athens was at its height. Athenians had come to believe their
society was vastly superior to all others, and to any in history. The lessons of Corcyra can
be applied in the desultory way in which they have been repeated, over and over,
throughout the history of man.
TAKE GERMANY, THE EASY TARGET OF THE 20TH CENTURY. HERE IS A SOCIETY OF GREAT
CULTURE AND SOPHISTICATION, BUT STRAINS OF MILITARISM THAT THE COUNTRY HAD
ALWAYS PRIDED ITSELF ON BECOME THE DRIVING POWER FIRST IN THE CREATION OF THE
MODERN BISMARCK STATE OF 1870, AND LATER THE AGGRESSIVE PURSUIT OF WAR FROM
1914-18, AND AGAIN FROM 1939-45. A GREAT SOCIETY, A GREAT EUROPEAN PEOPLE, SAW
ALL OF ITS ACCOMPLISHMENTS LITERALLY GO UP IN FLAMES.
My love for America does not preclude me from applying the Corcyrian lesson of corrupt
power to events in our history. At My Lai during the Vietnam War, a breakdown of
societal restraints occurred in the wake of power that, in that time and place, was
conferred upon Lieutenant William Calley. The result was the slaughter of innocent
civilians, justified by a man who felt that power was his guidepost, not morality. The
indictment of public opinion, more rightly than wrongly in my view, was applied to a
corrupt system more than a single man. The court martial of Calley bore this out. The
system in question was not “American military power,” as the liberals would have us
believe, but the pervasive evil that society never eradicates. History does not simply teach
its lesson to the next generation, who learn from it and sets it in stone. It is imperative
that it is continually taught and re-taught, each generation learning it anew. We forget our
lessons so easily, with such astonishing swiftness, that the lessons of history should not
simply be elective courses in life. Rather, the lessons of Corcyra, of Auschwitz, of 9/11
must constantly be mandated upon a populace that learns them not because they enjoy
stimulating education, but because they must hold this knowledge as truly self-evident.
Go to a public place, and ask people who Pol Pot is. Holocaust survivors said, “Never
again,” but again and again it did happen, in our time, under our nose, during the age of
television and mass communications. It happened while the Yankees and Red Sox were
battling it out for the pennant. It happened in a part of the world where millions of
Americans had been just a few years before, in a place that was being depicted
graphically in movies like “The Deer Hunter” and “Apocalypse Now”. It happened
during the age of investigative journalism and satellite TV. Pol Pot killed more than a
million and a half human beings in Cambodia. Yet I would bet that were I to fly to
Cambridge, Massachusetts and walk in to any class at Harvard, our most prestigious
university, less than 30 percent of the students in that class would be able to tell me these
perfunctory facts about Pol Pot. As I have said earlier, modern communication
technology is not the safeguard against horror that too many think it is. It may be the
passive partner of horror. In fact, the depiction of horror has become so commonplace –
in Rwanda, in Serbia, in Iraq – that people are numb to it. They are immune. Saddam
Hussein terrorized millions. His horrors were detailed on television nightly, yet the world
was so numbed by or forgetful of past atrocities that it was actually considered debatable
whether getting rid of him was worthy of military action.
The purpose of future generations is to drum the lessons of Corcyra and its successors
into the minds of our young, to shout down “Joe Millionaire” and “The Simpson's”, and
make a substantial portion of the world’s population the same kind of thinking, caring,
committed students who sat at the feet of Plato. To fail to do so is to allow the devil
another victory, and perhaps it is the bleak realization that Plato’s idealism was ultimately
founded on sand instead of rock.
AT CORCYRA, PERICLES DEPICTED A COMPLETE BREAKDOWN OF ORDER. THIS ANARCHY
CAME AS SUCH A SHOCK BECAUSE IT WAS FELT THAT ATHENS HAD ACHIEVED A SOCIETY
THAT WOULD WITHSTAND SUCH ASSAULTS ON DEMOCRATIC VALUES OF GOODNESS AND
DECENCY. THIS WAS BEHIND THE THINKING OF PEOPLE LIKE JOHN LENNON. WHEN I WAS A
KID, I IRONICALLY THOUGHT JOHN LENNON AND V.I. LENIN WERE THE SAME PERSON (THE
LENNON SISTERS CONFUSED ME). THE FORMER BEATLE, LIKE THE ATHENIANS BEFORE HIM,
MAY HAVE SUCCUMBED TO THE NOTION THAT SOCIETY COULD WITHSTAND ASSAULTS ON
OUR GOODNESS. WHEN WE FINALLY DID “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE,” PULLING OUT OF
VIETNAM IN 1973, ANARCHY RULED IN A WAY THAT MADE CORCYRA LOOK LIKE SUNDAY
SCHOOL. IT WAS THE WEAK KNEES OF PEACENIKS LIKE LENNON, THE “USEFUL IDIOTS” THAT
LENIN (SUPPOSEDLY) SPOKE OF, WHO OPENED THE DOOR FOR POL POT AND HIS ILK. IT IS
THE FORGETFULNESS OF HUMANS, CAUGHT IN THEIR OWN DAILY LIVES, WHO LACK THE
VIGILANCE TO STOP EVIL. THEREFORE, THEY ARE THE “USEFUL IDIOTS” NOT JUST OF
DEFEATED COMMUNIST IDEOLOGY, BUT OF TERRORISM IN THE NEW ERA.
AS THUCYDIDES WROTE, THE CIVIL WAR INSTRUCTED PEOPLE ON BARBARISM. INDIVIDUAL,
SMALL GROUPS AND CABALS WERE FORMED AT CORCYRA, EACH DRIVEN BY A “VIOLENT
FANATICISM.” THE USE OF VIOLENCE WOULD BE ENCOURAGED BY HITLER TO SETTLE
LOCAL SCORES. IT WAS ALWAYS DIRECTED AT SCAPEGOAT JEWS. IN A TERRIBLE EXAMPLE
OF WHAT FORMER U.S. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE TIP O’NEILL SAID, “ALL POLITICS IS
LOCAL,” THE GERMANS DIRECTED THEIR ANGER AT JEWS IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS TO
PROTECT THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS. THUS WAS THE CORCYRIAN DILEMMA, WHERE LOCAL
WARLORDS ABANDONED ALL PREVIOUS IDENTIFICATION WITH ATHENS, WITH GREECE, AND
WITH DEMOCRATIC VALUES. INSTEAD THEY RECOGNIZED THE CREATION OF SMALL
FIEFDOMS WITHIN THEIR CONTROL, TO BE PROTECTED BECAUSE IT WAS IN THEIR IMMEDIATE
SELF-INTERESTS.
So, the Greeks tried to make some sense of Corcyra. They came to a pretty interesting
conclusion, one that may have been fairly revolutionary. They determined that Pericles,
who helmed the losing campaign, was as responsible as anybody they could try to pin it
on. Since he was a military commander, trained not in civil skills but rather in the art of
war, then it stood to reason that civilian values must be charged to civilians. Think of
Jack Nicholson telling Tom Cruise “you can’t handle the truth” in “A Few Good Men”,
for perspective. The message is that civilians (Cruise is in the Navy, but he represents a
civilian symbol) must handle the truth because they are the ones with the most at stake.
The military might be good and going in, killing people and breaking things, but it is the
civilians who must live with the aftermath.
In reading Percles’ “Funeral Oration”, I find much to admire, and therefore I am not
willing to blame Pericles as much as Thucydides does. Since Athens had lost the
Peloponnesian War, Pericles was the scapegoat. However, certain facts seem to
contradict the scapegoating of the general. Pericles found much value in military virtues
of honor and courage. However, it was a strict adherence to such codes of military
behavior that was attributed to Sparta’s victory. The Athenians were said to have lost
because they placed too much value on individual creativity. So how can Pericles have it?
Is the lesson that society and the military must be more war-like, or more liberal? Aw, an
age old question.
PERICLES WROTE ABOUT A POST-WAR SCENARIO. “WHEN OUR WORK IS OVER, WE ARE IN A
POSITION TO ENJOY ALL KINDS OF RECREATION FOR OUR SPIRITS.” THIS IS THE REFRAIN OF
MILITARY/POLITICAL PLANNERS, THE IDEA THAT THE HARD WORK MUST BE DONE NOW SO
THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS CAN ENJOY FREEDOM.
PERICLES DEMONSTRATES SOME USEFUL IDEAS ABOUT SOCIETY AND ECONOMICS WHEN HE
WROTE, “…OUR LOVE OF THE THINGS OF THE MIND DOES NOT MAKE US SOFT. WE REGARD
WEALTH AS SOMETHING TO BE PROPERLY USED, RATHER THAN AS SOMETHING TO BOAST
ABOUT. AS FOR POVERTY, NO ONE NEEDS TO BE ASHAMED TO ADMIT IT: THE REAL SHAME IS
IN NOT TAKING PRACTICAL MEASURES TO ESCAPE FROM IT.” THIS SOUNDS LIKE JACK KEMP
PROMOTING EMPOWERMENT ZONES IN THE INNER CITY.
PERICLES ALSO MAKES AN INTERESTING POINT IN LIGHT OF THE HINDU OBSERVATIONS ON
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN.
“OTHERS ARE BRAVE OUT OF IGNORANCE; AND, WHEN THEY STOP TO THINK, THEY BEGIN
TO FEAR,” HE WROTE. IN OTHER WORDS, BRAVERY AND FEAR ARE OFTEN VERY CLOSE TO
BEING THE SAME THING. TRUE BRAVERY, PERICLES SAID, IS FOUND WHEN A MAN HAS FULL
KNOWLEDGE AND MEETS THE CHALLENGE HEAD ON.
PERICLES MAKES THE POINT THAT ATHENS WAS A CITY OF KIND PEOPLE WITH CHARITABLE
HEARTS. THEIR FREQUENT MILITARY INVASIONS WERE SEEN AS THE RESULT OF AN
ADVENTUROUS SPIRIT. THOSE CONQUERED AND PLUNDERED BY THEM NO DOUBT WOULD
DEBATE THIS “ADVENTUROUSNESS.” THE COLONIALIST PHILOSOPHY LIVES IN PERICLES’
WORDS, BUT THE GREEKS DID NOT INVENT SUCH AN ATTITUDE. NATIONS HAD BEEN
PLUNDERING EACH OTHER FOR CENTURIES PRIOR TO HIS TIME. BUT THE THEME OF
“CHARITABLE HEARTS” IS WORTH EXAMINING. I AM STRUCK BY THIS, AND SEE THE
AGE-OLD QUESTION OF POWER. PERICLES SEEMS TO BE SAYING THAT HIS PEOPLE HAVE SO
MUCH TO OFFER, ONCE THE WAR IS OVER THE SURVIVORS WILL SURELY BENEFIT. THIS IS A
THEME OF POWER REPEATED MANY TIMES. IN THE FILM “WALL STREET”, HAL HOLBROOKE
SCOLDS CHARLIE SHEEN FOR THE WAY HE ACHIEVES HIS HIGH POSITION, KNOWING SHEEN
IS A MAN OF CONSCIENCE. SHEEN SAYS HE CAN BE “A PILLAR AND DO GOOD THINGS” AFTER
HE HAS ACHIEVED HIS MILLIONS, WHICH OF COURSE HE ATTAINS THROUGH ILLEGAL INSIDER
TRADING.
 THE AMERICANS STROVE TO WIN THE “HEARTS AND MINDS” OF THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE
THEY WERE SENT TO HELP, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THIS MEANT “DESTROYING THE VILLAGE
IN ORDER TO SAVE IT” (ALTHOUGH THAT PHRASE WAS MADE UP BY A REPORTER TO GIVE A
BAD AMERICAN SPIN TO THE WAR).
PERICLES WAS PRESCIENT OF REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT WHEN HE WROTE, “THE PEOPLE WHO
HAVE THE MOST EXCUSE FOR DESPISING DEATH ARE NOT THE WRETCHED AND
UNFORTUNATE, WHO HAVE NO HOPE OF DOING WELL FOR THEMSELVES, BUT THOSE WHO
RUN THE RISK OF COMPLETE REVERSAL IN THEIR LIVES, AND WHO WOULD FEEL THE
DIFFERENCE MOST INTENSELY, IF THINGS WENT WRONG FOR THEM.”
WHAT HE FORETELLS WITH THIS STATEMENT WAS THE NATURE OF REVOLUTION AND
UPRISING. THROUGHOUT HISTORY, THE DISPOSSESSED, FEELING THEY HAD NOTHING TO
LOSE, WERE THE ONES WHO ROSE UP AND ATTEMPTED TO OVERCOME THEIR SUPPRESSORS.
PERICLES HEREIN TRIES TO ATTRIBUTE NOBILITY TO THE ATHENIANS WHO FOUGHT, AS IF
TO SAY THAT THEY WERE PLACING THEMSELVES AT RISK IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE A NOBLE
CAUSE. THIS FALLS SHORT IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE ATHENS OF PERICLES’ TIME
WAS AN INVADER MORE OFTEN THAN A DEFENDER. BUT THE STATEMENT APPLIES TO
REVOLUTIONS IN FRANCE AND RUSSIA, WHERE THE POOR, THE UNEDUCATED, AND THE
HAPLESS CHOSE TO FIGHT BECAUSE LIFE OFFERED LITTLE HOPE. WHERE PERICLES’ WORDS
RESONATE WITH CLARITY IS IN A STUDY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, A VERY UNIQUE
CAUSE INDEED. HERE, IT WAS THE WEALTHY, THE EDUCATED, AND THE LANDOWNERS WHO
DID BUSINESS WITH ENGLAND, AND HAD MUCH REASON TO MAINTAIN A STATUS QUO
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE KING. THEY PUT EVERYTHING ON THE LINE NOT OUT OF
DESPERATION BUT, REMARKABLY, OUT OF PURE IDEALISM. THE UNIQUE AMERICAN SPIRIT
STANDS OUT DURING THIS CONFLICT, WHEN THE AMERICANS REFUSED TO GIVE IN, TO SPLIT
THEIR CAUSE, OR TO CUT AND RUN, DESPITE THE PRESSURES BROUGHT TO BEAR BY THE
FORMIDABLE ENGLISH FORCES. ALL THE LESSONS OF HUMANITY, OF CORCYRA, OF PEOPLE
ABANDONING PRINCIPLES, REASON AND ORDER TO DEFEND SELFISH INTERESTS, WERE
REPLACED BY A NEW LESSON IN AMERICA. FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS LATER, WHEN
THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT FACED ITS TOUGHEST TEST, PRESIDENT LINCOLN GAVE
MEANING TO THE PHILOSOPHY WHEN HE SAID, “A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND.”
ALMOST AS AN AFTERTHOUGHT, PERICLES MADE HIS OBSERVATION OF WOMEN, IN
PARTICULAR THE WIDOWED BRIDES OF DEAD SOLDIERS.
“YOUR GREAT GLORY IS NOT TO BE INFERIOR TO WHAT GOD HAS MADE YOU, AND THE
GREATEST GLORY OF WOMEN IS TO BE LEAST TALKED ABOUT MY MEN, WHETHER THEY ARE
PRAISING OR CRITICIZING YOU,” HE WROTE.
ONE DOUBTS THAT MADONNA AND CONDOLEEZA RICE, FOR INSTANCE, ARE BIG FANS OF
PERICLES. MADONNA PROBABLY DOES NOT KNOW WHO PERICLES IS, WHILE RICE LIKELY
STUDIED HIM.
WHERE PERICLES FOUND MUCH TO GLORIFY IN “FUNERAL ORATION”, THUCYDIDES
RECOUNTED THE DISASTER OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR, FOCUSING ON THE CORCYREAN
CIVIL WAR. THE ISLAND WAS SPLIT INTO RIVAL FACTIONS, ONE SIDING WITH ATHENS AND
THE OTHER WITH SPARTA. THUCYDIDES SAW THESE FACTIONS AS A MICROCOSM FOR
GREEK SOCIETY. TERRIBLE ACTS OF RETRIBUTION AND REVENGE WERE COMMITTED UPON
VARYING ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL GROUPS. THEY WERE SINGLED OUT AS
ENEMIES BY THE PEOPLE WHO HAD ENOUGH OF AN UPPER HAND TO SINGLE THEM OUT,
GROUP THEM TOGETHER AND COMMIT ATROCITIES UPON THEM. ALL SEMBLANCE OF
JUSTICE AND ORDER WENT OUT THE WINDOW. THE CORCYREANS KILLED MANY WHO THEY
SAID HAD CONSPIRED TO OVERTHROW DEMOCRACY, BUT IN REALITY THE KILLINGS WERE
DONE ON THE GROUNDS OF PERSONAL GRUDGES OVER MONEY AND OTHER MUNDANITIES.
AS THE UNITED STATES GREW AS A POWER, BECOMING MORE AND MORE INVOLVED IN
PEACEKEEPING IN THE WAKE OF CONQUERING VICTORIES IN CUBA, EUROPE AND JAPAN,
THE STUDY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR BECAME IMPORTANT AT WEST POINT AND THE
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE. THESE ACTS OF HUMAN NATURE BECAME SOMETHING TO AVOID AT
ALL COSTS. WHERE THE U.S. WAS NOT INVOLVED, THE CORCYREAN EXPERIENCE REPEATED
ITSELF, IN CHINA’S CULTURAL REVOLUTION, THE HUTU-TUTSI CONFLICT OF RWANDA,
AND IN THE BREAK-UP OF THE OLD SOVIET EMPIRE, JUST TO NAME A FEW EXAMPLES. IT
MAY BE THE MOST DAUNTING GHOST HOVERING OVER AMERICAN SHOULDERS IN
AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ.
EVENTUALLY, THE EVENTS ON CORCYRA SPREAD THROUGH THE WHOLE OF THE HELLENIC
WORLD, WITH DEMOCRATS TRYING TO “BRING IN” ATHENIANS, AND OLIGARCHS TRYING TO
“BRING IN” SPARTANS. STRANGE BEDFELLOWS ARE CREATED DURING WAR. RIVAL
FACTIONS, CONSIDERED ENEMIES DURING PEACE, WERE JOINED IN AN EFFORT TO EXTRACT
RUTHLESS CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT AND THE SOCIAL ORDER, WITHOUT RESPECT FOR
REASON OR JUSTICE. THESE COLLABORATIONS HAD A CALAMITOUS EFFECT, AND AS
THUCYDIDES NOTED, THE WORST OF HUMAN NATURE RESULTED IN GREAT SAVAGERY.
WHERE THE DEPRIVATION OF PEOPLE’S DAILY WANTS OCCURS, THUCYDIDES WROTE, “IT
BRINGS MOST PEOPLE’S MINDS DOWN TO THE LEVEL OF THEIR ACTUAL CIRCUMSTANCES.”
THIS WAS THE CASE, AS STATED EARLIER, DURING MOST OF THE WORLD’S REVOLUTIONS. IT
WAS THE ROOT OF COMMUNISM IN RUSSIA AND CHINA, WHERE LENIN, STALIN AND MAO
MANIPULATED THE STARVING MASSES INTO ACTS OF SAVAGERY. IN LIGHT OF THE
SEEMINGLY INEXORABLE TIDE OF HUMAN NATURE, HISTORY MUST ACCORD CREDIT TO
BOTH THE INDIANS AND THE BRITISH DURING GANDHI’S STRUGGLE FOR INDEPENDENCE.
THE BRITISH, FOR THE MOST PART, DID NOT RELEGATE THE INDIANS TO THE KIND OF
SUFFERING THAT WOULD HAVE MADE THEM FEEL THEY HAD NOTHING TO LOSE. GANDHI, TO
HIS GREAT CREDIT, NEVER INFLAMED SUCH PASSION IN THE MOBS, EVEN AFTER EARLY ACTS
OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE INDIANS THAT HAD SOME ELEMENTS CALLING FOR ENGLISH
BLOOD. IT WAS A REVOLUTION, BUT A RELATIVELY CIVIL ONE ON BOTH SIDES.
THE AFTERMATH OF CORCYRA WAS TERRIBLE BECAUSE OF THE SLOW-MOVING NEWS.
WORD SPREAD TO OTHER CITIES, AND THE VIOLENCE WAS EXAGGERATED, THE LIES
TAILORED TO CREATE ZEALOUS HATREDS THAT PLAYED THEMSELVES OUT DEPENDING ON
INDIVIDUAL SITUATIONS. AGAIN, TO QUOTE TIP O’NEIL., “ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL.” WORDS
WERE CHANGED TO FIT NEEDS. DESCRIPTIONS OF THOUGHTLESS AGGRESSION WERE
CHANGED, NOW REGARDED AS COURAGEOUS. PRUDENCE, ON THE OTHER HAND, WAS SAID
TO BE COWARDLY.
MILLIONS PROTESTED WAR IN IRAQ, AND WHILE I SUPPORTED GEORGE BUSH AND THE U.S.
MILITARY, I MUST BE MINDFUL OF THE WORDS AND PHRASES OF THE PELOPONNESIAN
AFTERMATH. I THEREFORE CHOOSE NOT TO CALL THE PROTESTERS COWARDS. THEY MIGHT
BE CONSIDERED PRUDENT. THE BEST WAY TO MAKE MY POINT IS TO TELL THE STORY OF
HISTORY AS TRUTHFULLY AS POSSIBLY, AND BY SHEDDING THE ANTI-SEPTIC LIGHT OF
TRUTH ON RECURRING EVENTS, TO LET THE THING SPEAK FOR ITSELF. OR, AS IT IS SAID IN
LATIN, RES IPSA LOQUITER.
At the same time, Thucydides made note of “fanatical enthusiasm,” which was said to be
the mark of “a real man” by those who would use the term to disguise and legitimate
their violence. Fanaticism rears its ugly head today. It is essential to the cause of those
who advocate military action to rid us of the Saddam Hussein’s of the world, to avoid
fanaticism, and maintain calm heads. It is the reason juries are selected from among a
populace removed from the passions of a case.
Plots, counter-plots and conspiracies created fear and mistrust everywhere. Therefore,
people used this as an excuse to lash out pre-emptively. Families were torn asunder.
Partners were formed in crime, not ideology. Acts of propaganda and misinformation
were made to reduce the effect of opponent’s speeches and good acts.
Revenge became greater than self-preservation, and pacts between groups were dissolved
as soon as they no longer served respective purposes. Treachery was considered a virtue.
Villainy was called clever, while honesty was called simple-minded. This brings to mind
the age-old term, “Dealing with the devil.” The U.S. is not immune from this. For various
reasons, we teamed with Stalin against Hitler, supported Saddam against Iran in the
1980s, and worked with less-than-ideal groups to foment revolutions and change that
served our interests in Guatemala, Chile and Afghanistan.
So hostile did sides become that fear overcame all subsequent efforts to create peace,
which reminds me of the Palestinian-Israeli standoff. Oaths and pacts were broken at the
drop of a hat. Those who lacked intelligence showed the greatest capacity for survival,
because while their smarter opponents tried to reason with them, the Dumbellionites
simply launched attacks that left their quick-witted opponents, over-confident in their
belief that they could win by reason, surprised. This lesson is worth remembering when
considering that certain dictators – Stalin, Hussein, Hitler – are impressed only by force,
because that is all they understand. The difference between Thucydides and a study of
these modern dictators is that the dictators should not be considered Dumbellionites.
Poor people, seeing a breakdown in law and order, used the revolutions to rob the rich.
Envy overcame all control of passions. In the David Lean classic “Doctor Zhivago”,
Omar Sharif returns to Moscow after the revolution, only to find that his lovely house has
been taken over by the rabble, sub-divided into housing for many people who have
overrun his property. Knowing that if he protests he will be shot because he was once a
member of the educated elite, Sharif just acquiesces and says, “Yes, it is more…just.”
In the wake of Corcyra and the awful conflicts that followed, Socrates, Plato and
Aristotle tried to make sense of things, to define what “just” really is, and to address
fundamental questions about the true nature of man.
Attica was the leading Greek “city-state” during the fifth century B.C., and Athens was
its principal city. Attica was about the size of Rhode Island. The term “Democracy” has
been coined in describing Athens, while Sparta was said to be an “oligarchy,” but
Athenian political rights were limited, not to mention diluted.
In Athens, citizens composed of 160,000 men, women and children, but among this
group, only 40,000 adult males had political rights. “Outlanders” included 96,000
non-Athenian Greeks, Phoenicians and Jews, 24,000 of them alien adult males, but none
had political rights. However, some enjoyed wealth and economic rights, and were
important members of Attican society. There were some 100,000 slaves, and they had no
rights. Plato and Aristotle saw slavery as a simple fact of nature.
“The lower sort of Mankind are by nature slaves,” Aristotle stated. Most slaves were
“imported barbarians” who served as domestics, or as assistants in business.
There is no disputing that the Greek philosophers were intelligent men whose teachings
have had an enormous impact on the world for thousands of years. They were
legitimately Great Men. Yet, they not only tolerated, but also advocated as natural,
slavery. Considering this imprimatur of legitimacy, one can see how slavery existed as a
thriving institution for so long. In light of the fact that we now see it for the evil it is, the
entire question of moral relativism must be addressed to their teachings, even their own
pointed efforts to address that very question. Slavery, and the subjugation of women,
were both considered to be the manifest way of human nature in Greek society.
The teachings of these philosophers, a profound part of upper crust English education for
years, helped justify British colonialism. The English simply acknowledged themselves
as superior to the dark-skinned peoples who they ruled over in an Empire that never saw
the setting of the Sun. The facts justified their worldview. In India, the British thoroughly
ruled the sub-Continent despite being outnumbered 400,000 to one. Their superiority of
intellect, their ability to organize and to create order where chaos reigned, presented
themselves as justifiable facts that need no commentary. Res ipsa loquiter. It was only
after generations of natives were exposed to Western religion, teaching and manners that
they even hinted at revolution. This lesson was the reason American slave owners
frowned on teaching them how to read.
Thomas Jefferson’s legacy is in question because he, too, owned slaves. This is a more
legitimate question than any attempt to hold Plato and his class to such “unthinkable”
standards, because the question of the “peculiar institution” was already a focus of
Christian protest in Jefferson’s day. The modern debate is framed around the question of
whether tolerance of slavery overshadows all other good works. Logic dictates that it
cannot. So, the slavery/colonial question, and the American conflict with Native Indians,
then centers on a more scientific premise. A Darwinian “survival of the fittest” gave
credence to the British. Their occupation of exotic lands was the evidence of their own
evident fitness. American Manifest Destiny was justified because it represented progress.
Still, Truth is Truth. American patriotism cannot just "explain away" the Indian conflicts,
while conservatives point out liberal moral relativism where it is convenient to do so. If
Plato argued about true justice in his day, then he must also be held accountable for the
blinders that kept him from protesting Greek slavery. An honest accounting of
righteousness is imperative no matter how many sacred cows are pierced. In its place are
lies, large and small, that are at the heart of evil.
As I mentioned earlier, I feel fortunate to live in the times I live in. The tides of progress
have created racial equalities that make such obtuse divisions of class and justifications
based on superiority passé. Getting back to the scientific aspect of human progress, it
seems that over time races simply evolve. In the rhythm of human history, where time is
immemorial, “white superiority” is just a phase, not a timeless fact. Dinosaurs once ruled
the Earth, but times changed for them, too. White supremacists point out that while
people of color have progressed, it was mainly when they were exposed to and taught by
whites that progress occurred. There is, of course, debate on the validity of this theory,
but empirical evidence demonstrates that like it or not, it is founded on facts.
Of course, the slavery question historically was not always race-based, and in Plato’s day
slaves came in all shapes and colors. The accident of nationality and military weakness
was much more prevalent in creating slavery than was race. This prevalence is lost on
current race baiters who see slavery not from a truly historical point of view, but as a tool
to extract reparations and victim status out of white guilt, mainly in America.
The Greek name for “city-state” was polis, or polity, and they had a very high rate of
public involvement, which contrasted with Sparta, also known as Laconia, which had a
population roughly the same size. Sparta was a military society, while in Athens 20,000
men were on the political pay roll, while 6,000 comprised the armed forces.
There were no particular requirements for membership in the Athenian Assembly, which
met once a month, with 6,000 people considered a quorum. Any citizen could address his
grievance to the Assembly. Within the Assembly, the agendas were prepared either by
the Council of Five Hundred (the Boule, or ballot) or an “inner council” of 50 men. The
Assembly controlled all legislation, administration and justice. The court system
consisted of 101 to 1001 men, most of whom were amateurs. Plato was a critic of the
system, his main complaint being the lack of professionalism.
PLATO’S PHILOSOPHY WAS GIVEN VOICE IN SOPHOCLES' TRAGIC PLAY, “ANTIGONE”. THE
PLAY ADDRESSES THREE MAIN QUESTIONS. FIRST, WHETHER AND UNDER WHAT
CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS LEGITIMATE TO CHALLENGE AUTHORITY. SECOND, WEIGHING SOCIAL
ORDER WITH CONSCIENCE. THIRD, THE COMPATIBILITY OF MAN-MADE LAW AND DIVINE
LAW.
ALL OF PLATO’S “CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE” QUESTIONS ARE COLORED BY HIS ACCEPTANCE
OF THE “NATURAL” STATE OF SLAVERY, WHICH I HAVE ADDRESSED HEREIN AND, FOR THE
SAKE OF STUDYING THE MANY QUESTIONS AT HAND, I WILL ENDEAVOR TO SET ASIDE FOR
PURPOSES OF THIS STUDY.
SOPHOCLES LIVED FROM 495-406 B.C., AND IS CONSIDERED ONE OF HISTORY'S GREAT
DRAMATISTS. HE WROTE 120 PLAYS, 96 OF WHICH WON FIRST PRIZE IN DRAMATIC
COMPETITIONS AGAINST SUCH ESTEEMED PLAYWRIGHTS AS EURIPIDES, AESCHYLUS AND
ARISTOPHANES. “ANTIGONE” WAS PART OF A TRILOGY THAT ALSO INCLUDES “OEDIPUS
REX” AND “OEDIPUS AT COLONUS”. SO POPULAR WAS “ANTIGONE” THAT SOPHOCLES WAS
NAMED A GENERAL, AN HONOR BESTOWED UPON NEITHER TENNESSEE WILLIAMS NOR
SHAKESPEARE.
THE PLAY OPENS IN THEBES AFTER A CONFLICT IN WHICH ANTIGONE’S TWO BROTHERS,
POLYNICES AND ETEOCLES, KILLED EACH OTHER. TWO THEMES ARE IMMEDIATELY
APPARENT. ONE IS THE FRATRICIDAL VIOLENCE THAT THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR CREATED,
AND THE OTHER IS THE ROLE OF WOMEN. ANTIGONE IS LEFT WITHOUT BROTHERS, AND SHE
IS A WOMAN IN A SOCIETY IN WHICH WOMEN ARE REGARDED IN THE HIGHEST ESTEEM IF
THEY JUST STAY SILENT.
CREON, RULER OF THEBES AND THE UNCLE OF ANTIGONES (AND HER DEAD BROTHERS)
ORDERS ETEOCLES HONORED BECAUSE OF HIS LOYALTY, WHILE POLYNICES IS TO BE
THROWN TO THE DOGS BECAUSE HE PLOTTED CREON’S OVERTHROW. ANTIGONES VOWS TO
DEFY CREON AND BURY POLYNICES, CITING HER DEFIANCE AS AN ADHERENCE TO DIVINE
LAW VS. CREON’S “PROFANE” LAW. ANTIGONE THEREFORE INTRODUCES US TO A
HERETOFORE UNKNOWN CONCEPT: CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS DEFINED
IN “ANTIGONE” FOR ITS CONTRAST TO ORDINARY LAW BREAKING, AND IN PROFESSOR
DALTON’S STUDY IS PROMOTED AS FORESHADOWING THE LATER ACTIONS OF GANDHI AND
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
CREON SEES THINGS DIFFERENTLY, OF COURSE (WHAT IS DRAMA WITHOUT CONFLICT?). HE
ASSERTS THAT HIS WORD IS THE LAW, CITING THE IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL STABILITY VS.
ANARCHY. THE PLAY WINDS ITSELF AROUND THE MERITS OF THIS THEME, AND
PREDICTABLY DEMONSTRATES THAT CREON HAS TOO MUCH HUBRIS, OR ARROGANCE,
AGAINST THE GODS. THE CONCLUSION, AS DEMONSTRATED BY THE CHORUS REPRESENTING
PUBLIC OPINION, IS THAT RULER’S MUST DEMONSTRATE GOOD SENSE AND MODERATION.
“ANTIGONE” IS SEEN AS A CAUTIONARY TALE (AFTER THE FACT) AGAINST THE EXCESSES OF
THE CORCYRAN CIVIL WAR AND ITS SUBSEQUENT REVOLUTIONS. IT ALSO BREAKS NEW
GROUND BY SHOWING A WOMAN TO BE STRONG AND WILLING TO SPEAK UP.
Creon’s tyrannical rule parallels his view of women, who he says need to be kept under
wraps. “Antigone” has also been compared to “Funeral Oration”, with Pericles shown as
the military commander who may have chosen not to highlight the result of military
defeat, but nevertheless espouses Democratic leadership. These two works have been
used over time to demonstrate moral command in the military. In World War II, the two
worlds of Democracy and dictatorship were pitted against each other. At D-Day, on the
one hand were the “automatons” of Hitler’s legions, and on the other Omar Bradley’s
“citizen soldiers.” Historian Stephen Ambrose was just one of many writers who pointed
out cases where the German enlisted personnel, who would be shot if they did not carry
out immoral orders, were almost helpless when their officers were killed. American
privates, corporals and sergeants, on the other hand, showed initiative and leadership
countless times under stress after their officers had been killed. General Dwight D.
Eisenhower put the conflict in perspective this way: “It’s Huck Finn vs. Alexander the
Great.” Chalk one up for Mark Twain.
Plato read “Antigones” and “Funeral Oration”. He was greatly influenced by them. He
incorporated Pericles’ value of bravery, which has a mystical quality, into a vision of the
future in which political leaders would have a vision of higher law. But he took Pericles
further by advocating equality for women (like Antigone) who demonstrated equal
intelligence with men.
I have spoken already of Plato, who authored “Republic” and is seen as the most
influential of the "big three" because he was the protégé of Socrates and the mentor of
Aristotle. Let me now retrace my steps back to Socrates. Socrates asked a simple enough
question: “What is the best way for humans to live?” Boy, did this get him in hot water.
Influenced by the Hindu’s, Socrates sought knowledge through life’s journey, and in
another book by Plato, “Apology”, Socrates offered up truth as a method instead of a
possession, and wisdom as awareness of one’s own ignorance.
This has caused me to re-think my own hubris, since when I am arrogantly informing
people of “facts,” I have been known to say, “I possess the knowledge that…” or “The
fact that such-and-such is true is within the province of my knowledge.” It may shut up
members of the Dumbellionite Class, but lacks Socratic self-deprecation.
Gandhi certainly made much of his “awareness of his ignorance.” He used it as a
powerful tool of persuasion, getting people to do the right thing by “teaching him” what
Gandhi knew was the moral way, then giving them credit for it. The Orientals might call
this “saving face.” Western political leadership has been less concerned with letting their
enemies (and friends) save face, however, preferring often to just do the right thing and
let the chips fall where they may. One sees this in U.S.-French relations. America has
never gone out of their way to hide the fact that the Vichy French collaborated with the
Nazis. When French oil businesses were exposed in their complicit propping up of
Saddam Hussein, there was little effort to hide this fact. It was, instead, allowed to sit in
the proverbial "store front window."
Professor Dalton, in his teachings, discusses Plato’s “Symposium”, in which Socrates
says the meaning of love, which comes from self-knowledge, occurs when man seeks not
simply to know goodness, but embraces good with genuine love for it. This is an
extraordinary point, and worth repeating. To know real love only, man must not simply
know goodness, but he must LOVE goodness.
This allows man to expand his love to many. Man will love selfishly, and while love of
family and friends is admirable, many criminals and immoral men have loved their
mothers and wives. Socratic love is a love of good things, even if there is no payoff to it.
The love may be of a distant thing, or in the most telling case (and one picked up on by
Christianity), love of ones’ enemies (“…I forgive those who trespass against me…”).
Socrates lived from 470-399 B.C. and was the leading philosopher in Greece. Much of
his teachings were reflected in Platos’s writing. His question about which course of life is
best is discovered in Plato’s “Gorgias”. Socrates eventually made quite the pest of
himself, accosting businessmen and important figures in Athenian society on the street,
and asking them out of the blue to answer his question.
SINCE MANY ASKED THE QUESTION WERE CORRUPT IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, SOCRATES’
QUESTIONING HAD THE CORROSIVE EFFECT OF EMBARRASSING THEM. AFTER DEVELOPING A
BIG FOLLOWING AMONG ATHENS’ YOUTH, HE WAS IN 399 B.C. PLACED ON TRIAL FOR
IMPIETY AND CORRUPTION OF HIS FOLLOWERS. PLATO’S “APOLOGY” DESCRIBES THE TRIAL,
AND HE PERSONALLY BEGGED HIS MENTOR TO APOLOGIZE, OR ADMIT WRONGDOING, WHICH
PRESUMABLY WOULD HAVE ENDED THE TRIAL. LIKE JESUS OF NAZARETH SOME 334 YEARS
LATER, SOCRATES CHOSE THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUS MARTYRDOM INSTEAD. HE WAS GIVEN
THE HEMLOCK THAT ENDED HIS LIFE.
SOCRATES MADE AN IMPORTANT POINT IN DIFFERENTIATING PHILOSOPHY FROM RELIGION
WHEN HE SAID THAT PHILOSOPHY SEEKS THE TRUTH, WHILE RELIGION CLAIMS TO POSSESS
IT. SOCRATES’ TRUTH IS DIALECTICAL, AND FOUND THROUGH DIALOGUE. THUS, THE
"SOCRATIC METHOD," WHICH CONSISTED OF INTENSE QUESTION-AND-ANSWER SESSIONS
WITH HIS STUDENTS THAT PROBED EACH OTHER FOR THE DEEPEST MEANING OF THINGS. IF
YOU WALK INTO A LAW SCHOOL CLASSROOM, YOU LIKELY WILL SEE THE SOCRATIC
METHOD IN ACTION, WITH A PROFESSOR WHO IS NOT CONTENT WITH HIS STUDENTS READING
THE CASES, RECITING THEM IN WRITING, AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE LAW IS. THE
VERBAL BACK-AND-FORTH IN LAW SCHOOL FORCES STUDENTS TO EXPLAIN AND ANALYZE
THE LAW, WHICH SERVES TO DEEPEN UNDERSTANDING WHILE GETTING THEM TO QUESTION
BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUES. IN THE FILM “PAPER CHASE”, ONE STUDENT SEEMS TO THINK HE
WILL ACE HARVARD BECAUSE HE POSSESSES A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY. PROFESSOR
KINGSFIELD (JOHN HOUSEMAN) INFORMS HIM THAT A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY IS OF NO
VALUE BECAUSE IT DOES NOT ALLOW HIM THE ABILITY TO DO THESE THINGS, AND OF
COURSE HE FLUNKS OUT.
WHILE THE SOCRATIC QUEST FOR “GOODNESS, BEAUTY, JUSTICE AND FREEDOM” HAS THE
RING OF NEW AGE GIBBERISH, IT BECOMES REVOLUTIONARY WHEN IT IS CONSIDERED THAT
SOCRATES WAS NOT ADVOCATING THIS SIMPLY TO PEOPLE IN A BENIGN SETTING. LIKE
CHRIST HE WAS CONFRONTING THE POWER STRUCTURE AT GREAT, AND ULTIMATELY
MORTAL, DANGER TO HIMSELF. IN VIEWING SOCRATES AS THE “FATHER” OF DEMOCRACY
(WITH REGARDS TO THE PHYSICIAN HYPOCRITES, WHO INFLUENCED THE "BIG THREE"), ONE
CAN BE QUITE PROUD OF THE ORIGINS OF OUR POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. SOCRATES’
WILLINGNESS TO DIE FOR WHAT HE BELIEVED IN, EVEN THOUGH HE HAD MUCH TO LOSE,
INFLUENCED THE AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHERS WHO PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE, TOO.
“THE UNEXAMINED LIFE IS NOT WORTH LIVING,” SOCRATES DECLARED IN A STATEMENT
THAT I FIND ELITIST. WHILE SOCRATES SAID THIS TO EXPLAIN HIS “HIGHER OBLIGATION”
TO SEEK TRUTH, TO EXHORT OTHERS TO DO THE SAME, AND LIKE THE HINDU’S TO VIEW AS
MOST IMPORTANT THE “BIG QUESTIONS,” THE CONCEPT THAT SUCH BRAVERY,
INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY AND MORAL RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF ALL IS
FAR TOO DEMANDING. EITHER SOCRATES IS ASKING THIS OF ALL PEOPLE, WHICH IS
UNREALISTIC, OR HE IS SAYING THAT ONLY THOSE WITH THE MORAL AND INTELLECTUAL
COMPASS TO TAKE ON HIS CHALLENGE ARE WORTH BEING ON THIS EARTH. IF I COULD
INTERVIEW SOCRATES, I WOULD QUESTION THIS STATEMENT, BUT COUCH THE QUESTION IN
SUCH A WAY AS TO GIVE HIM AN OUT. I THINK THE STATEMENT MUST BE ONE THAT HE
MEANS TO POSE TO HIMSELF, NOT FOR ALL. CERTAINLY MANY PEOPLE LIVE THEIR LIVES
WITHOUT THINKING THESE DEEP THOUGHTS, BUT THEY CONTRIBUTE TO THE LOVE AND
BEAUTY OF HUMANITY.
THE GREEKS WERE QUITE OBSESSED WITH LOVE IN ALL ITS FORMS. THEIR POETRY, ART
AND MYTHOLOGY OFTEN CENTERED ON LOVE. PAUSANIAS DEFINED LOVE AS PHYSICAL
LUST, NOT AN UNUSUAL DETERMINATION FOR THE GREEKS. THEY LOVED THE HUMAN FORM
AND WORSHIPPED IT IN A NARCISSISTIC WAY. THE OLYMPIC GAMES DERIVED FROM THIS.
ARISTOPHANES SAW IN LOVE THE ROMANTIC ELEMENTS OF SEARCHING FOR ONE’S “BETTER
HALF,” BUT HIS EXPLANATION FOR THIS TERM IS FOUND IN MYTHOLOGY. IN MYTHOLOGY,
HUMANS ORIGINALLY WERE A COMBINED MALE AND FEMALE FORM, BUT ZEUS, JEALOUS OF
HUMAN HAPPINESS, SPLIT THEM IN HALF. I THINK WE CAN RULE OUT THAT THEORY.
HOWEVER, THE SECOND PART OF ARISTOPHANES’ DEFINITION BEARS VALUE TO THIS DAY.
HE SAID LOVE CAME ABOUT WHEN, AFTER THE SEPARATION, ONE HALF SEEKS TO PURSUE
THE PART THAT “COMPLETES” THE WHOLE.
SOCRATES REFUTED BOTH DEFINITIONS, CALLING PAUSANIAS’ DEFINITION SHALLOW
BECAUSE IT IGNORED ROMANCE IN FAVOR OF SEX, AND ARISTOPHANES’ VERSION BECAUSE
IT WAS TOO SELFISH. LOVE IS FOUND NOT IN LUST OR IN SATISFYING OUR PERSONAL NEEDS
FOR IT, BUT IN LOVING GOODNESS. SOCRATES ALSO ATTRIBUTES A METAPHYSICAL QUALITY
TO LOVE THAT I DO NOT FOLLOW. THAT IS THAT ALL REALITY IS PERCEIVED AS GOOD,
WHILE EVIL HAS NO REALITY. HAD SOCRATES WATCHED INDIANS BEING BURNED TO DEATH
DURING THE SPANISH INQUISITION, OR JEWISH FARMERS STARVING IN THE RUSSIAN
COUNTRYSIDE DURING THE 1930S AS A RESULT OF FORCED COLLECTIVIZATION, HE MAY
HAVE RESCINDED HIS THEORY ON THE REALITY OF EVIL. IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE RECENT
PELOPONNESIAN WAR HAD DRIVEN HOME TO HIM THE REALITY OF EVIL, BUT SOCRATES
WAS NOT A MILITARY MAN AND THERE WERE NO TV CAMERAS TO BRING THE ATROCITIES.
STILL, HE READ THUCYDIDES HORRID DESCRIPTIONS OF THE CIVIL WARS AND
REVOLUTIONS. I AM PUZZLED THAT HE WAS ABLE TO QUANTIFY EVIL IN SOME SAFE PLACE
THAT IS NOT PART OF HIS REALITY.
SOCRATES, LIKE THE HINDU’S, REGARDED PHYSICAL LOVE AS THE FIRST STEP ON A
LADDER, BUT ULTIMATELY INSUFFICIENT. HAD HE SEEN PAMELA ANDERSON IN LINGERIE
HE MAY HAVE HAD OTHER THOUGHTS. EVIL IS AN ILLUSION TO HIM. SELF-MASTERY IS
ACHIEVED BY LOVING, WHICH IS NOBLE AND TRUE.
PLATO'S “REPUBLIC” IS THE “SEMINAL TEXT OF THE WESTERN PHILOSOPHICAL
TRADITION,” AND RECEIVES EXTRAORDINARY ATTENTION IN PROFESSOR DALTON’S
“POWER OVER PEOPLE” SERIES. PLATO PICKED UP ON SOCRATES' FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES
(MALLEABILITY OF HUMAN NATURE, ORIGINS OF RIGHT CONDUCT, QUALIFICATIONS FOR
EXERCISING POLITICAL POWER, REASONS FOR OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, AND MUTUAL
OBLIGATIONS IN INDIVIDUALS AND THE STATE). HE DID THIS TO BE ALERT TO THE HIGH
PURPOSE AND CONSEQUENCE OF SUCH AN UNDERTAKING, HIS MENTOR HAVING BEEN PUT
TO DEATH FOR HIS INSIGHTFUL TEACHINGS.
PLATO   DIFFERED FROM HINDUISM IN THAT HE ENVISIONED THE STATE AS AN AGENT OF
VIRTUE, WHEREBY THE HINDU’S SAW IT ONLY AS A COERCIVE FORCE. PLATO MUST BE
CONSIDERED QUITE THE OPTIMIST, CONSIDERING THAT IT WAS THE STATE WHO EXECUTED
HIS FRIEND AND TEACHER. HIS WILLINGNESS TO STILL MAINTAIN OPTIMISM FOR THE STATE,
HOWEVER, LIES AT THE HEART OF HIS IDEAL WORLD. TO SUCCUMB TO VENGEFUL
THOUGHTS BECAUSE OF SOCRATES WOULD NOT DIFFERENTIATE PLATO FROM THOSE WHO
COMMITTED ATROCITIES AT CORCYRA, AND IT WAS CORCYRA AND THE PELOPONNESIAN
WAR THAT PLATO WANTED TO LEARN FROM IN ORDER TO MAKE A BETTER WORLD.
AT THE HEART OF THE STATE’S ROLE IS EDUCATION, AND THE TEACHING OF “RIGHT
CONDUCT.” CURRENT EDUCATORS DIFFER FROM THIS, CHOOSING TO LEGALLY REMOVE
GOD FROM THE CLASSROOM AND INSISTING THAT TEACHERS ARE NOT THERE TO INSTRUCT
IN VALUES OR, GOD FORBID, TELL THE CHILDREN WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT
AND WRONG IS! IN “REPUBLIC”, PLATO POINTED OUT THAT SOCRATES' VIEW OF “RIGHT
CONDUCT” WAS NOT BASED ON RELIGIOUS THEORY, WHICH IN THE END IS BETTER.
ATHEISTS DO NOT HAVE ANY EXCUSES.
POLEMARCHUS DID FIND RIGHT CONDUCT AS EMANATING FROM RELIGION, WHILE
THRASYMACHUS FELT THAT ONLY THE STRONG HAD THE WILL TO THE RIGHT THING, WHICH
MIGHT BE PRETTY TRUE. SOCRATES AGAIN GETS IN OVER MY HEAD BY SAYING THAT
JUSTICE CONSISTS OF “RIGHT ORDERING OF THE WHOLE, WITH NO PART USURPING THE
FUNCTIONS OF ANY OTHER PART AND WITH REASON RULING OVER ALL.” WHILE I DOUBT
SOCRATES WOULD HAVE AGREED WITH KARL MARX, ONE COULD IMAGINE SOME RED
GUARD REVOLUTIONARY ESPOUSING THESE WORDS AT A SHOW TRIAL. PERHAPS IT IS JUST
ESOTERIC, AND I AGAIN ADMIT THAT FAILURE TO GRASP EVERYTHING SOCRATES SAYS IS
MY FAILING, NOT HIS.
SOCRATES OBVIOUSLY WAS DISSATISFIED WITH ATHENS, WHICH PLATO SAID WAS A “SHIP
OF STATE” STEERED BY DEMAGOGUES, MISLED BY PASSION AND DECEIVED BY ILLUSION.
WHAT PLATO FORESEES IS AN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM DEVISED TO CREATE LEADERS WHO
SEEK AND CULTIVATE “ULTIMATE TRUTH” MORE THAN THEIR OWN COMMON INTERESTS.
THE HINDU’S SOUGHT SUCH QUALITIES WITHIN THE INDIVIDUAL, BUT FELT THAT
ACHIEVING IT WAS THE RESULT OF SELF-DISCIPLINE. IN OTHER WORDS, IT WAS A
SELF-TAUGHT VIRTUE. PLATO WAS CONVINCED IT COULD BE TAUGHT. THE HINDU’S SIMPLY
DID NOT BELIEVE POLITICAL POWER COULD BE WIELDED WISELY, BUT PLATO BELIEVED IN
THE POSSIBILITY. IN “REPUBLIC”, PLATO DELIVERED DIALOGUE BETWEEN SOCRATES AND
HIS QUESTIONERS, AND AS THEY SAY, EVERYBODY HAS AN OPINION.
POLEMARCHUS FOCUSED ON “GIVING EACH MAN HIS DUE,” BASED ON THE RETRIBUTIVE
JUSTICE EMBODIED BY THE PHRASE AN “EYE FOR AN EYE.” SOCRATES TOLD HIM THAT
WHILE THIS MAY BE EXPEDIENT, IT IS NEVER JUST TO HARM ANOTHER PERSON. WHAT
CONSTITUTES “HARM” IS NOT FULLY EXPLAINED, AND IF SOCRATES SOMEHOW INFERS THAT
CRIMINALS NOT BE PUNISHED, THEN HIS THEORIES DO NOT HOLD UP WELL. BUT BEYOND
THE LANGUAGE ONE SURMISES THAT HE HAS A DEEPER MEANING IN MIND, BASED NOT ON
LETTING WRONGDOERS OFF SCOT-FREE, BUT HOPEFULLY BASED ON A SYSTEM OF JUSTICE
THAT IS “CORRECTIVE” IN NATURE.
THRASYMACHUS SAID THAT “MIGHT MAKES RIGHT," THAT WHAT IS RIGHT IS BASED ON
WHAT IS IN THE STRONGER PARTY’S INTERESTS, AND THAT INJUSTICE BRINGS HAPPINESS TO
THOSE WHO PRACTICE IT. SOCRATES RECALLED THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH BY MAKING
REFERENCE TO THE ROLE OF PHYSICIANS, STATING THAT THE RULER MUST ENDEAVOR NOT
TO HELP HIMSELF BUT HIS PEOPLE (OR PATIENTS). WHAT IS IMPERATIVE IS THE CONCEPT
THAT THE RULER POSSESSES THE SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE TO DO THE RIGHT THING, JUST AS
A DOCTOR MUST. THUS WAS BORN THE CONCEPT OF THE PROFESSIONAL RULER.
GLAUCON WANTED SOCRATES TO MORE COMPLETELY REFUTE THRASYMACHUS' PREMISE,
AND ADVOCATED THE IDEA THAT JUSTICE IS NOT A SPIRITUAL VALUE BUT THE RESULT OF
EXPEDIENCE, AND AT ITS HEART IS THE DESIRE BY THE WEAK TO SEEK PROTECTION FROM
THE STRONG. THIS VARIES SOMEWHAT FROM SOCRATES, WHO SEEMS TO THINK THAT A
“TRUST ME” PHILOSOPHY IS POSSIBLE. BUT GLAUCON WANTED SAFEGUARDS, AND SAID
THAT IF THERE IS A “SOCIAL CONTRACT,” THEN IT MUST BE CODIFIED INTO LAW. SOCRATES
REPLIED THAT THE STATE HAS AN “APPETITE, BUT HIS IDEALISM WAS SO OBVIOUS BECAUSE
HE SOMEHOW THOUGHT THAT APPETITE WOULD NATURALLY FIND THE RIGHT ORDER OF
REASON, SPIRIT AND DESIRE. HE THOUGHT THIS COULD HAPPEN BY VIRTUE OF THREE
“WAVES.” FIRST, HE HELD THE REVOLUTIONARY IDEA THAT QUALIFIED WOMEN SHOULD
HOLD OFFICE, THAT THE NUCLEAR FAMILY AND PRIVATE PROPERTY MUST BE ABOLISHED IN
ORDER TO REINFORCE ITS ADHERENCE TO THE COMMON INTEREST, AND THAT
PHILOSOPHERS SHOULD RULE.
THESE IDEAS WERE HIGHLY DANGEROUS TO THE ATHENIAN POWER STRUCTURE. IT HELPS
EXPLAIN WHY THE MAN WAS GIVEN THE HEMLOCK. HIS IDEA FOR WOMEN WAS ADMIRABLE,
AND CERTAINLY GAVE CREDENCE TO SOCRATES’ MORALITY AS BEING UNIVERSAL (AS
OPPOSED TO THE APATHY HELD APPARENTLY BY ALL TOWARDS SLAVERY). “ANTIGONE”
HELPED TO INFLUENCE HIS VIEW REGARDING WOMEN, BECAUSE THE PLAY GAVE VOICE TO A
LARGE CLASS OF WIDOWED WOMEN (EVEN THOUGH ANTIGONE LOST BROTHERS, NOT A
HUSBAND, BUT THE POINT WAS THE SAME). PERICLES SAID THESE WOMEN SHOULD JUST
STAY QUIET, BUT HE PROBABLY ADVOCATED THAT MORE TO RELIEVE HIS OWN CONSCIENCE
AS THE COMMANDER WHO ORDERED MANY OF THESE HUSBANDS TO THEIR DEMISE, RATHER
THAN ADDRESSING SOME KIND OF QUIET STRENGTH OF WOMEN.
SOCRATES’ VIEWS ON THE ABOLISHMENT OF PRIVATE PROPERTY AND THE BREAK-UP OF THE
FAMILY WERE DANGEROUS. IT IS INSTRUCTIVE TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF GREEK
DEMOCRACY AS ADVOCATED BY THE "BIG THREE." SOCRATES’ SOCIALISTIC VIEWS ARE
DISCREDITED THEORIES, SOME OF WHICH ARE FOUND IN COMMUNISM AND TOTALITARIAN
DESPOTISM. WHAT COULD HAVE MADE SOCRATES ADVOCATE THE BREAK-UP OF THE
FAMILY? HITLER, MAO AND STALIN ADVOCATED AN ALLEGIANCE TO THE STATE THAT
CAUSED MANY CASES OF CHILDREN “TURNING IN” THEIR PARENTS. IT IS HARD TO THINK OF
ANYTHING MORE REPUGNANT. ONE QUESTIONS SOCRATES ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. DID HE
WANT TO AVOID THE KIND OF ANARCHY THAT OCCURRED IN CORCYRA, WHERE “FATHERS
KILLED SONS”? OR WAS SOCRATES A HOMOSEXUAL WHO, BECAUSE OF HIS CONDITION,
WANTED TO DISMANTLE ONE OF THE ROCKS OF SOCIETY BECAUSE HE WOULD NEVER BE THE
HEAD OF A NUCLEAR FAMILY? WHAT WAS HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS STUDENTS? WHEN
ATHENS EXECUTED HIM FOR “IMPIETY” AND “CORRUPTING THE YOUTH,” WERE THEY
REFERRING TO HIS SEXUAL ANTICS?
SOCRATES WAS CONSIDERED A GREAT PHILOSOPHER AND A MAN WHOSE VALUES ARE
INCULCATED INTO OUR MOST CHERISHED POLITICAL STRUCTURES, SO LET ME EMPHASIZE
THAT I AM NOT OUT TO DISCREDIT HIM. WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND OUT OF THIS
IS THAT SOCRATES WAS THE FIRST OF THE THREE “SUPERSTAR TEACHERS,” AS WE MIGHT
CALL THEM. THOSE WHO CAME AFTER HIM WERE ALLOWED THE CHANCE TO LEARN NOT
JUST FROM HIS GOOD IDEAS, BUT TO UNDERSTAND HIS MISTAKES, AS WELL.
PLATO HAD POOR EXPERIENCES WITH ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY, WHICH HE CONSIDERED TO
BE A MOB. IT WAS THAT MOB MENTALITY THAT LED TO THE DEATH OF HIS MENTOR. PLATO
SAID THAT DEMOCRACY FAILED TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN FREEDOM AND LICENSE;
CATERED TO DESIRE AHEAD OF CIVIC DUTY; AND THE CENTRAL THEME OF HIS AND
SOCRATES’ TEACHINGS WAS THAT IT WAS RUN BY OPINION, NOT KNOWLEDGE.
WHAT WOULD PLATO SAY ABOUT OPINION POLLS, AND HOW POLS USE THEM TO MAKE
THEIR DECISIONS? WHAT WOULD HE HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THE “ONE MAN, ONE VOTE
VOTE” CONCEPT OF JEFFERSONIAN DEMOCRACY? OBVIOUSLY, PEOPLE DO NOT DETERMINE
WHAT IS “RIGHT” AND THEREFORE CREATE “GENUINE KNOWLEDGE” BY VIRTUE OF A VOTE.
PLATO’S TEACHINGS HAVE A QUIXOTE-LIKE QUALITY TO THEM. A REALIST LIKE WINSTON
CHURCHILL, NOT PRONE TO CHASING WINDMILLS, GAVE VOICE TO THE ANGUISHED HOPES
AND CRIES OF PLATO BY SIMPLIFYING THE WHOLE CONCEPT.
“DEMOCRACY,” SAID CHURCHILL, “IS THE WORST FORM OF GOVERNMENT KNOWN TO MAN,
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ALL OTHER FORMS OF GOVERNMENT KNOWN TO MAN.”
BUT PLATO LIVED SOME 2,400 YEARS BEFORE CHURCHILL, AND WAS NOT PRIVY TO ALL OF
DEMOCRACIES’ ALTERNATIVES. HE KNEW OF MILITARY RULE AND THE KIND OF
AUTOCRATIC POWER IMPOSED BY KINGS. HE LIVED IN A TIME OF SLAVERY, AND WAS
AWARE OF THE EGYPTIAN-JEWISH DILEMMA IN THE MIDDLE EAST. BUT HE NEVER SAW
COMMUNISM OR NATIONAL SOCIALISM. WOULD A MODERN PLATO HAVE ACCEPTED THE
CHURCHILLIAN COMPROMISE?
HE ADVOCATED MERITOCRATIC RULE. DEMOCRACY WAS A DEFICIENT SHIP OF STATE,
PHYSICALLY IMPOSING BUT SHORTSIGHTED. IF WE WERE TO SEE PLATO’S SYSTEM PUT IN
PLACE TODAY, INSTEAD OF ELECTIONS A GROUP OF WISE MEN WOULD CREATE A TEST, LIKE
THE BAR EXAM FOR LAWYERS OR THE MEDICAL EXAMS GIVEN BY EACH STATE TO DOCTORS.
BUT HOW EFFECTIVE WOULD THAT BE? JOSEPH MENGELE, THE “ANGEL OF DEATH”, WAS A
BRILLIANT PHYSICIAN BUT OBVIOUSLY HE CHOSE TO HARM MANY PATIENTS IN THE DEATH
CAMPS. FEW IN AMERICAN SOCIETY HAVE A WORSE REPUTATION THAN LAWYERS, EVERY
SINGLE ONE OF WHICH GRADUATED FIRST FROM LAW SCHOOL, THEN PASSED THE BAR.
THE TESTS CAN BE MANIPULATED. PLATO WOULD SAY THAT COMMITTEES COULD BE
FORMED TO STUDY INDISCRETIONS, JUST AS THOSE WHO VIOLATE MEDICAL AND LEGAL
ETHICS ARE SUBJECT TO INQUIRY. PLATO MAKES THE METAPHOR OF THE “SHIP OF STATE,”
STATING THAT THE SHIP (DEMOS) MUST BE STEERED BY A NAVIGATOR WHO KNOWS THE
SCIENCE OF THE SEAS, AS OPPOSED TO A CREW THAT MAKES IT DECISIONS BASED ON WHIM
AND OPINION.
Plato’s “knowledge” is presented as stages of cognition. The first stage involved
uncritical acceptance of the known world. The next stage was a critical examination of
society. Next was advancement from opinion to knowledge. Plato said that if man could
pursue knowledge of abstract reality as in the study of mathematics and astronomy, why
not politics? Finally, he saw a perception of people’s humanity, defined as “seeing each
other in ourselves.”
Like Socrates, Plato herein grasps at things that are either too difficult for most (at least
me) to fully comprehend, and he is opening the door to some potentially dangerous
concepts. Where Plato is given the benefit of the doubt is in reducing the area of
“knowledge” that he seeks to develop, as within the sphere of natural law.
Plato’s concepts are seen as precepts of Communist “re-education,” as practiced
especially by the Red Guard and Pol Pot. These re-education camps made no attempt to
say they were teaching ideology, but tried instead to teach Marxist-Leninist doctrine as
simple fact, not to be disputed. But Plato was not advocating lower taxes, or separation
of church and state, or decision-making power shared between a chief executive and his
legislature. Plato was keeping his “knowledge” within a narrow area of right and wrong.
Much of politics is driven by economics and changing times. A large, diverse country
like America may have different political and economic needs than a small, educated,
homogenized society like Sweden. Plato’s nostrums link America and Sweden together
as being under the umbrella of natural law. In both countries, moral leadership is
beneficial to the people. Leaders not only must not be allowed to get away with
corruption, but they must be taught not to. Where modern Democracy differs is that we
assume corruption will exist, and therefore the emphasis is on the people more than the
government. It is the people who, given free choice, have safeguards against these
wrongs. Plato thought it was possible to make these safeguards unnecessary, or at least
secondary, to “facts.” Before linking Plato again to re-education camps, which I admit is
unfair (I do so only to open a wider discussion), let me point out that our wonderful
documents of freedom are willing to use language like “we hold these truths to be
self-evident” and “unalienable rights.” Again, the key point is that Plato is getting to the
rights of man, or the “pursuit of happiness,” if I may, whereas the Marxist-Leninist
“facts” are entirely worldly, economic and driven by the lowest common denominators.
The liberals will hate to hear this, but while Plato’s natural law may not address the right
or wrong of the Stamp Act, it conceivably could address something like abortion. If Plato
advocated goodness and justice, would he justify killing unborn children? Or would he
favor the rights of mothers who choose not to be mothers? Would his cognitive reasoning
allow him to address the consequences of people’s actions in such a case? For the sake of
avoiding the soapbox, I will again defer the question and instead try to let cleansing truths
enlighten the reader by virtue of obvious things that need no commentary.
Plato uses the “cave allegory” to describe cognition. When man lives in the cave, he fears
all outside the cave. Only after leaving the cave to discover the “truth” of life outside its
environs does the man gain the credentials for leadership in the cave. Plato does ask man
to question the truth, for only in so doing does he separate it from illusion. Power is
wielded wisely only by those who have “left the cave.”
However, Plato seems to have missed an important point. Why are only some men able to
leave the cave? Instead of power being given only to a select few who leave the cave and
return a better man for it, why should not all the people be allowed to leave the cave and
experience the truth that exists outside it?
Perhaps an understanding of Plato is best accomplished by defining a glossary of terms,
as outlined by Professor Dalton.
Arete. Plato defined this as “excellence”, and broke it into two meanings. Special “virtue”
speaks to a function such as strength or speed. The second speaks to morality, and it is
important that Plato feels such a quality is inherent within certain, but not all, people.
Only through education do certain chosen people exude the quality. Therefore, Plato
would be suggesting that certain highly gifted people be selected for schools that are
designed to make the most of them. For instance, athletes, potential musicians, and the
like are selected from among the people and singled out, and those who show traits of
high morality are also selected for advancement. This does not suit the notion of
“fairness,” since it acknowledges that in life some people simply do not possess greater
gifts than others, but they should be given the added advantage of cultivating those gifts
if they are discovered.
DIKE. THIS MEANS “RIGHTEOUS, FAIR AND JUST.” PLATO DEFINED THIS AS “RIGHT
CONDUCT” AND RELATED ARÊTE AND DIKE TO EACH OTHER AS VIRTUES THAT LEAD TO
HAPPINESS. IDEA WAS PLATO’S WORD, MORE IMAGINING A MODEL OF PERFECTION. PLATO
REVEALED SOMETHING ABOUT HIS VISION OF PERFECTION WHEN HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT
IDEAL PATTERNS OF LIVING COULD BE APPROXIMATED BUT NEVER FULLY EMULATED.
THANK GOD. THIS GIVES US ALL A SIGH OF RELIEF, KNOWING THAT PLATO AGREES THAT AS
HUMANS WE WILL MAKE MISTAKES AND CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO BE PERFECT ALL THE
TIME.
Nomos means custom, or man-made, as distinct from natural law. These are laws that
meet everyday needs. Phusis was Plato’s foundation for all morality, but others argued
that it meant no more than “what is” to individuals with no moral implications. Plato no
doubt disagrees on what the "meaning of is is." Techne denotes a talent for manipulation
that is learned over time, and may or may not be joined with the person’s natural
excellence. Plato sought to find a system that married a person’s natural skills with
acquired ones. He emphasized that technical skill not grounded in moral virtue can lead
to unjust conduct. He used as examples Sophists like Thrasymachus, thus the meaning of
the word sophistry, in which great rhetoric is a skill but lacks greatness if not backed by
moral virtue.
How many examples point this up, not just in politics but in everyday life? Hitler was a
sophist who espoused great rhetoric that lacked virtue, but his great skill was in
manipulating the masses into believing he did. We see great sophists all the time. Great
trial lawyers can twist words around until a jury is duped into letting a guilty man go free.
Great salesmen can get you to buy what they sell. My favorite is when some over-ripe
insurance guy tells me it is a “no-brainer” for me to purchase a policy, inferring that I
would be stupid to do otherwise, and I certainly do not want to be stupid.
Skilled speakers, “silver-tongued devils,” or according to some, the real devil, are those
who use words, lies and illusion to get people to make bad choices. In David
Halberstam’s “The Best and the Brightest”, he pointed out that all the top advisers to
Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were the top minds from academia. This is
not to infer that McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara, George Ball and the rest of the
Kennedy-Johnson White House were “devils,” but that they may have been too smart for
their own good.
LBJ, in particular, who was from the Texas hill country, the product of a rural education,
was particularly enamored. He told his mentor, Speaker of the House “Mr. Sam”
Rayburn, another good ol’ boy from the Lone Star State, about all those “Harvard boys”
and “West Point generals,” and how impressed he was that they were advising him on
Vietnam.
“I’D FEEL A WHOLE BETTER ABOUT THE LOT OF ‘EM,” MR. SAM PRESCIENTLY REPLIED, “IF
JUST ONE OF ‘EM HAD RUN FOR COUNTY SHERIFF.”
Their inch-by-inch Vietnam policy proved to be less than brilliant.
Richard Nixon was too smart for his own good. His smartness veered into paranoia. Bill
Clinton was too smart for his britches, too. He saw everything through a techne lense
honed from his political and legal skills. He could foresee events 10 steps ahead of
others. Therefore, he made choices based on his personal needs, knowing that “this will
happen, then this, then this, then this…” and so on. The predictable results were that he
would always “get away with it,” somehow forgetting that while he would be technically
unscathed (impeached but not convicted, for instance), the country had to suffer his slings
and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Sam Rayburn’s desire that leaders should have at least run for “county sheriff,” which of
course meant that they should be down-to-Earth and not high-minded ivory tower
intellectuals, has validity. George Washington was not the most learned of the Founding
Fathers, but he was the most admired. Abraham Lincoln was a man of country wisdom,
his Kentucky education having been developed by candlelight in a log cabin. Harry
Truman was a “plain speaker” and Dwight Eisenhower a “soldier’s soldier.” Ronald
Reagan made simplicity an art form, to the consternation of his foes, and the occasional
gaffes of George W. Bush seem to reveal a simple integrity that most Americans equate
with a resolve to “do the right thing.”
EVEN JOHNSON DID HIS BEST WORK WHEN HIS BASIC VALUES WERE ALLOWED TO DEVELOP.
A MAN OF HUMBLE BEGINNINGS, HE WAS A SCHOOL TEACHER WHO TAUGHT POOR MEXICAN
KIDS IN TEXAS BEFORE ENTERING POLITICS AS A NEW DEALER MORE IN LINE WITH HUEY
LONG THAN FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT. IT WAS THE LESSONS LEARNED IN THE HILL COUNTRY
THAT INCULCATED HIS CIVIL RIGHTS PLANK.
GREAT INTELLIGENCE AND LEARNED SKILL ARE BENEFICIAL, BUT NOT TO THE EXCLUSION
OF ALL THINGS. NIXON AND GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH WERE PROBABLY THE MOST
QUALIFIED MEN TO BE ELECTED PRESIDENT IN THE LAST CENTURY, BUT BOTH FALTERED.
KENNEDY’S YOUTH AND CHARM WERE OVERSHADOWED BY A FAMILY RUTHLESSNESS
PASSED DOWN BY HIS FATHER. THEIR SHARED ABUSE OF POWER FORESHADOWED HIS
NEAR-FINAL ACT, THE TACIT ASSASSINATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF SOUTH VIETNAM IN
1963. THIS MAY BE SEEN AS HAVING A KARMIC AFFECT OF OVERWHELMING PROPORTIONS.
    THE LAST TERM IN THE “PLATONIC GLOSSARY” IS EUDAEMONIA, OR HAPPINESS. THE
GREEKS APPLIED THIS WORD TO MATERIAL PROSPERITY AND GOOD FORTUNE. PLATO AND
ARISTOTLE VIEW EUDAEMONIA NOT JUST AS MERE “PLEASURE” BUT DECIDED THAT “TRUE
HAPPINESS” REFERRED TO A STATE OF MIND REVOLVING AROUND THE PURSUIT OF MORAL
PURPOSE. THE CHRISTIAN CONCEPT OF HAPPINESS WOULD DIFFER. IN THE FILM “NIXON”,
THE YOUNG NIXON ADDRESSES HIS QUAKER MOTHER, PLAYED BY MARY STEENBURGEN.
NIXON HAS LOST ONE BROTHER TO ILLNESS AND ANOTHER ONE IS ABOUT TO DIE. THE
FAMILY IS DESTITUTE AND THE ONLY THING THEY KNOW IS POVERTY AND HARD WORK
WITH LITTLE REWARD. NIXON HAS BEEN TAUGHT THAT HIS HARD WORK WILL BE
REWARDED, BUT HE IS TIRED OF THE GRIND.
“What about happiness, mother?” he inquires, and his mother replies, “Work in this life,
Richard. Happiness in thine other.”
WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT HAPPINESS IS FOUND IN HEAVENLY REWARD FOR A LIFE OF
SELF-DISCIPLINE, BUT PLATO OPTIMISTICALLY SEES A KIND OF SPIRITUALITY IN THE LIVING
WORLD THAT PROVIDES HAPPINESS AND SATISFACTION.
IN PROFESSOR DALTON’S SUMMATION OF “REPUBLIC”, THE FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS OF
PHILOSOPHERS AS TRANSLATED BY PLATO.
CEPHALUS: JUSTICE IS “TELLING THE TRUTH” AND “PAYING BACK” ONE’S DEBTS.
SOCRATES: THE ABOVE STANDARD DOES NOT HOLD UP SINCE IT WOULD MEAN RETURNING
A WEAPON TO A MADMAN (AGAIN SOCRATES IS BEYOND ME).
POLEMARCHUS: JUSTICE IS TO HELP FRIENDS AND HARM ENEMIES. THE CHINESE ADOPTED
THE LATTER PART OF HIS STATEMENT IN THEIR FAMOUS PHRASE, “THE ENEMY OF MY
ENEMY IS MY FRIEND.”
SOCRATES: HE DOES NOT AGREE WITH THE PART OF JUSTICE THAT SEEKS RETRIBUTION,
SINCE THIS INVOLVES HARMING OTHERS, EVEN IF SUCH HARM IS PUNISHMENT OF A
CRIMINAL FOR A CRIME.
THRASYMACHUS: HE HAS A MORE MACHIAVELLIAN PERSPECTIVE, EQUATING JUSTICE WITH
THE INTERESTS OF THE STRONGER PARTY.
SOCRATES: JUSTICE DEMANDS CORRECT PERCEPTION OF INTERESTS BY THE RULER.
THRASYMACHUS: RULERS MUST HAVE KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING, LIKE PHYSICIANS, IN
ORDER TO MAKE THE CORRECT DECISIONS.
SOCRATES: HE ADDS TO THE PHYSICIAN ANALOGY BY STATING THAT THE RULER NOT ONLY
KNOWS WHAT IS “RIGHT” BUT HAS AN INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT’S INTERESTS.
 THRASYMACHUS: HE SAYS THE RULER MUST EXPLOIT HIS SUBJECTS TO HIS OWN
ADVANTAGE.
SOCRATES: HE DISAGREES WITH THE EXPLOITATION OF THRASYMACHUS, STATING THAT
JUSTICE IS BASED PURELY ON ACTING ON THE ADVANTAGE OF THE SUBJECT.
THRASYMACHUS: ON THE DEFENSIVE, AND HAVING BEEN PROVED ON THE WRONG SIDE OF
THE MORAL EQUATION, HE NOW ACTUALLY DEFENDS INJUSTICE.
Socrates: Justice is balance, while injustice has no measure or limit. Picture the image of
the lady balancing scales of justice in each hand.
Thrasymachus: Injustice is a source of strength, superior in power to justice.
Socrates: Injustice fosters weakness. Here Socrates makes great sense. History has shown
many unjust rulers who gained power through strength, but ultimately that strength is a
weakness. Napoleon, for instance, appeared to have the stronger hand as he conquered
much of Europe in the early 19th Century, but his strength was proved to be a weakness
when allies formed coalitions to defeat him. The same can be said of Saddam, a “strong”
ruler of Iraq who was ultimately proved weak because justice coalesced to undo him.
“Only fair treatment can make man friendly and of one mind,” said Socrates in one of his
more profound statements.
Thrasymachus: Injustice brings happiness because it brings one more than one’s fair
share of power and wealth. One hopes that by this point he is playing devil’s advocate
and not really advocating his point.
Socrates: Justice rather than injustice brings happiness. This is an interesting concept,
because it forces us to examine the mind of the despot. For instance, is Kim Jong-Il of
North Korea happy? He has all the worldly things that he likes, including money, access
to women, entertainment, and power. But is he happy? His constant excesses might be a
vain attempt at finding satisfaction that he never achieves. The Rolling Stone’s song
“Satisfaction” comes to mind. A rock star has all the girls, the dough and the perks, but as
Mick Jagger says, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Gandhi, on the other hand, eschewed
many worldly desires available to him, but by all accounts he achieved satisfaction. Is
Yasser Arafat happy? What about psychopaths and mentally unstable people?
Glaucon: He finds a moral relativism in Thrasymachus’ argument that he agrees with.
Justice, he says, is not universal but rather based on changing laws, and is demanded only
by the weak, who lack the power to commit injustice. He says anybody who gains power
then acts in self-interest, and in fact possesses the kind of wealth and cunning required to
do injustice and get away with it, creates happiness. Such cynicism, unfortunately, has its
pockets of truth. I once had a business partner who was a liar and a cheat, not just in his
insurance business but in his personal life. Married with four children, he cheated on his
wife at every opportunity and once bedded a bartender from a golf course country club.
He gave her a phone number that was only a voicemail. When she became pregnant, she
called that voicemail, which gave only his first name, over and over and over. The more
desperate she got, the more this “man” enjoyed himself, playing her anguished messages
over and over again for his friends, who squeamishly noted the satisfaction he felt at
“getting away with it.”
I found my experience with this person to be one of the most beneficial of my life, albeit
very painful. I had known him since we were eight, and while I knew what a liar he was,
I somehow fooled myself into believing his cheating would never be directed at me
because we had “history.” When our company was failing, I offered that I would go into
debt to keep us afloat if he promised to pay me back. He assured me that he was
“working on some big deals” and I would get all my money back when he closed them.
Of course I went into debt, the company failed, and I was never paid back. I had a
contract with him, which he breached, so I sued him, only to be sent a letter from his
attorney stating that he had declared bankruptcy and therefore I would get nothing. The
bankruptcy documents spelled out hundreds of creditors who were being stiffed hundreds
of thousands of dollars, and I recognized many of them as personal friends and associates
of this individual, just as I had been.
The lesson learned is that unjust people will commit unjust acts on anybody if they have
to. They are not going to “do the right thing” just because those they wrong are friends.
This guy enjoyed the fact that got away with it. Doing things in a just manner was
nothing more than a strategy to him. He would not simply wrong people for no reason.
Impressing others with good acts often worked to his advantage, but when push came to
shove he was not going to bite the bullet and uphold his end of the bargain if it meant a
sacrifice to his selfish interests.
This is the attitude that I find in both Bill and Hillary Clinton. In eight years in the White
House, they did achieve some good things, but it is my gut reaction that these
accomplishments were not the result of a sense of justice, but purely political acts done to
build up their image. Like the business partner who lied and laughed when he got away
with it, there is a primal sense that behind the smug look on Bill’s face, or the
self-satisfied smirk that adorns Hillary’s, they are laughing at the way they continually
pull fast ones on the American public. This lies at the very heart of why conservatives
went after them, and despite the fact that ultimate “smoking guns” gave them a hollow
“victory” (staying in the White House until the end of their term), it is why their
detractors continually grind against their legacy.
FINALLY, IN WORDS THAT THE TEACHER’S UNIONS MIGHT WANT TO PUT IN MARBLE ON
PUBLIC SCHOOL HOUSE DOORS EVERYWHERE, ADEIMANTUS SAYS SOCRATES “INSISTS THAT
THE CURRENT USE OF EDUCATION TO INDOCTRINATE JUSTICE AND VIRTUE IS A FARCE…”
“THERE WILL NEVER BE A FINER SAYING THAN THE ONE WHICH DECLARES THAT WHOEVER
DOES GOOD SHOULD BE HELD IN HONOR, AND THE ONLY SHAME IS IN DOING HARM,” SAYS
PLATO ON PAGE 155 OF “REPUBLIC”.
SOCRATES, HOWEVER, IS AN INTERESTING STUDY BECAUSE HE FOCUSES ON ENEMIES, NOT
JUST FRIENDS. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT IN HIS TIME, HARSH JUSTICE AND VENGEANCE WERE
DOLED OUT UPON “ENEMIES,” BUT SOCRATES SEEMS TO FIND THE GREATEST NOBILITY IN
FORGIVENESS. FOR THIS HE SHOULD BE ACCORDED HIGH STATUS. AS I WROTE EARLIER,
THIS IS THE BASIS OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. SOMEHOW THESE TENETS WERE NEVER GIVEN
MUCH CREDENCE IN ISLAM, WHICH HAD ALMOST 1,000 OF HINDSIGHT AND ANALYSIS OF
SOCRATES PRIOR TO THE FORMATION OF THIS “RELIGION OF PEACE,” YET CHOSE TO SEVER
HANDS AND TONGUES FOR ACTS OF PETTY THIEVERY. 1,500 YEARS OF PROGRESS LATER,
THESE ACTS ARE STILL COMMON IN THEIR “JUSTICE SYSTEM.”
AS I SAY, SOME THINGS REQUIRE LITTLE OR NO COMMENTARY. RES IPSA LOQUITER.
Socrates seems to have seen every act of justice as individualized from all others. He
made constant reference to the role of physicians. Perhaps his views can be explained by
examining the Red Cross, or doctors during wartime. The Red Cross is an organization
that does not take sides. All they do is try to help those in need. If a soldier is held
prisoner, needs medical care, or needs food, they do not ask what side he fights for, what
acts of barbarism he may have already committed, or what his politics are. They see only
his immediate needs and attempt to fill it.
The same is said for doctors in MASH units. They are presented broken bodies, often
enemy forces, but in the triage they do not choose who their patients are. They simply use
their skills as best they can to heal anybody who is brought in.
The Hippocratic Oath, written by the physician Hypocrites (460-377 B.C.) states, “I
swear by Apollo Physician…that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment,
this oath…I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but
never with a view to injury and wrongdoing. I will keep pure and holy both my life and
my art. In whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from
all intentional wrongdoing and harm.”
Plato took this oath and applied it to politics. So where do we see this philosophy in
American justice? We find a mixed bag. In the U.S., we are prevented from administering
“cruel and unusual punishment.” Any prisoner is allowed access to competent medical
care. We used to have chain gangs, but today such punishment is no longer found.
Prisoners are not placed in the “hot box” like in the film “Cool Hand Luke”. However,
we allow capital punishment. At some point we felt that the liberalism of Socrates and
Plato was going too far. Placing a man in prison might not be doing “harm” to that
individual, but what would Plato have us do? Would he simply apply a “hands off” policy
to criminals? Such a fuzzy thinking has been proven as wrong as wrong can be.
What would Hypocrites say about abortion? Given a healthy, pregnant women who is
carrying a healthy child, would Hypocrites find that cutting up the woman, reaching into
her, removing the life, and rendering it lifeless, is “abstaining from all intentional
wrongdoing and harm”?
Would Hypocrites find legitimate argument in the concept that to abort a child provides
“freedom” to women? Would he give credence to the countless tales of “free” women
who live lives of agony and regret for 60 years with the memory of the child they
aborted? The child who by then would have given them memories of high school proms,
college graduations, weddings, grandchildren, and all the other joys of life? Are there
really two sides to this issue? Again, some things just are True on their face and my
further commentary on this question is not necessary. Res ipsa loquiter.
  At the heart of the criminal justice system advocated by Socrates and, to a lesser extent,
by Plato, Socrates insisted that to punish “bad men” only makes them “worse men.”
Somehow Socrates seemed to think that the unpunished criminal would not do crime
again. However, he modified his stance somewhat on page 148 of Plato’s “Republic”
when he says, “…one should avoid doing wrong <or injury> with more care than being
wronged…” At least here Socrates allowed that criminals should be punished, albeit the
punishment should not exceed the crime. Fair enough.
AS PLATO THEN POINTED OUT, THANKFULLY, THESE CONCEPTS OF NON-INJURY ARE IDEALS,
NOT “ATTAINABLE IN THE EARTHLY REPUBLIC.” NOT TO SAY THAT HIS IDEAL WOULD NOT
BE A BEAUTIFUL WORLD, IT IS SIMPLY NOT ONE WE ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO LIVING IN. WE
SIMPLY MUST DEAL WITH THE WORLD AS IT IS PRESENTED TO US. THE PESSIMISTIC PART OF
THIS IS THAT 2,300 YEARS AFTER PLATO’S TIME, WE ARE REALLY NOT ANY CLOSER TO THE
“NON-INJURY” SYSTEM THAN IN HIS DAY.
PLATO FINALLY ADHERED TO THESE REALITIES AFTER LETTING THE ARGUMENT PLAY OUT,
WHEN HE ADMITTED THE NECESSITY OF WAR (AS A DEFENSIVE MEASURE), CAPITAL
PUNISHMENT, AND THE CULTIVATION OF MILITARY ATTITUDES.
ONE GAINS A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF PLATO’S SENSE OF IDEALISM IN HIS VISION OF
THREE CITIES. HE FINDS CONTEMPORARY ATHENS TO BE CORRUPT. HIS “REPUBLIC”
ENVISAGES THE IDEAL. FINALLY, HE OUTLINES AN “ETERNAL CITY” THAT EXISTS, AS
PROFESSOR DALTON PUTS IT, AS A “TRANSCENDENTAL IDEA.”
IN ATHENS, PLATO WAS DISSATISFIED BY THE WIDE SWINGS OF EXTREME FORMS OF
GOVERNMENT, RANGING FROM DEMOCRACY TO OLIGARCHY. PLATO WROTE THAT WHILE HE
INITIALLY YEARNED FOR A PUBLIC CAREER, HE BECAME DISILLUSIONED BY SUCH A
PROSPECT AS TIME WENT BY. PLATO FOUND THE DEMOCRACY OF ATHENS AND THE
OLIGARCHY OF SPARTA, DESPITE THEIR DIFFERENCES, BOTH SHARING IN AN ARROGANCE OF
POWER. HE WAS PARTICULARLY DISGUSTED WITH THE EXECUTION OF SOCRATES. IT WAS
PLATO’S EXPOSITION OF CORRUPTION OF POWER WITHIN DEMOCRACY THAT THE
AMERICAN FOUNDERS OBSERVED WHEN THEY DREW UP THEIR "CHECKS AND BALANCES” IN
THE CONSTITUTION.
IT IS IN THE EARTHLY IDEAL THAT PLATO’S VISION BEGINS TO TAKE REAL SHAPE. HE HAS
ACTUALLY ARRIVED AT HIS CONCLUSIONS IN A POWERFUL WAY, BY GIVING VOICE TO
DIFFERENT OPINIONS VIA THE SOCRATIC METHOD. NOW, IN DESCRIBING HIS IDEAL VISION
OF A REAL CITY, PLATO BEGINS TO BRING UTOPIAN VIEWS INTO PRACTICE WITH
REAL-WORLD CONCERNS.
Socrates had thought the best polis would be one where each citizen did what he was best
suited to do, perhaps modeling this on the original Hindu caste system (not the
segregated system it became). Plato sees three major changes in the new city. He wanted
access to rule by qualified women, a unified “community of Guardians” that was
integrated as a single person (a president or a prime minister?), differentiated from family
or allegiance to property, and rule of reason.
What is important to understand about the Socratic-Platonic view of government is that it
is a constant battle. They admitted that achieving it would be hard, but “achievement” is
never-ending. Assuming it is ever achieved, the challenge to Democracy is that it must be
achieved over and over again. It is not reasonable to think that one society can
accomplish a great society, and that all societies that follow will simply continue to
uphold the tradition.
In understanding the fluid nature of history, Plato’s “Republic” becomes that high ideal
that all future governments strive to attain. Like the Hindu’s, it is in the attempt to attain
these ideals, not actually getting there, where excellence is found. What “Republic” does
is something that science fiction writers did centuries later, which is to describe some
kind of “alternate universe” that gives humans a glimpse of what could be if we attained
perfection.
Plato then moved on to discern three elements in individuals and in the state. He saw the
rule of reason as the correct rule. Plato made an interesting point by showing that
Socrates was a man of such reason, that he was “the most righteous man in Athens,” but
for this reason he cannot attain power. Plato envisioned philosopher-kings who meshed
philosophy with politics. These people would be selected after their qualities, which
would be a “passion for wisdom” and a “passion for truth” were identified. The resulting
training would teach them the difference between knowledge and belief, and their two
corresponding powers. Plato added that such people would not love money. Plato wrote
that lesser rulers tragically reacted to things they were not sure of, making use of the
allegory of the cave. Lives were lost, civilizations ruined in fighting over something that
meant nothing. The philosopher-kings, Plato said, would be reluctant rulers.
This is an interesting concept. Unfortunately, few men meet these criteria in an
examination of European history. Perhaps the rule of Queen Elizabeth, the daughter of
Henry VIII in England, could fall into this category. The “virgin queen” was thrust into
power amid great manipulations from all sides, within her family and among the Court’s
advisers. At first considered a mere symbol, she refused to be anybody’s fool, and
eventually decided she wanted to hold her throne. By that time she had learned invaluable
lessons about power and how to use it, mostly to the good. She foreshadowed a century
of transformation in the U.K. that saw the country go from a feudal, medieval fiefdom to
a modern world leader in every way.
LATER, GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS DRAFTED TO BE OUR FIRST PRESIDENT, AND
IT IS PRECISELY HIS RELUCTANT NATURE TOWARDS POWER THAT ALLOWED HIM TO WIELD
IT WISELY. DWIGHT EISENHOWER POSSESSED THE SAME QUALITIES. HIS CONTEMPORARY,
DOUG MACARTHUR, WAS A POWER-HUNGRY SORT PITTED AGAINST A MAN, HARRY
TRUMAN, WHO HAD ASCENDED TO HIS PLACE IN A SOMEWHAT RELUCTANT MANNER.
IN THE UNITED STATES ESPECIALLY, LUST FOR POWER IS EXPOSED AND DOWNGRADED.
THIS CREATES A BIT OF AN ANACHRONISM. ABE LINCOLN, FOR INSTANCE, WAS A
POLITICIAN THROUGH AND THROUGH WHO, IF NOT LUSTING FOR POWER, CERTAINLY
CRAVED IT. IT DROVE HIM TO CONTINUE FOR HIGH OFFICE DESPITE REPEATED DEFEATS AT
THE POLLS AND IN HIS CAREER.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT’S DESIRE FOR ATTENTION DROVE HIS CAREER. HE WAS AN ASTUTE
PR EXPERT WHO, AS A RELATIVELY LOW-LEVEL NEW YORK PUBLIC SERVANT, IRRITATED
THE POWER STRUCTURE AT TAMMANY HALL BY DRAWING NEWSPAPER ATTENTION TO HIS
EFFORTS TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION. HIS MILITARY EXPLOITS IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN
WAR WERE AS MUCH ABOUT FULFILLING 19TH CENTURY WANDERLUST AS IT WAS ABOUT
“REMEMBERING THE MAINE,” AND HE PLAYED IT UP FOR THE PRESS TO THE HILT. AS
PRESIDENT, HE CRAVED POWER FOR THIS STILL-YOUNG COUNTRY, BY “SPEAKING SOFTLY
AND CARRYING A BIG STICK.” HISTORY COULD HAVE GONE WRONG FOR T.R. AT VARIOUS
TIMES THROUGHOUT THIS PERIOD, BUT SMILED ON HIM INSTEAD. HIS PRESIDENCY FROM
1900 TO 1909 RIGHTFULLY GOES DOWN AS ONE OF THE GREATEST IN U.S. HISTORY. IN THE
END HIS RUN FOR PRESIDENT ON THE 1912 BULL MOOSE TICKET WAS AN ATTEMPT AT
POWER THAT DID GREAT HARM TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN
GRATEFUL TO.
As the century moved along and the country grew, the quest for the White House became
something that is now all but impossible to attain unless one has the “fire in the belly” to
go through everything to attain it. This requires enormous ego. It would have to be a
unique set of circumstances that creates the “reluctant hero” President. Secretary of State
Colin Powell has been viewed by some as that kind of hero, but his refusal to try (so far)
is an unfortunate statement about modern politics.
Powell’s wife, Alma, is reportedly concerned about white assassins, because Powell is
black. Powell himself is concerned about the kind of personal expose that Presidential
candidates go through. Rudolph Giuliani begged out of the New York Senate race
because he contracted prostate cancer, but it is suspected that the real reason was because
the media was getting too up close and personal with his private life. He had a marital
split, divorce and affair with another woman, all on top of each other. After 9/11, Giuliani
again ascended to the short list of leaders who, if they play their cards right, can be seen
as “reluctant” to be “drafted.” Perception plays a big role in whether the “reluctant” role
holds up to scrutiny.
In Rudy’s case, his aggressive prosecution of La Casa Nostra, using the newly-enacted
RICO statutes of the 1980s, brimmed with the kind of hubris that could only come with
great ambition. New Yorkers respect this tremendously. The World Trade Center
bombings left him free of any trace of posturing, but he had to negotiate his book tour,
and now a possible role in the Bush Administration, anticipated candidac(ies) for Senate
(again) and/or President in 2008, all while walking the fine line between reluctance and
destiny.
Nelson Rockefeller had everything, it seemed. He was the popular Governor of one of the
two most important states in the U.S. (New York). He possessed so much personal wealth
that he could finance first class campaigns. But he lost the 1964 G.O.P. nomination to a
little-known, bespectacled Christian with a Jewish last name from a tiny state. Barry
Goldwater might not have been "drafted," but the power of his ideas drew the crowds to
him, instead of vice versa. His loss in 1964 never left him with the “loser” label that so
many aspirants have been tagged with. Instead, his words have hung on the Conservative
Revolution like those of Aeschylus.
Nixon and L.B.J. wanted it far too badly. Jimmy Carter so obviously wanted it, but when
Watergate handed it to him he seemed to only know how to campaign, not to govern.
With his natural instincts for fairness and decency, Carter might be the kind of President
that Socrates would have voted for, but Socrates has been shown to be unrealistic.
In studying Greek Democracy and making comparisons with historical figures,
particularly of the American variety, I often wonder what times and circumstances would
do to change people. Certain figures, like Eisenhower, are so much a product of the
whims of history that it is impossible to contemplate their place in other times. Nixon and
Lyndon Johnson were power manipulators who might have done well in Athens or the
Roman Empire.
Bill Clinton’s lust for power, however, puts him a league of his own. His intelligence,
cunning, ambition and looks would have made him both formidable and vulnerable. He
would have possessed far too much charisma to survive in Stalinist Russia. Uncle Joe
would quickly have determined that Bill was developing a “cult of personality” around
him and put a bullet in the back of his head at four in the morning during an all-night
Vodka party. Or he would have forced him into a Trotskyite exile until the goons found
him wherever the hell he would have gone.
My analysis of Clinton is obviously not terribly favorable, but at the heart of the matter, I
find something less than real evil; a benevolent kind of evil. If and when we ever
discover the truth about Vince Foster and the children killed on railroad tracks near
Mena, Arkansas, where Clinton may or may not have been running some kind drug
smuggling operation, then it will be no holds barred in analyzing this character. Again,
the conservatives despise him not so much because he did everything they accused him of
doing, but because it is something he would have done!
Then there is Hillary, and she represents something else altogether. Her supporters hate
this kind of talk, but we all have gut reactions to people, inner voices, hairs that stand up
on the back of our necks. At least, the perceptive among us do. With Hillary Clinton I see
a woman who does good only because she lives in a society in which to do so is
rewarded. I have no doubt that, had she been born in 1900 Berlin, by the late 1930s she
would have manipulated her way to a high role in the Nazi Party without thinking twice
about it. She might have been the woman that they needed to give a feminine face to their
mostly-male fraternity. Or she might have married her way to power, much like she did
with Bill. As horrible as it is to say, Hillary Clinton to me could have been the "bitch of
Buchenwald." If she lived in Roman times I could see her being a highly placed lady of
means who, displeased by a servant or some serf overstepping his bounds, would have
had the unfortunate boiled in oil.
I REALIZE THAT MANY DEMOCRATS WILL CONSIDER THIS ASSESSMENT OF THE CLINTON’S
TO BE “HATE SPEECH,” BUT I MUST SAY SIMPLY THAT IN LIFE WE PLAY HUNCHES, HAVE GUT
FEELINGS, ARE INTUITIVE, AND SOMETIMES WE “JUST KNOW.” AS A CHRISTIAN, I MUST NOT
“HATE.” I DO NOT HATE THE CLINTONS. I COULD BE WRONG. I CAN FORGIVE THEM. THERE
IS A VERY REAL CHANCE THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT WHAT I THINK THEY ARE. I JUST DO
NOT THINK THE CHANCES OF THAT ARE VERY GOOD.
PURE POLITICS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS REACTION. IN FACT, I FOUND CLINTON TO BE
RELATIVELY MODERATE. HE PORTRAYED HIMSELF AS A NEW DEMOCRAT FROM THE
SOUTHERN DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, AND AFTER SOME VERY LIBERAL
MOVES IN 1993 AND 1994 (A PROPOSED BIG TAX INCREASE, GAYS IN THE MILITARY, AND
HILLARYCARE), HE WAS FORCED TO WORK WITH REPUBLICAN MAJORITIES IN BOTH HOUSES
OF CONGRESS BEGINNING IN 1995. THIS TURNED OUT TO BE AN UNEASY BUT SUCCESSFUL
RELATIONSHIP. FORCED TO GOVERN FROM THE RIGHT, HIS WIFE SHOVED BY UNPOPULAR
OPINION TO THE BACKGROUND, CLINTON PRESIDED OVER STRONG ECONOMIC TIMES.
AS PRESIDENT, HE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS, AND I DO CREDIT HIM. I
ALSO DO NOT IGNORE THE FACTS OF HISTORY. THE GOOD ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT OF THE
1990S IS THE RESULT OF SEVERAL THINGS. FIRST, THE RECESSION WAS ENDING JUST PRIOR
TO THE END OF GEORGE H.W. BUSH’S PRESIDENCY. ROSS PEROT, BUSH’S OWN
LACKLUSTER APPROACH, AND THE “IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID” PREMISE SWAYED THE
VOTE AGAINST HIM AFTER IT WAS TOO LATE. SECOND, THE RECESSION AND SUCCEEDING
BOOM TIMES WERE THE RESULT OF OUR VICTORY OVER COMMUNISM IN THE COLD WAR.
IN THIS RESPECT, REPUBLICANS WERE VICTIMS OF THEIR OWN SUCCESS. THERE WERE NO
ENEMIES TO PROTECT US FROM IN 1992 OR 1996, SINCE RONALD REAGAN AND GEORGE
BUSH HAD ALL BUT VANQUISHED THEM LONG BEFORE THE FIRST PRIMARY IN ’92. MAINLY,
THE END OF THE COLD WAR MEANT A MAJOR CRIMP IN THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL
COMPLEX, ESPECIALLY IN VOTE-RICH CALIFORNIA. FROM 1988 TO 1992, MANY SKILLED
WORKERS WERE LAID OFF. THIS, PLUS THE BUSH TAX INCREASE OF 1990 AND THE NATURAL
CYCLE OF ECONOMIC FORCES, CAUSED THE RECESSION.
THEN CAME THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY IN 1993. I WILL EVEN GIVE AL GORE SOME
OF THE CREDIT HE YEARNS FOR. AFTER ALL, IT CAME DURING HIS WATCH AS
VICE-PRESIDENT. RICHARD NIXON TOOK MUCH CREDIT FOR THE MOON LANDING OF 1969
THAT WAS THE RESULT OF THE KENNEDY-JOHNSON ADMINISTRATIONS. ALL IS FAIR IN
POLITICS. BESIDES, I HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT GEORGE H.W. BUSH WAS PARTICULARLY
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INTERNET. ALL THOSE SHARP LAID-OFF WORKERS OF THE MILITARY
INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, MOSTLY PEOPLE SKILLED WITH COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY,
WELL EDUCATED AND HARD WORKING, WERE THE FIRST WAVE OF THE INTERNET BOOM. IT
WAS A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN. THEY COMBINED WITH THE NEW GENERATION OF
COMPUTER-SAVVY KIDS TO CREATE A HUGE ECONOMY. I AM NOT BLAMING BILL CLINTON
FOR THE FACT THAT IT WENT BUST BY THE NEW MILLENNIUM, EITHER, EVEN THOUGHT THE
ECONOMY WAS IN SLIDE PRIOR TO HIS LEAVING OFFICE IN 2001. IT WAS A WILD RIDE, BUT
AN UNPREDICTABLE ONE.
SO MY FEELINGS ABOUT THE CLINTONS ARE PERSONAL, NOT POLITICAL. IT IS ABOUT THEIR
CHARACTER, WHICH IS AT THE HEART OF THE SOCRATIC-PLATONIC-ARISTOTELIAN
GOVERNMENT ETHIC. AS A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN, I FIND NANCY PELOSI AND
BARBARA BOXER TO BE FAR MORE LIBERAL. I HONESTLY HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH PELOSI.
BOXER I DISLIKE BECAUSE SHE IS SO STRIDENT AND CRITICAL OF REPUBLICANS WITHOUT
EXCEPTION, BUT SHE IS HARD WORKING AND HONEST. SHE CANNOT SAY IT, BUT I SUSPECT
THAT IN PRIVATE SHE CAN TELL A THING OR TWO ABOUT THE CLINTON FAMILY. HER
DAUGHTER MARRIED HILLARY’S BROTHER AND ENDED UP ON THE DIRTY END OF THE STICK
JUST LIKE ALMOST EVERYBODY WHO COMES IN CONTACT WITH THEM. THE LAUNDRY LIST
OF DISGRACED POLITICIANS, CONVICTED CRIMINALS AND FORMER FRIENDS WHO WERE
RATTED OUT BY THE CLINTONS IS DISGUSTINGLY LONG. THE FACT THAT HILLARY WAS A
“GOLDWATER GIRL” IN 1964 DOES NOT SWAY ME IN THE SLIGHTEST. GROWING UP IN THE
CHICAGO SUBURBS AT THAT TIME, SHE SAW THAT AS THE PATHWAY TO POWER. WHEN SHE
MOVED ON TO YALE DURING THE LATE "PROTEST ‘60S" SHE SAW THAT THE TIDE HAD
SHIFTED. SHE SHIFTED RIGHT ALONG WITH IT, WITH NO PRETENSE FOR IDEOLOGY OTHER
THAN A DESIRE TO ACHIEVE POWER. FOR HER, THE DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, NAZI OR
COMMUNIST PARTIES ARE INTER-CHANGEABLE AS LONG SHE CAN SLITHER HER WAY UP THE
LADDER. SHE FOUND NO COMPULSION WITH GETTING THERE BY SLEEPING HER WAY TO THE
TOP (ALTHOUGH WITH HER MARGINAL LOOKS ONE FINDS THIS ODD), GETTING IN WITH SLICK
LAW FIRMS, OR MOVING TO A SMALL SOUTHWESTERN STATE WITH A POPULATION SHE
FIGURED WOULD BE GULLIBLE ENOUGH TO BUY THEIR SLICK PROPAGANDA.
THE PROBLEM WITH THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS NOT ENTIRELY THEIR POLITICS. THEY HAVE
AN HONORABLE TRADITION (ALTHOUGH TAMMANY HALL, THE KANSAS CITY PENDERGAST
MACHINE, RICHARD DAYLEY’S CHICAGO, AND BILL CLINTON'S ARKANSAS WERE AWFUL
ORGANIZATIONS, WHILE THE G.O.P. HAS NO COMPARABLE ORGANIZATIONS). THE POLITICS
OF FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT HAD ITS TIME AND PLACE, IN THE 1930S, WHEN THE COUNTRY
WAS MIRED IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION. ROOSEVELT MET THE NEEDS OF THIS NATION BY
INSTITUTING NEEDED BANKING AND STOCK MARKET PROTECTIONS; FEDERALIZING WORK
PROJECTS; PROVIDING RELIEF TO THE JOBLESS; UPLIFTING THE BLACKS; GIVING CREDENCE
TO UNIONS FIGHTING FOR SAFE WORK CONDITIONS; AND BRINGING POWER TO RURAL
VALLEYS.
BUT “REPUBLIC” KEEPS COMING BACK TO CHARACTER, DOING THE “RIGHT THING” FOR THE
PEOPLE, NOT TO ESTABLISH, INCREASE OR HOLD ON TO INDIVIDUAL POWER. AT THE CORE
OF GREEK IDEALISM WAS A SENSE OF JUSTICE, AND IN APPLYING THESE STANDARDS TO
AMERICAN POLITICS, I AM CONTINUALLY DISAPPOINTED AT THE BAD PEOPLE WHO ARE
ENCOURAGED AND PROPPED UP BY THE DEMOCRATS. THIS IS A PARTY THAT LIONIZES TED
KENNEDY. FORGETTING HIS FAMILY HISTORY, HIS EVIL FATHER, THE FACT THAT HE NEVER
EARNED MUCH OF ANYTHING, OR HIS ABYSMAL LIBERALISM, HIS PERFORMANCE
SURROUNDING THE DROWNING OF MARY JO KOPECHNE AT CHAPPAQUIDDICK IN 1969 IS SO
REPUGNANT AS TO SIMPLY DISQUALIFY HIM FROM PUBLIC LIFE. HE IS A HERO TO
DEMOCRATS. RES IPSA LOQUITER.
The Democrats’ most powerful and influential Senator is Robert Byrd, a former Ku Klux
Klansman. The Republicans do not tolerate anything even approaching such
outrageousness. When Republicans make embarrassing faux paus’ regarding race or
sexual indiscretion, they take care of business in house, placing higher ethical standards
upon themselves than the general public. Because Republicans have the temerity to
identify immorality within the Democrat party, they open themselves up to criticism and
backlash when their own human mistakes occasionally are discovered. This is the price
they pay for being on the side of good, and they accept this because the merits
surrounding the fairness of these double standards is simply that with which is exposed.
There are some fine Democrats. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California and
Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman are excellent public servants. But even their best and
brightest lose respect because they are forced to side with the nefarious stain of Clinton,
Kennedy, Byrd, et al. Lieberman had to disavow a lifetime of morality in order to get
with the Democrats’ 2000 Presidential program. Al Gore is not a bad man, although far
from being a great one. His father, a U.S. Senator from Tennessee in the 1960s, was a
segregationist who worked against the civil rights legislation of 1964-65. This is the dirty
secret of the Democrat party, seemingly made public only because of the relatively new
phenomenon of conservative talk radio. I have never heard the traditional networks make
hay of the fact that it was Southern Democrats who opposed civil rights legislation
opposed by Eisenhower and Johnson, and who were the official public face of Jim Crow.
Somehow, men like Gore highjacked history and present themselves as the “friend of the
black man,” but conservatives like myself will continually stem this notion by shedding
light on the situation with facts. It may take awhile, but black Americans will some day
shift back to the party of Lincoln.
Gore is a man of ambition, although as mentioned earlier this has become indispensable
to national politics. Where he loses respect, just like so many in his party, is when he
turns his back on core values in favor of naked politics. Gore stood next to Bill Clinton,
disgusted by him but saying nothing, for eight years. He was loyal, and loyalty is an
admirable trait, but at the end of the day he and his kind are forced to say things that are
untrue, even when they know they are untrue. The fact that they are untrue is readily
available to them. Bill Clinton is a man who reads everything. This means that he has
acquired the knowledge that he is wrong, yet he says what he says anyway. Is there some
way of calling this behavior something other than lying? The Clintons yelled and
screamed when Newt Gingrich was given a huge advance to write a book, but accepted
huge advances to write their own books. That is simply fact that speaks for itself. Res
ipsa loquiter.
Gingrich’s book eventually sold enough copies to make for him what the advance (which
he gave back) paid. Conservatives are the authors of best selling books and the hosts of
wildly successful talk shows. In the free market of ideas theirs are the best ones. Aside
from having winning ideas, the conservatives are popular for other wonderful reasons.
With the exception of a few eggheads who populate the halls of academe, conservatives
are smarter. This has some serious implications. When conservatives drive cars, they
listen to talk radio because they care about the world and want to know more. Liberals
blithely drive around and listen to FM music. Is it possible to objectively look at the
success of conservative radio and dispute this?
Conservatives are likely to be better educated, have better work skills, and are more
successful people than liberals. They are more likely to be religious and they are more
likely to serve in the military. Let me break this down. Most of the traits that we attribute
to intelligence, success, morality and patriotism are traits more likely to be those of
conservatives than liberals. Plato wanted to use empirical date to actually determine
better government. Well, here it is. Res ipsa loquiter.
The Democrat Party is home to far too many liars, disinformationists, racists, race baiters,
shakedown artists, philanderers, and immoralists to regain real respect from those who
see simple truth for what it is. Until they clean their house of these scoundrels, they are
headed towards a bad end. The prediction here is that the Democrat Party will cease to
function as a major political entity in my lifetime.
GETTING BACK TO PLATO’S ASSERTION THAT “ACCESS TO POWER MUST BE CONFINED TO
MEN WHO ARE NOT IN LOVE WITH IT…” I WANT TO POINT OUT A STATEMENT THAT GORE
MADE DURING THE 2000 CAMPAIGN.
“GEORGE BUSH WANTS THE PRESIDENCY,” HE SAID. “I HAVE TO HAVE IT.” AT ANY COST.
THIS WAS NIXON’S ACHILLES HEEL, BUT REAGAN WAS A MAN WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN
COMFORTABLE IN HIS SKIN WHETHER HE WON THE PRESIDENCY OR NOT. SO IS GEORGE
H.W. BUSH.
THESE PASSAGES MAY BE SEEN AS “RUNNING AMOK,” A TERM THAT ONE BOOK REVIEWER
ONCE ATTRIBUTED TO A RANT I MADE AGAINST THE MEDIA IN MY BIOGRAPHY OF BARRY
BONDS. LET ME POINT OUT THAT I AM TRYING TO BRING TO LIFE THE IDEALS OF PLATO’S
“REPUBLIC” BY MAKING REFERENCE TO MODERN EVENTS THAT SPEAK TO PLATO. IN SO
DOING I ADVOCATE THE CAUSES THAT I FIND COMPELLING. IT IS AN EFFORT TO SHOW THAT
THE POLITICAL CHOICES I HAVE MADE ARE BASED ON THE RESEARCH OF HISTORY.
PLATO MADE SOME VERY COGENT OBSERVATIONS OF MEN WHO SEEK PUBLIC OFFICE IN
ORDER TO SNATCH THE “HAPPINESS THEY HUNGER FOR.” HOW CLEAR IS THIS VIEW? HOW
COURAGEOUS, TOO, CONSIDERING THAT HIS MENTOR HAD BEEN PUT TO DEATH AND HE
LIVED UNDER THE RULE OF MEN WHO MUST HAVE BEEN THE ROLE MODELS FOR THE
UNSCRUPULOUS “PUBLIC SERVANTS” THAT PLATO DESCRIBES. TYRANNY, SAID PLATO,
PREVAILS FIRST IN THE BORN DESPOT’S SOUL, AND THEN OVER HIS COUNTRY.
MY EARLIER THEORIES REGARDING HILLARY CLINTON IN NAZI GERMANY, JUST TO NAME
ONE EXAMPLE, IS WORTH CONSIDERING IN LIGHT OF PLATO’S CRITIQUE OF THE TYRANT. IT
IS IN REVIEWING TYRANTS THAT WE OWE THE DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO THE FOUNDING
FATHERS. IN CONSTRUCTING OUR COUNTRY THEY MANAGED TO CREATE SAFEGUARDS
AGAINST TRUE DESPOTISM. THE IMPORTANT ASPECT OF THIS EXERCISE IS TO REALIZE WHAT
HUMAN NATURE ACTUALLY IS. ESSENTIALLY, IT IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE. EVENTS,
HISTORY, CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS, RELIGION AND OTHER FACTORS MAKE FOR
CIRCUMSTANCES THAT ALLOW HISTORY TO PLAY ITSELF OUT.
ADOLPH HITLER WAS A PRODUCT OF GERMANY’S DEFEAT, THE UNFAIRNESS OF THE
VERSAILLES TREATY, THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC, ECONOMIC
DISASTER, AND THE PRIDE OF A CULTURED, YET FLAWED, PEOPLE. ALL OF THIS WAS
COMBINED WITH HIS TERRIBLE HUMANITY. SO THE QUESTION OF THE DAY IS THIS: COULD
HITLER HAVE EMERGED SOME PLACE ELSE? WHAT ABOUT IN THE UNITED STATES?
THIS AT FIRST SEEMS TO BE AN ABSURD NOTION. AMERICANS, PROUD OF OUR HISTORY,
MUST TAKE EXCEPTION TO THE IDEA THAT A HITLER COULD RISE ON OUR SHORES. BUT HOW
WOULD HITLER GO ABOUT IT? WELL, HOW DID HE GO ABOUT IT IN GERMANY? HE JOINED
THE ARMY AND FOUGHT IN A LOSING BATTLE, AND HIS STATUS AS A DECORATED VETERAN
GAVE HIM RESPECTABILITY AND THE PASSION TO ENTER POLITICS. HE MADE SPEECHES, HE
WROTE POSITION PAPERS, AND HE GATHERED SUPPORT. HE PAID FOR HIS HUBRIS WITH A
PRISON TERM MARTYRED HIMSELF, AND WROTE “MEIN KAMPF”. EVENTUALLY, HITLER
ENTERED GERMAN POLITICS IN A LEGITIMATE MANNER, AND WAS ELECTED LEGALLY. ONLY
AFTER CONSOLIDATING POWER THROUGH THESE MEASURES DID HE BECOME A FULL-SCALE
DICTATOR.
Hitler in America might have served in the military, and he might have been a war hero
on the winning side. There is no denying that he displayed courage under fire on the
Western Front. Yankee Hitler (call him “Al Hilton”) might have tried his hand as a
painter in New York or some other large city, and like most artists found this to be a
difficult way to make a living. What if "Hilton" was raised in the South? In California?
Would his racial views have found a voice no matter what? To what extent would he be a
product of nature or nurture, especially regarding his opinion of blacks, Jews, Arabs and
Hispanics? The tides of history are what make history, and it is this that drives the ending
of the classic book and film “The Boys from Brazil”.
Gregory Peck plays Dr. Joseph Mengele, and Sir Laurence Olivier a Nazi hunter based on
Simon Wiesenthal. Mengele has cloned Hitler and now some 60 "Hitlers" are 14 years
old. They are living in family circumstances orchestrated by him to be similar to Hitler’s
upbringing. Olivier has discovered the plot. After Mengele is killed, a young Jew takes it
for granted that all the Hitler clones must die. Olivier burns the only document detailing
who and where they are. His premise is that Adolph Hitler was unique to his place and
time, and therefore (thankfully) not inexorable.
A sequel to “The Boys from Brazil” would be the premise of my question. What
happened to those clones in America, England, Germany and other places? Could Hitler’s
inner rage have found a voice some place else? Was he born evil? More to the point,
where does this kind of voice find a platform? Do we find Hitler in David Duke and
Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber)? Is it possible Hitler could have been a
decent member of society, if he found a loving wife, had children, and sold some
paintings?
It is all academic, of course. Some might say such wanderings are dangerous. It also begs
separation between ideology and power seeking. Does “Al Hilton” seek power or
ideological victory? This gets back to the Hillary model. In Hillary I found the seeker of
power who will use ideology (feminism, abortion rights, class warfare) to attain her goals
within the framework of the America she lives in. In Hitler we find the seeker of an
ideology, and from what we do no know of him, his ideas were one-track. How does such
a man find an avenue for his fury, his theories, his dreams in, say, Communism, or in a
Democrat-controlled state like Louisiana during the 1930s? Does such a man attach
himself at the hip to the accusations of Joe McCarthy?
Again and again the creative mind wanders into evil. Duke, McVeigh, Ted Kaczysnki.
The point of the exercise is that Plato has set about standards of conduct that are
universal. He has identified the worst kind of offender as the one who seeks power for
power’s sake. It is this person who the system must safeguard against. America has done
its best work in marginalizing, as much as possible, this kind of individual. This reminds
me of the refrain I repeated throughout the 1990s. So great is the United States that not
only did Bill Clinton not destroy her, he actually did some very good things because the
checks and balances set him on a course of good conduct.
The concept of the “good Clinton” is an optimistic one. It says a great deal about the
beauty of America. On the flip side, evildoers take advantage of our laws and ideas to
shape them to their own wants. There have been those who say Plato’s “Republic” was a
blueprint for totalitarianism, because his stringent code of justice is a guide on how the
tyrant can manipulate the system by playing to our ideals. I find this in the prescriptions
of the Left, playing to the emotions of minorities. They feed them the notion that they are
“helping them” when in fact they seek only to set themselves up as the only source of
their empowerment, therefore increasing their hold on power.
The same tenet is behind the pro-choice movement. Liberals set themselves up as the
protectors of women’s rights. The movement is less about giving women a real choice
than it is about giving radical feminists political power.
The truth about the Left becomes obvious when one discovers that they are not for all
blacks, just Democrat blacks. Clarence Thomas was an enemy to them because he
identified their prescriptions as frauds. Even moderate African-Americans like National
Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell are held at arm’s
length because they succeeded without bowing to the Left’s nostrums.
Black talk show hosts like Ken Hamblin and Larry Elder are excoriated for their right
wing views despite the fact that they display a genuine intelligence that should be held up
and championed as exemplars for all black people. Elder in particular takes major heat
because he acknowledges that he entered Brown University thanks to Affirmative Action,
yet he opposes Affirmative Action. Los Angeles native Elder then points out some basic
Truths, namely that had he not been admitted to Brown he would have been admitted to
some other fine university instead. Whether his degree was from Brown, or USC, or
UC-Irvine, he asserts, is less important to his career than the fact that he worked
extremely hard. He become a lawyer, then built a business from scratch, entered the
competitive radio profession and worked his way to the top there, too. His detractors try
to paint a picture of Elder scratching out a meager existence, but-for his Affirmative
Action admittance to Brown. Elder is understandably insulted not just for himself, but
because such an assertion is a tacit statement about black folks in general. But-for white
help, goes the assertion, blacks are left to the tender mercies of a Darwinian world they
cannot possibly be expected to succeed in. The Left uses all the code words of
“opportunity” and “justice” that make up Plato's “Republic”. They use them to create
little tyrannies and pockets of division. Theirs is the racism of low expectations.
Plato gave personal traits to the worst kind of tyrant, who he said “combined the traits of
drunkenness, lust, and lunacy”; an insatiable thirst for money and power; contempt for
law and reason; and constant provocation of wars. Can anybody say Kim Jong-Il? Is
anybody further from these traits than Gandhi? Plato says that true despots do not have a
true friend in the world; they are sometimes a slave, sometimes a master. They possess no
faithfulness.
Adolf Hitler never had a true friend. In looking for these traits among public leaders, it is
instructive to note who a man’s “friends” are. Are they associates or friends? Does he
“sell out” his friends when push comes to shove? Is it necessary to mention the name of a
recent American leader who has these traits, or is the answer just obvious?
In the end, the passion to dominate others dominates the tyrant. Plato’s “Republic” has
often been noted as describing the rise of Hitler. Plato saw these same traits in a
succession of Greek and Persian rulers who he despised. Hitler displayed Plato's version
of irrationality. He justified his fatal invasion of Russia by saying, “I feel it in my blood.”
Plato is said to have used the tyrant Creon of Sophocles’ “Antigone” in his
characterization of tyrannical rule. In “Antigone”, Creon’s only son, Haemon, pleads
with his father to listen to reason because “of all God’s gifts, good sense is far the best”
and “there is no disgrace in being able to learn.” Creon responds by cursing Antigone to
death and forcing the son to watch her death.
Plato also described “spirit” at being a valued trait of courage and honor, admirable in an
individual or in society, but not in a ruler. Plato felt that wisdom was a greater value than
courage. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson
and Attorney General Robert Kennedy were the only members of President Kennedy’s
top level cabinet and advisory council to openly oppose an invasion of Cuba.
“Maybe one of us should be a coward,” Stevenson said, opening himself up to great
criticism. What the crisis was ended via peace, due in no small role to Stevenson’s strong
display of photographic evidence at the United Nations, he emerged as a Wise Man.
General Curt LeMay and the others, hawks and non-hawks among them, pressed for war.
They all displayed the spirit of courage, but of course none of them were on the front
lines. Today, the Bush Administration is infused by “warrior spirit." Plato said that the
ruler must have two distinct groups at his disposal. Reason and wisdom must characterize
the philosophical group. Spirit and courage must infuse the military group.
Since then, history has demonstrated that the military group, because of its strength and
spirit, can overpower the philosophical group. No where is this more obvious in recent
memory than in Japan. Tojo’s militarists took over from the statesmen, launching the
country into hell.
America reserves its greatest honor to those among the spirit group who transcend the
philosophical group. A great General like George S. Patton had no place within the
philosophers. In fact, he was a man in the wilderness between World Wars I and II.
George C. Marshall, on the other hand, was the perfect catalyst who infused his
leadership skills with the spirit of both groups. It was the example of statesmen-soldiers
like Marshall that led to doctrinaire changes in the education of officers at the academies
and war colleges.
The result has been generals like Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell. They despise
war, value the lives of their men and those of the enemy, and understand that battle is the
last vestige of failed diplomacy. Facing possible war in Iraq much time was been spent
contemplating this task. The spirit group and the philosophical group were well
represented and merged together with the Bush advisory council. The decision was a
balanced one.
Georges Clemenceau said, “war is too important to be left to the generals.” He was right,
but it is too important to be left to the statesmen. The new world demands that it be left to
an organic merging of both camps.
Plato made an interesting observation with timeless connotations. The Athens Board of
Generals had successfully defended the city against Persia, but had disastrously led them
into war with Sparta. The lesson of this is not to esteem victory so highly that those who
orchestrate it are considered infallible. This lesson, at its simplest core, emerges from
examination of the American experience in Vietnam. It resonates in our contemplation of
further Middle East conflict.
After the successful Persian Gulf War (1991) and the Iraq War (2003), our military is
considered infallible right now. Our weapons are so technologically superior, our
intelligence so much better, that we view total victory as pre-determined. I do hope any
dark foreboding that hides behind this view has no justification. In 1964, 19 years after
defeating the most formidable armies ever assembled, the almighty Americans surely felt
the same way about Indochina.
Plato based his observations on spirit mostly on Pericles’ “Funeral Oration". Pericles
infused his speech over and over with references to “honor,” “gallantry,” “meaning of
manliness” and other testosterone-laced perorations. Spirit, Plato noticed, is not
associated with reason or intellect. He made the leap that while such traits infused the
Athenian Army, since they lost, they must subordinate themselves to reason.
Plato further observed that reason was not applied simply as a safeguard against entering
a disastrous war. In fact it is the protector of humanity during a war. Thucydides first
recognized this when he described the revolution in Corcyra, where all hell broke loose.
The conclusion was that the kind of spirit and gallantry so necessary in developing esprit
de corps within the military is quickly turned into something else once war takes a turn
for the worse.
The Nazi S.S. had as much esprit de corps as any warrior group ever assembled. They
were razors, killing machines. But they were infused with no reason, no compromise.
They were picked for their physical skills and traits of gung-ho bravery. In their case,
they were manipulated into doing the most heinous of Hitler’s work. In the
Peloponnesian War, the spirit had no outlet once battle plans went awry in the fog of
dispiriting defeat. War is a massive psychological struggle, where morale and confidence
play as much a role as strategy. The esteemed bravery of the Athenian fighting men
turned to blind violence once anarchy replaced the plan of battle.
Plato said this approach had been based on a concept that the “weaker must be kept down
by the stronger,” and that the rule of spirit without reason leads to irrational mishandling
of power. As anybody who has ever observed a barroom confrontation knows, it is better
when “cooler heads prevail.”
Professor Dalton’s wonderful “Power Over People” teaching series then turns its
attentions to Aristotle, who Dalton says was both Plato’s greatest student and one of his
most “trenchant critics.” They felt similarly about ethics, but arrived at their conclusions
in different ways. Aristotle was more of a realist than Plato, and certainly more so than
Socrates.
Aristotle posited the theory of the “golden mean." His differences with Plato were partly
based upon his personal experiences, which were not the same. Aristotle hailed from
Macedonia, and as a younger man was not personally affected by the Peloponnesian War.
A similar situation would be an older liberal American who grew up protesting the
Vietnam War, who mentors a younger man from Canada who has moved to the United
States, and has no personal memories of Vietnam.
Furthermore, Aristotle saw Plato live a long, productive life, while Plato had seen
Socrates condemned and executed. Aristotle was middle class, whereas Plato was an
aristocrat. Aristotle sought knowledge through biology while Plato sought it through
mathematics. Aristotle relied on observation, and found fault in Plato for theorizing, i.e.,
transcendent forms.
They resembled each other in regarding the state as an agent of virtue. In Renaissance
painter Raphael’s classic “School of Athens”, Plato is depicted focusing on the
transcendent realm, Aristotle on the moderate.
Aristotle’s first critique was of Plato’s “revolutionary wave,” notably the concept of
women in politics. Aristotle believed that people were derived through nature, and that
the union of the family produces an organic order in which the man rules via superior
reason and forethought. Those who naturally are ruled by the superiors just as naturally
are subservient. His reliance on biology was the locus of this thinking, since the study of
animals consistently shows that the male of varied species assumes natural superiority.
Plato relied on mathematics, although his use of math in determining women’s place in
politics seems less influential on his thinking than Sophocles’ play, “Antigone”. Had one
of the Greek playwrights penned a great play showing slaves rising above their condition,
something like the film “Spartacus”, for instance, perhaps he might have changed his
attitude about the “natural” role of slaves in Athens.
Aristotle’s reliance on biology does not seem to give him the data he might have needed
to veer from Plato on the subject of slavery, either. His use of the concept of “natural”
social orders does not bode well for any theories of what Aristotle’s attitude towards
slavery might have been had he lived in different times. Because he was indisputably a
moral man, it does not seem to be a stretch that he would have had an open mind (and
heart) had he lived during a time of real debate about slavery. He was a product of his
times, when it was not a subject of debate. The revolutionary changes these men brought
about are such great contributions to the world that nit-picking every view is not a worthy
exercise.
The study of slavery gets bogged down in hard moral equations of right and wrong,
ignoring the fact that great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle saw it as natural. They may
give credence to an intellectual people, yearning to be free, led by a charismatic leader
like Moses who advocates their fleeing from Egyptian bondage. Apparently they view
many other forms of the human family to be less worthy of freedom than the Jews
escaping to the Promised Land.
Their views probably do not change very much in a study of the African slave trade.
What they would see are white people, skilled, crafty, and smart, in association with
blacks who have seemingly made no real evolutionary progress, capturing and selling
their own people for profit. They would say these blacks do not have the capacity to
“reason” other than amoral self-interest.
Less moral men did justify slavery in later eras by pointing to Aristotle’s “natural” views
of Mankind. In the end, the practice of slavery seems to have survived all theories of
science and politics for some 2,220 years. Many religions tolerated it.
Judaism-Christianity tolerated it less than all others. In the end run it took a modern
version of Democracy advocated by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, now practiced by a
union of sovereign states in a new world, to end the damn thing once and for all. Placed
in the middle of the Christian intellectual argument against slavery, one hopes that these
three men would have seen the morality of freeing the slaves.
But we are dealing with Aristotle in his times, and the record says certain things.
Aristotle believed that the human soul (psyche) has two elements, one that rules and one
that is ruled. Some humans, he said, were slaves because they lacked the ability to reason.
Women, he felt, lacked rational capacity. He bases his views on practical observation, but
did not say what the future might hold.
Aristotle also criticized Plato’s call for abolition of the nuclear family, because just as
males are naturally superior, they are naturally the head of the family. Mainly, Aristotle
said that break-up of the family is harmful because men pay most attention to what they
possess. The protection of the family, knit together within a society of “family men,” is
beneficial to society and later has been cited as the bedrock of capitalism. The natural
care of children is a civic virtue, and goes part and parcel with the possession of private
property. To eradicate ownership is “wrong and futile,” and characterized an extremist
attitude on Plato’s part. Aristotle placed some limits on private property, but understood
that charity stems from private ownership.
Aristotle also found fault with Plato’s contemplation of the “third wave” that concentrates
power in the hands of an elite philosopher class. Here we begin to see correlations with
modern thought processes that are telling. Plato, the aristocrat, advocated putting elites in
power over the masses while taking away their private property. Aristotle, from the
middle class, wanted to give the moderate middle the greatest say in decision-making
while advocating giving them an economic stake in the system. He said that the middle
classes, more likely to be run by reason, are less likely to be as extreme as the rich or the
poor.
Aristotle differentiated himself from his predecessors more by advocating these virtues
than by any other means. In so doing he emerges as the champion of future Western
forms of Democracy and capitalism. Modern conservatives speak ill of an “elitist” class
of people who presume to make decisions for the rest of us, because we are not able to
make smart decisions for ourselves. The moderns place great emphasis on private
property not simply because it is fair to keep what one works to attain, but because to do
so invests one in the community.
While Plato’s views regarding private property never seem to find any logical home, his
views of the elitist classes should be studied and given some leeway. Plato did not like
the way the Athenian Assembly was constructed, because he rightly saw a “mob
mentality” in its thousands of members making decisions that later might have been
considered the famous “tyranny of the majority.” Perhaps he would have been pleased
with the representative form of government embodied by bi-cameral American and
parliamentarian English government.
Aristotle eschewed radicalism and saw the Middle Class, from whence he emerged, as
the protectors against it. According to Professor Dalton, Plato is viewed by history as the
revolutionary. Aristotle is the reformer. Much of the difference between the two is traced
to the fact that Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) did not experience the severe crisis of the
Peloponnesian War. He was more of an optimist than Plato, and saw Athens as less
corrupt than his mentor. He did not advocate sweeping change. While not a product of
the aristocracy, Aristotle certainly grew up in affluence. His father was the court
physician to the previous King of Macedonia. Aristotle’s reliance on biology is traced to
his father. He stressed empirical analysis over abstract reasoning. One might say he
advocated realpolitik while Plato was more of a dreamer.
Aristotle studied under Plato for 20 years, from 367 to 347 B.C., beginning at the age of
18. Eventually Aristotle founded the Lyceum, which was located next to Plato’s
Academy. Raphael’s painting demonstrates the difference between them by showing
Plato gesturing toward the Heavens, while Aristotle is pointing forward. Regarding the
complicated role of women, Aristotle disagreed with Plato’s view of them as potential
rulers, but he does not ascribe them as “natural slaves” within the family. This followed
his concept of “naturalism” that embodied his ideas of slavery. He did not view
intelligence and reason as sex-linked. He found women inferior to men because they
could not reason, but above slaves because they fulfilled natural functions within the
family, which he was an advocate of. Thus, moderation.

                                  CHAPTER THREE

                        MACHIAVELLI AND REALPOLITIK

       REALPOLITIK IS A TERM THAT IS OFTEN ASCRIBED TO FLORENTINE DIPLOMAT AND
POLITICAL THEORIST NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI. OF COURSE, THE TERM, WHICH OBVIOUSLY
MEANS “REAL POLITICS,” IS AS OLD AS MAN AND APPLIES TO ALMOST EVERYTHING. THE
FIRST HUMANS HAD TO DEAL WITH THE “REALITY” OF SURVIVAL. PLATO’S ALLEGORY OF
THE CAVE IS AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW THAT MAN HAS NOT ALWAYS KNOWN WHAT WAS REAL,
BUT REALITY IS ALWAYS WITH MAN; THE REALITY OF LIFE AND DEATH, OF SICKNESS, OF
ENEMIES, OF DANGER, OF THE NEED TO EAT, TO SLEEP, TO SURVIVE. WHAT MAN KNOWS
MAY NOT BE EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW, BUT IT IS ALWAYS REAL. LIES AND
DECEPTION ARE REAL. MILITARY PLANNERS AND CIA HANDLERS ARE AMONG THOSE WHO
COUNT ON THIS “REALITY.”
         Everything is real. The French existentialists may have tried to steer away from
this, but even their work is based in the realm of reality. Even looking inward and
conceiving of nihilistic nothingness, of a purely individual existence, does not stand with
the fact that they wrote books for others to read, had relationships, survived, met their
needs, and influenced their realm. The very fact that they dealt with these real aspects of
life is evidence of a reality they philosophized against.
         European politics, staggered by wars and tragedy, are infused by realpolitik. In
the post-Napoleonic era, continent-wide revolutions eventually led to treaties that
weakened France, strengthened Germany and led to more tragedy: World Wars I and II.
         Former American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a Jew who escaped Nazi
Germany, employed realpolitik. He was influenced by one of the major practitioners of
the art, Prince Klemens von Metternich, the Austrian minister of state who acted as the
president of the Vienna Congress. Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, who brought
glasnost to Eastern Europe, emphasized realpolitik.
         Realpolitik gained credence because of Machiavelli’s influence, but in general
principle has not been the guiding force of American political theory. This begs the
question, Are Americans too idealistic? War-weary Europeans rejected Plato's idealism in
"Republic", but the young Americans gave it a home. Somehow, this country has
remained idealistic for almost 230 years. Is it our idealism that keeps us strong, or our
strength which keeps us idealistic?
        As with most things, and the moderate Aristotle would agree, the answer is
somewhere in between. Realpolitik does not dominate American policy, but it is always
part of the decision-making process. Protesters, militants, and rabble-rousers raise the
loud hue and cry for change or peace or whatever it is they are yelling for. They are
tongue-tied when asked to present alternatives. Realpolitik presents itself most obviously
when the reformers and the idealists of the Left occasionally grab power, and to their
horror find that the policies of those they fought against are the only ones that really
work.
The only idealism that really has survived realpolitik is based on a Judeo-Christian
morality that has tempered America’s place as a country and world leader. It has survived
European ridicule, socialism, Communism and all others isms.
As mentioned, realpolitik always has and always will be an important part of diplomacy
and planning. Machiavelli marks the transition between classical and modern tradition.
Professor Dalton contrasts Machiavelli’s theories regarding human nature and power to
those of Creon, Thrasymachus, Glaucon, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. He believes that
Machiavelli has much in common with Plato. This is interesting because at first blush it
would seem that Plato would despise Machiavelli, while Machiavelli might think Plato a
dreamer.
Both men lived during times of political crisis, and looked for power-based solutions to
the problems of their day. They both felt power should be accorded to the few, not the
many. They disagreed on methodology.
IN THIS LAST REGARD, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT BOTH MEN WOULD ADVOCATE STRONG
LEADERSHIP THAT IS WILLING TO MAKE DIFFICULT DECISIONS EVEN IF THEY MAY BE
UNPOPULAR. IN A FREE DEMOCRACY, PROTEST IS ALLOWED AND, IF ORGANIZED WELL
ENOUGH, CAN APPEAR TO BE QUITE THE CHORUS. ANY HUMAN WOULD BE AFFECTED,
PROBABLY SWAYED, BY LARGE DEMONSTRATIONS. MACHIAVELLI WOULD DISREGARD THE
PROTESTERS AS A DISTRACTION FROM THE REAL WORK THAT THE POWERFUL MUST DO.
PLATO WOULD FIND THEM TO BE A “MOB,” NOT THE PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP THAT HE
ADVOCATED. ARISTOTLE’S DOWNPLAYING OF THE IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
WAS REFLECTED BY THE CALM TIMES HE LIVED IN, AS OPPOSED TO THE ROCKY CLIMATE OF
PLATO AND MACHIAVELLI.
THE FIRST BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MACHIAVELLI AND THE GREEKS IS THAT HE VIEWS
GOVERNMENT NOT AS AN AGENT OF VIRTUE, BUT AN INSTRUMENT OF MASCULINE FORCE.
THE PRIMARY ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO PROVIDE SECURITY AND SURVIVAL. THIS IS A
PARADOX FOR AMERICANS, WHO, AS JACK NICHOLSON SAID TO TOM CRUISE IN “A FEW
GOOD MEN”, “BOTH RISE AND SLEEP BY THE VERY FREEDOM THAT I PROVIDE, THEN
CRITICIZE THE WAY I PROVIDE IT.”
AFTER SURVIVING A REVOLUTION, A CIVIL WAR, TWO WORLD WARS, TWO ORIENTAL
POLICE ACTIONS, A COLD WAR, AND NOW THE WAR ON TERRORISM, AMERICANS WITH
ANY SENSE OF HISTORY SIMPLY MUST ACCEPT MACHIAVELLI’S ADMONITION THAT THE
GOVERNMENT IS THERE TO PROVIDE SECURITY. ALL OTHER THINGS EMANATE FROM IT.
THIS DOES NOT ADDRESS THE OTHER VERY IMPORTANT GOALS OF GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS
TO PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS AND PROMOTE ALL THE GENERAL BENEFITS OF A PEACEFUL
SOCIETY. POLITICS, MACHIAVELLI SAID, IS ABOUT HOW WE REALLY LIVE, NOT HOW WE
OUGHT TO LIVE.
IN HIS BOOK, “THE PRINCE”, MACHIAVELLI WARNED THAT THE PRINCE WILL BE
DESTROYED IF HE BECOMES TOO IDEALISTIC. HE SAYS THE PRINCE MUST NOT BE TOO GOOD,
DOLING OUT GOODNESS ONLY AS IT IS REQUIRED, WHILE PRACTICING VICE FOR THE SAKE OF
POLITICAL GAIN.
His view of human nature, Professor Dalton says, is closer to Thucydides or
Thrasymachus than Plato or Aristotle. Pragmatism is his way. Virtue is not part politics,
only false virtue.
Why is the U.S. so different from Machiavelli? All the elements of Machiavellian
philosophy existed when the U.S. was forming itself. America had to fight a war, one that
was not as popular as we might imagine it to have been. Many colonialists were royalists,
loyal to King George. Traitors and profiteers were embedded amongst the population.
Intrigue involving other countries, personal wealth and power were at stake. The
possibility for the dark underpinnings of Balkanization of the varying colony/states was
possible. Yet it all fell into place as if…guided by the hand of God!
All the trappings of Machiavellianism played itself out when the French tried to emulate
us a few years later. Machiavelli would have been utterly mystified by the American
experience. He would have seen the French Revolution to be predictable, preventable
only by playing it his way ahead of time. His ghost seemed to have had Napoleon’s ear in
the aftermath of the days of guillotine.
Machiavelli emphasizes that the prince is better off feared than loved. He seems to be
advising a Mafia boss more than a leader of a country. He should ask if he prefers
respect, a word that too often gets thrown around when it means fear, but actually should
replace love. The great leader does not need to be loved, but he must be respected.
Machiavelli would disagree with the concept that only through moral virtues such as
honesty, and yes, spirit, can he earn respect. Urban gangbangers cruise the city streets,
flashing their colors and waving guns, all the while demanding respect. They are so far
from being respected as to be laughable if they were not so dangerously tragic.
The prince must use violence or he risks losing his position, which echoes Creon, for
people will not offend those who they fear will do violence against them. Bonds of love
are easily broke, while fear endures. Finally the prince, in order to avoid hate, must not
molest his subjects’ wives or property.
It all sounds like a mob movie.
“Never mess with another man’s broad,” the overused DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/
Garcia/Montegna character says in a million stereotyped gangster flicks. Machiavelli
overlooks so much. If one wanted to find real nobility in a mob movie, check out the
scene in “The Godfather” when Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) gathers the heads of the
families together after a long war in which his oldest son (James Caan) was killed and his
youngest (Pacino) has been exiled. He proposes “on the soul of my grandchildren” that
he will not be the one to break the peace that he proposes. In so doing he becomes what
Machiavelli seems not to have understood: A coalition builder.
Machiavelli lacks broad vision, in my view, not to mention nobility. Nevertheless, to
deny that his views have merit in some circumstances would be to turn one’s back on
reality. Machiavelli believes it is of value for the prince to keep his word, but he is more
likely to gain and keep power by using deception. This reminds me again of my former
lying, cheating business partner. If you have read this book this far, you probably have
figured out that I place value on truth, decency and morality, and that I am not a member
of the Dumbellionite Class. How, then, was I duped into taking on a business partner who
was a liar and a cheat? Especially when I admit that I had knowledge of his lies regarding
other matters prior to our going into business?
Machiavelli says it is “praiseworthy for the prince to keep his word,” but he is advocating
truth as a strategy, which is what the business partner did. The fact is, the man in question
kept his word a lot. He did favors for people. He followed up on his promises, and
established a reputation among many as somebody who could be counted on. What he
realized was that lies should be held back and used as aces in the hole. As long as the
truth was advantageous to him, he would be truthful. This way he avoided patterns of
deception, built loyalty and allies, and established credits that he could use when,
inevitably, he would have to lie.
As Machiavelli advised, the truth is a weapon to be used effectively, and not veered from
without good reason. Obviously, if the truth is only available when it is convenient, then
a man is not trustworthy. But the business partner was smart and he knew that if he mixed
in enough truth, like Bill Clinton he could make time his ally and win by attrition.
The beginning of my fallout with the business partner came about when I made a very
honest assessment of his actions to his face. He owed me money. A long period of time
passed and he kept promising to make payments, but he never did. I finally told him that
the way he staved me off reminded me of the Japanese strategy in the late stages of
World War II.
“Your strategy is to win by attrition,” I told him. “You’re like Japanese troops living in
caves at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, hoping that if you just hold out long enough I’ll tire
and eventually go away.”
Normally, Dave had a comeback, a defense, and a smart remark to off-put me. Not this
time. He was cornered, identified and exposed. He had only two possible responses. The
first would have been to do the right thing and pay me. The second was to lash out and
put me back with swear words and anger. He chose the second course of action. The line
in the sand had been crossed, and all belief that the company and our partnership could be
saved was gone.
All that was left was legal action, which I would have won easily via prima facie
evidence of his breach of contract. I sued him and asked for summary judgment, because
the evidence I presented, which was the signed contract, and the accounting that showed
it was not honored, was so obvious. I was determined that he would not be successful in
his “Japanese in the caves” strategy. He was a tricky SOB, though, and had an atom
bomb in his quiver: Bankruptcy Court. Machiavelli would have been proud.
The business partner maintained appearance and illusion well. He lived in a huge home in
a very fashionable section of suburban California, and entertained friends and clients
there regularly. His banker, however, seeing that I was in deep with him and
contemplating getting in deeper, informed me that he was unable to meet the “nut” on the
home and it would all have to go eventually. Nevertheless, long after I was informed of
this, he continued to use that house to create the illusion of prosperity, and to gain trust.
HE WAS BLATANT ABOUT HIMSELF, TOO.
“I LIVE HERE,” HE WOULD SAY ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE KNEW A LOT OF PEOPLE AND HAD
BEEN RAISED IN THE COMMUNITY. “WHAT’S KNOWN ABOUT ME IS EASY TO FIND OUT.”
THIS WAS AN INTERESTING STATEMENT. FIRST, AS I SAID, HE HAD USED “TRUTH” ENOUGH
TO BUILD A GOOD REPUTATION IN MANY QUARTERS, AND THAT IS WHERE HE STEERED ANY
PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS OR INVESTORS WHO MIGHT HAVE WANTED TO “CHECK HIM OUT.”
THE BRAZEN PART WAS THAT IF ONE REALLY DID WANT TO CHECK HIM OUT, THEY WOULD
DISCOVER HE HAD A HISTORY OF CHEATING GOING BACK TO LITTLE LEAGUE, AND HAD HAD
SCRAPES WITH THE LAW SINCE HIGH SCHOOL. BUT THE MAN HAD COVERED HIS TRACKS
WELL AND INSTEAD OF BEING SECRETIVE, CREATED THE ILLUSION OF OPENNESS AND
HONESTY.
Machiavelli said the ends always justify the means, and the business partner believed
that, too. Machiavelli discussed two conceptions of power in “The Prince”. Fortune
(fortuna), characterized by irrationality, is a powerful force, and is characterized by
women, who must be held down by men.
Virtu is the masculine face of power, is rational, and therefore can be guarded against.
MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527) WAS BORN IN FLORENCE THE YEAR THAT LORENZO “THE
MAGNIFICENT” DE MEDICI CAME TO POWER. LORENZO WAS THE GRANDFATHER OF THE
LORENZO TO WHOM “THE PRINCE” WAS DEDICATED. MACHIAVELLI HELD THE POST OF
FLORENTINE CHANCELLOR BETWEEN 1498 AND 1512, THEN HE WAS EXILED UNTIL 1527.
HE WROTE “THE PRINCE” AND “THE DISCOURSES” WHILE IN EXILE.
AS WITH PLATO AND SOCRATES, MACHIAVELLI’S WORK EMANATED FROM POLITICAL
CHANGE OF CRISIS PROPORTIONS. HE LIVED DURING A TIME IN WHICH THE POLITICS OF
MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE SURROUNDING ITALY WERE MARKED BY TRANSITIONS FROM
WEAK AND DECENTRALIZED FEUDAL REGIMES TO THE MORE CENTRALIZED RULE OF
DESPOTIC MONARCHS AND PRINCES IN SPAIN, FRANCE AND ALSO IN ENGLAND (WHO
BECAUSE OF THEIR STRONG NAVY AND TRADE ECONOMY WERE A FORCE IN THE REGION,
TOO). ITALY DID NOT FALL UNDER POWERFUL RULE, HOWEVER, AND MACHIAVELLI
OBSERVED HIS COUNTRY REMAINING WEAK, AND THEREFORE SUBJECT TO VICTIMIZATION
BY ITS NEIGHBORS.
IN SPAIN, FERDINAND AND ISABELLA (1479-1516) CREATED A NATION-STATE, AND LATER
PHILLIP II FURTHER TRANSFORMED SPAIN INTO A POWER. LOUIS XI (1461-1489), CHARLES
VIII (1492-1498) AND FRANCIS I (1515-1547) WERE STRONG RULERS OF FRANCE. IN 1494,
FRANCE INVADED ITALY.
THE WAR OF THE ROSES (1455-1485) MARKED ENGLISH HISTORY DURING THIS PERIOD.
HENRY VII (1485-1509) ESTABLISHED THE ANGLICAN CHURCH, AND ELIZABETH I HELD
THE THRONE DESPITE GREAT MACHIAVELLIAN-STYLE CONSPIRACIES IN BRITAIN, FROM
1558-1603.
ITALY WAS STILL EXPERIENCING  THE LONG, DIFFICULT AFTERMATH OF THE FALL OF THE
ROMAN EMPIRE. RELIGIOUS       POWER AND THEOLOGY CREATED CONFLICT AND
INTROSPECTION IN THE COUNTRY OVER ITS ROLE IN THE WORLD. ARGUMENTS BETWEEN
ITALIAN WORLD DOMINANCE (THE EMPIRICISTS) AND THE GUILT-RIDDEN LIBERALS (THE
PASSIVISTS) ONLY SERVED TO SPLIT THE COUNTRY. OUT OF THIS TURMOIL, MACHIAVELLI
COULD HAVE HAD ONE OF TWO DISTINCT VISIONS. HE COULD HAVE ADVOCATED THE
BUILDING OF COALITIONS, EMBRACING OLD ENEMIES, AND CREATING A PEACEMAKER WITH
GREAT POLITICAL POWER. OR, HE COULD HAVE ADVOCATED THE CREATION OF A SMALLER
FIEFDOM FOR THE PRINCE HE ADVISED; ONE THAT GAVE THE PRINCE LIMITED BUT SECURE
POWER.
AS THIS WAS THE AGE OF MARTIN LUTHER, CALVINISM AND HENRY VIII, BITTER
ACRIMONY DEVELOPED BETWEEN CATHOLICS AND PROTESTANTS. LUTHER WAS A
CATHOLIC PRIEST IN GERMANY WHO LOATHED THE TITHES THAT PARISHIONERS HAD TO
PAY IN ORDER TO “PETITION” GOD, AND HE FIRMLY BELIEVED THAT INDIVIDUALS COULD
COMMUNE WITH GOD NOT THROUGH THE PRIESTS, BUT THROUGH DIRECT PRAYER WITH
JESUS CHRIST.
HENRY VIII WAS SO INCENSED BY SIR THOMAS MOORE, WHO AS LIAISON BETWEEN THE
ENGLISH CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE THRONE, INFORMED HENRY VIII THAT HE COULD
NOT MARRY ANN BOLYN AND REMAIN KING BECAUSE OF CATHOLIC STRICTURES AGAINST
DIVORCE. HENRY VIII RESPONDED BY BEHEADING MOORE PLUS SEVERAL OF HIS WIVES
OVER THE YEARS, AND CREATED A NEW CHURCH OF ENGLAND, THE ANGLICANS (IN
AMERICA WE CALL THEM EPISCOPALIANS).
MACHIAVELLI VIEWED ALL OF THIS AND WAS CYNICAL ABOUT RELIGION, WHICH HELPS
EXPLAIN WHY MORAL QUESTIONS OF RIGHT AND WRONG DO NOT ENTER INTO HIS POLITICAL
EQUATIONS. GETTING BACK TO RELIGION AND MY LYING FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER, HE
WAS RAISED A CATHOLIC BUT DID NOT MUCH PRACTICE IT. ONCE HE MADE A POINT OF
LETTING ME KNOW THAT HE HAD ATTENDED A RECENT MASS, ELICITING THE ADMIRABLE
RESPONSE THAT HE KNEW I WOULD HAVE FOR MAKING IT TO CHURCH.
“THAT’S THE KIND OF GUY I AM,” HE SAID, AND IN RETROSPECT IT IS A TELLING REMARK.
HE WANTED OTHERS TO THINK HE WAS RELIGIOUS BECAUSE IT WAS TO HIS BENEFIT. THE
INNER SPIRITUALITY OF RELIGION DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE HIS MOTIVATING FORCE.
THIS WAS THE WAY IT WAS WITH MACHIAVELLI, WHO PAID LIP SERVICE TO CATHOLICISM
BECAUSE IT SUITED HIS NEEDS TO DO SO. THE PAPACY IN HIS TIME WAS STRONG, AND IN
THOSE DAYS INTERVENED IN ITALIAN POLITICS. ITALY’S ROLE IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST
HISTORICALLY HAS PLAYED A ROLE IN CREATING GUILT AND A STRONG CHURCH. IN TURN,
IT HAS BEEN USED TO JUSTIFY INTERVENTION WITH THE AFFAIRS OF STATE, TO “RIGHT THE
WRONGS” OF PREVIOUS ITALIAN GOVERNMENTS WHO OPPOSED CHRISTIANITY.
PONTIUS PILATE HAD BEEN APPOINTED GOVERNOR OF JERUSALEM BY ROME, AND ACTED
WITH THE AUTHORITY OF ROME AND WITH THE ARMY OF THE GREAT LEGION TO IMPRISON
AND CRUCIFY JESUS. THE CAPTURE OF CHRISTIANS AND THE FEEDING OF THEM TO LIONS IN
THE ROMAN COLLOSEUM WERE DONE WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE GOVERNMENT. THEN
THE EMPEROR SAW A VISION OF CHRIST WHILE IN BATTLE, AND EVERYTHING CHANGED.
ALMOST OVERNIGHT, ITALY BECAME A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY, WITH THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH SET UP AT THE VATICAN OF ROME. BY MACHIAVELLI’S TIME, CATHOLICISM WAS
THE DOGMATIC WORD OF ITALY. ALEXANDER VI (FATHER OF CESARE BORGIA) WAS THE
POPE FROM 1492-1503, FOLLOWED BY JULIUS II (1503-1513) AND THE MILITARY LEADER
LEO X FROM 1513-1521. IN FLORENCE, SAVONAROLA LED A DOMINICAN SECT WHEN
MACHIAVELLI WAS A YOUTH THERE.
MACHIAVELLI LIVED DURING A TIME OF GREAT ARTISTIC BEAUTY. THE ITALIAN
RENAISSANCE REACHED ITS PEAK IN THE 15TH AND 16TH CENTURIES, MARKED BY THE
GREAT WORKS OF BOCCACCIO (AUTHOR OF “DECAMERON”); SANDRO BOTTICELLO
(MASTER PAINTER FAMED FOR HIS “BOTTICELLI ANGELS”); LEONARDO DA VINCI (“LAST
SUPPER”, “MONA LISA”); RAPHAEL (WHO PAINTED THE PLATO/ARISTOTLE CLASSIC
“SCHOOL OF ATHENS”); AND MICHELANGELO (WHO PAINTED THE SISTINE CHAPEL).
FIVE STATES MADE UP THE ITALIAN PENINSULA DURING MACHIAVELLI’S TIME. THE DUCHY
OF MILAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF VENICE WERE IN THE NORTH, THE REPUBLIC OF
FLORENCE AND THE STATES OF THE CHURCH (WHICH INCLUDED ROME) MADE UP THE
CENTRAL AREA, AND IN THE SOUTH WAS THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. FLORENCE WENT FROM
A FIRST-RATE POWER INTO AN ALSO-RAN, UNDER SPANISH RULE, AND WAS FURTHER
WEAKENED BY FRENCH INVASIONS UNDER CHARLES VIII IN 1494, THEN UNDER LOUIS XII
IN 1499.
THE ARISTOCRATIC FAMILY OF MEDICI AND THE POPULIST SODERINI’S DIRECTED
FLORENTINE POLITICS WITH POOR EFFECT. WHEN THE MEDICI’S TOOK POWER FROM THE
SODERINI’S IN 1513, MACHIAVELLI, AN ADVISOR TO THE SODERINI'S, FOUND HIMSELF ON
THE OUTS. HE WAS EXILED, BUT INSTEAD OF HOLDING THE MEDICI’S IN CONTEMPT FOR
TAKING ACTION AGAINST HIM, HE ADMIRED THEM AND DEDICATED “THE PRINCE” TO
LORENZO DE MEDICI.
VARIOUS DARK ACTORS MADE UP THE ITALIAN LANDSCAPE OF THAT ERA, INCLUDING
CESARE BORGIA, WHO WITH THE HELP OF HIS FATHER THE POPE, ATTEMPTED TO GAIN
CONTROL OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. IN 1502 MACHIAVELLI MET BORGIA, AND HE THOUGHT
HIM SKILLED IN THE INTERTWINED ARTS OF POLITICS AND MILITARY SKILL. BORGIA
DEMONSTRATED TERRIFIC SALES ABILITY. MACHIAVELLI MODELED “THE PRINCE” ON HIM.
TWO KINDS OF LEADERS RULED THE VARIED PROVINCES OF ITALY. THERE WERE
ADVENTUROUS PRINCES AND MERCANTILE PRINCES. THE LAND DID NOT YIELD GREAT
ABUNDANCE, MORAL OR MATERIAL. THERE WERE NO GREAT TRADITIONS TO GUIDE ANY
LEADERS OR WOULD-BE LEADERS. THE ROMAN EMPIRE OFFERED HISTORY BUT NOT A
POPULAR MODEL, EVEN IF ITS GLORY COULD HAVE BEEN RE-CAPTURED. INSTABILITY WAS
THE ORDER OF THE DAY.
(SOUNDS LIKE ITALY TODAY, ACTUALLY.)
THE COUNTRY LACKED A GOOD MILITARY, AND ITS NEIGHBORS, WHO FELT NO SYMPATHY
FOR THE COUNTRY IN LIGHT OF THE ROMANS’ LONG HISTORY OF INVASIONS, FELT NO
COMPUNCTION ABOUT ATTACKING AND TAKING WHAT THEY COULD GET.
DESPITE THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY THAT HAD EMERGED DURING THE DARK DAYS OF THE
EMPIRE, THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION HAD NOT YET HAPPENED, AND THE CHURCH
HELD ALMOST NO SWAY OVER THE PEOPLE, MUCH LESS THE VARIOUS POLITICAL GROUPS.
THE VARIOUS GROUPS ATTEMPTED TO USE CUNNING AND DUPLICITY TO ONE-UP EACH
OTHER, WITH THE RESULT THAT VARIOUS SMALL TYRANTS CAME TO POWER, ONLY TO FALL.
THE MEDICI FAMILY BECAME DUKES IN FLORENCE, THE SFORZA'S IN MILAN, AND IN
VENICE AND GENOA, THE REPUBLICS WERE NARROW OLIGARCHIES.
OUT OF THIS LOW PERIOD, MACHIAVELLI YEARNED TO RETURN ITALY TO THE GLORY THAT
WAS ROME. MACHIAVELLI ADMIRED NOT THE LATER CAESARS, WHO PRESIDED OVER THE
DRUNKEN, FAT, AMORAL FALL, BUT RATHER THE EARLY, MILITARISTIC ROME THAT
BROUGHT PATRIOTIC VIRTUE TO THE LANDS THEY CONQUERED. THE 15-YEAR OLD
MACHIAVELLI WAS NOT ENAMORED BY ITALIAN ART. HE COVETED MILITARY POWER. IN
1494, THE FRENCH FOLLOWED HANNIBAL’S PATH, CROSSING THE ALPS AND INVADING
ITALY IN A WAY THAT EVENTUALLY RESULTED IN A DIVISIVE BATTLE BETWEEN FRANCE
AND SPAIN, WHO HAD INVADED EARLIER, ON THE COUNTRY’S PENINSULA.
MACHIAVELLI’S COUNTRY FELL TO VARIED HORDES OF SPANISH, GERMAN, AND RENEGADE
ITALIAN ARMIES, WHO MADE THEIR WAY TO ROME. THEY SACKED THE CITY IN AN ORGY OF
RAPE AND PILLAGE. THE POPE WAS IMPRISONED AND HIS CARDINALS PUBLICLY
DISGRACED. MACHIAVELLI WROTE “THE PRINCE” IN ORDER TO GIVE ADVICE TO FUTURE
ITALIAN LEADERS, HOPING THEY WOULD USE HIS IDEAS TO PREVENT SUCH A DISASTER.
UNFORTUNATELY, MACHIAVELLI CORRECTLY PREDICTED THAT THE COUNTRY WAS
BEYOND PRESCRIPTION. HE IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST INFLUENTIAL POLITICAL
ADVISORS, YET HIS ADVICE WAS UNABLE TO PREVENT HIS COUNTRY FROM BECOMING A
DISASTER FOR 300 YEARS. THE VIRTU OF MACHIAVELLI WAS NOT EMPLOYED BY ANY
ITALIANS OF HIS LIFETIME.
Machiavelli determined that the crisis in Italy occurred because the public representation
and leadership, in place when the barbarians invaded, was bankrupt. The Italians had
spent all their time feeding their little fiefdoms, and not preparing for international
diplomacy or battle. They paid dearly. In this respect, Machiavelli has something in
common with Plato, the man who attempted to come up with answers in light of the
Peloponnesian disaster.
While Machiavelli may be viewed as prescribing an unfollowed saving grace for his
country, it is not patriotism that endows his words. Neither he nor Plato were concerned
with the survival of a system. What concerned them, as Professor Dalton says, was a
“crisis of spirit.” Their efforts are to direct a course of action in the minds of men. Human
nature is what pre-occupies their philosophies. Both wished to replace amateurs with
professionals.
Reality is where Plato and Machiavelli differ. Plato believed morality can be taught as a
"form," and that the professional leader can be trained to act with wisdom. At the heart of
this is an absolute principle of truth.
MACHIAVELLI, ON THE OTHER HAND, SAW ONLY LAYERS OF TRUTH, A GAME IF YOU WILL.
HE WOULD HAVE MADE A GREAT CIA AGENT. HE BELIEVED THAT TO BLINDLY ADHERE TO
A MORAL COURSE LEADS TO RUIN, NOT SALVATION. HE ONLY VALUED STRENGTH. POWER
DEMANDS EITHER FORCE OR DECEPTION, DEPENDING UPON WHAT IS EXPEDIENT.
MACHIAVELLI SAW MEN AS LIARS AND DECEIVERS, WHO CAN BE PREYED UPON THROUGH
GREED AND FEAR.
IN AMERICA, WE LIKE TO THINK OF OURSELVES AS BEING FOLLOWERS OF PLATO (OR, IN MY
VIEW, ARISTOTLE), RATHER THAN MACHIAVELLI. MUCH OF OUR HISTORY, IN FACT SOME
OF THE CRUCIAL MORAL DECISIONS WE HAVE MADE, UPHOLD THIS CONCEPT. HOWEVER,
OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD GIVES US THE GREAT ADVANTAGE OF HOLDING THE POSITION OF
POWER MACHIAVELLI WOULD COVET. THEREFORE WE HAVE THE FREEDOM TO FOLLOW
PLATO AND ARISTOTLE.
BY THE SAME TOKEN, FORMER EUROPEAN POWERS LIKE GERMANY, FRANCE, RUSSIA,
SPAIN AND ITALY SEEM TO HAVE ESCHEWED THE BASER POLITICS OF MACHIAVELLI. IT IS
NOT WHOLLY RIGHT TO SAY THEY ARE PLATONIC, EITHER. A KIND OF REALISM ABOUT
THEIR PLACE IN THE WORLD SEEMS TO HAVE CREATED A NEW EUROPE IN WHICH POWER IS
CONSIDERED A PURE BURDEN, TO BE AVOIDED.

                                    CHAPTER FOUR

THE ORIGINS OF COMMUNISM

      WHAT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE ABOUT COMMUNISM IS THAT IT NEEDED
CAPITALISM TO REAR ITS UGLY HEAD. THROUGHOUT HUMAN HISTORY, PEOPLE WERE
DEEMED TO BE BORN INTO VARIOUS CLASSES. A MAN, A FAMILY, A GROUP OF PEOPLE
INHABITED HIGHER OR LOWER PLACES IN SOCIETY DEPENDING IN MANY WAYS UPON
VAGUE, AND SOMETIMES NOT-SO-VAGUE, IDEAS OF DESTINY OR GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS. THE
KING’S SUBJECTS MIGHT BEGRUDGE THE KING, BUT GENERALLY DID NOT SEE THEMSELVES
AS WORTHY OF HOLDING THE SAME PLACE IN SOCIETY.
       BRITISH CAPITALISM AND WORLD TRADE CHANGED THE WAY PEOPLE VIEWED THEIR
ECONOMIC CONDITION. CERTAIN PEOPLE DEMONSTRATED GREATER ACUMEN IN THE
GRUBBY DEALINGS OF BUSINESS. PURE UNCANNY INTELLIGENCE IN THE WAYS OF TRADE
AND BUSINESS DEALINGS WERE NATURALLY INTERTWINED WITH CORRUPTION, INSIDE
DEALS, BACK SCRATCHING, NEPOTISM AND ALL THE OTHER WAYS THAT MONEY MAKES MEN
UGLY.
       NATURALLY, LARGE SEGMENTS OF THE GREAT UNWASHED FOUND THEMSELVES
LEFT OUT OF THESE INSIDER WORKS. THE FIRST VESTIGES OF CLASS WARFARE REPLACED
CLASS DISTINCTION. IT STOOD TO REASON THAT CERTAIN STREET LAWYERS WOULD TELL
THE MOB THAT THEY WERE BEING EXPLOITED. THE MASSES EVENTUALLY FOUND ELOQUENT
VOICE. PROFESSOR DALTON MAKES THE POINT OF DEMONSTRATING WHO THE MAJOR
THINKERS OF HISTORY ARE, AND WHO THEIR PROTÉGÉS AND STUDENTS WERE, AS WELL AS
IDENTIFYING WHO BROKE FROM THEIR CHIDINGS TO MAKE NEW PROPOSALS. THUS, WE
HAVE POINTED OUT THE PROGRESSION OF SOCRATES TO PLATO TO ARISTOTLE, BUT ALSO
SHOWN HOW DIFFERENT MACHIAVELLI WAS. AT THE SAME TIME, CERTAIN SIMILARITIES
ARE OFTEN FOUND AMONG DISPARATE PERSONALITIES.
       IN ATTEMPTING TO IDENTIFY THE ORIGINS OF COMMUNISM, THE NAME KARL MARX
OF COURSE COMES FIRST. BUT MARX WAS GREATLY INFLUENCED BY THE WRITINGS OF
FRENCH PHILOSOPHER JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU. I HAVE ALSO MADE SOME
OBSERVATIONS THAT APPLY TO SOCRATES AND PLATO (BUT NOT TO ARISTOTLE) THAT, IN
MY VIEW, SHOW THAT THE FIRST TWO GREEK THEORISTS MADE SOME STATEMENTS THAT
GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT TO LATER SOCIALISTS.
THIS CHAPTER CONCENTRATES ON ROUSSEAU AND MARX. ROUSSEAU WAS AN IDEALIST,
AND UNLIKE MARX, HISTORY ACCORDS ROMANTICISM TO HIS WORK. PROFESSOR DALTON
AGREES THAT HE HAD MUCH IN COMMON WITH PLATO. THE COMMON THREAD BETWEEN
ALL THREE WAS A BENIGN VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE, IN DIRECT CONTRADICTION WITH
MACHIAVELLI. WHERE MACHIAVELLI THRIVED ON COMPETITION AND ONE-UPMANSHIP,
ROUSSEAU FINDS WRONG IN THIS.
PRIVATE PROPERTY, WHICH ARISTOTLE AGREED WAS THE ANCHOR OF THE MIDDLE CLASS,
WAS THE BANE OF SOCIETY IN ROUSSEAU’S VIEW. ROUSSEAU AND PLATO WERE CRITICAL
OF THE SOCIETIES THEY LIVED IN, AND SAW EDUCATION AS THE ANSWER TO THE PROBLEMS.
ETHICS WERE AT THE HEART OF THEIR VIEW OF REFORM, AND THEY THOUGHT PRIVATE
PROPERTY BRED AVARICE AND INEQUALITY.
ROUSSEAU SAID THAT HISTORY WAS BUILT ON MAN’S INSTINCTS TO SURVIVE AGAINST
SUFFERING. THE DARK SIDE OF HUMAN ACTION IS A REACTION TO THAT SUFFERING, BUT IN
A WORLD WHERE SUFFERING IS ALLEVIATED, PEOPLE ARE AT THEIR HEART GOOD. HE SAID
THIS INNATE GOODNESS IS WHAT KEEPS MEN FROM HARMING OTHERS EVEN MORE THAN
THEY ALREADY DO.
EVEN IN HIS DAY, ROUSSEAU RAILED AGAINST A SOCIETY CORRUPTED BY “PROGRESS” IN
THE FORM OF URBANIZATION THAT PUT TOO MANY LIVING TOO CLOSE TO OTHERS IN CITIES,
THEREFORE LOSING THEIR SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND HUMANITY.
PROFESSOR DALTON BRINGS UP A MODERN CASE THAT HE SAYS ACCENTUATES WHAT
ROUSSEAU WAS TALKING ABOUT. THAT WAS THE1964 KITTY GENOVESE MURDER, IN
WHICH HER NEIGHBORS FAILED TO RESCUE HER FROM HER ATTACKER EVEN THOUGH SHE
WAS BEING RAPED AND EVENTUALLY KILLED RIGHT UNDER THEIR WINDOWS WHILE THEY
STOOD BY AND DID NOTHING. ANOTHER CASE MADE THE NEWS JUST A FEW WEEKS PRIOR TO
MY WRITING THIS. A MAN WAS MURDERED AT A GAS STATION IN MARYLAND WHILE AN
ON-LOOKER STOOD BY AND WATCHED. THE VIDEO CAMERA SHOWS THE ON-LOOKER NOT
ONLY DID NOTHING, FAILED TO COME TO THE MAN’S AID, OR REPORTED THE CRIME TO THE
STORE OR CALLED 911, BUT CONTINUED TO PUMP GAS WHILE THE MAN LAY DYING A FEW
FEET AWAY.
Rousseau had little good to say about the educational system in France, and decried
economic rivalry. All of his visions for a better society are outlined in his classic book,
“The Social Contract”. In this book he attempted to alleviate the fear that men have of
each other by emphasizing the inter-dependence of humanity, and that justice must
replace instinct. Equality can be attained through legislation, particularly as it pertains to
the education of young people, and that real freedom is not license. Freedom, he says,
carries a responsibility, which is to attain a “oneness with others.”
This last admonition carries some strong political baggage. Nobody argues the value of
people working with each other to build a better world, but the association of “loners”
with alienation is one that many disagree with.
In the U.S. more than any other country, the freedom of individuals to pursue their own
course is not only allowed but also romanticized. This is the story of the American West,
the cowboys and the settlers. John Ford and Duke Wayne were not, uh, of the Rousseau
mindset, thank you.
In the military, fighter pilots are an elite corps. Studies have shown that a majority of
them are only children, “rugged individualists” who march to the tune of a different
drummer, and in the movies they are depicted as “Mavericks.”
Some of our greatest literature strives to give face to lonely people who society says is
“different” because they choose to be alone. The Boo Radley character in “To Kill A
Mockingbird” is just one example of someone who is demonized as an “other,” only to be
accorded sweet qualities once he is revealed. Such tales fly in the face of the Rousseau
theory.
Nowadays, being alone and white is almost tantamount to being a crime. Randy Weaver
was a separatist in Idaho, but the media called him a “white separatist” to put an edge on
him.
In Waco, Texas, the Federal authorities surrounded the Branch Davidians because they
possessed a cache of weapons, but if they had just “cooperated” and not tried to distance
themselves from the community, they would never have been attacked. To be
“understood” is something the authorities apparently are much more interested in than
those who are misunderstood. The racial dynamic turns around in the world of sports.
Baseball superstar Barry Bonds chooses not to divulge much of himself to a mostly-white
media that takes umbrage with his distant attitude. The unspoken feeling is that because
he is black, he is “uppity,” and even though his performance is exemplary and his
personal life as clean as can be, he is vilified as an “arrogant jerk.”
What many do not realize is how different Democracy is from “majority will.” Plato
disparaged the “general will” of the Assembly, calling them a mob. The Roman elite felt
the same way about the masses, perhaps more so because the outrageous mob mentality
of the crowds who watched gladiators kill each other demonstrated the worst kind of
human behavior.
The Founding Fathers warned of the “tyranny of the majority,” and the criminal jury
system is devised in such a way that a majority of 11-1 is not enough to convict; a
unanimous decision is necessary. Much of this thinking emanates from Rousseau, who
said that not all majority decisions are in accordance with general will. The
“transcendent” spirit of public goodwill is something Rousseau talked about, as did Plato.
The American Founders just came right out and called it God, and to be more specific,
Christ.
Rousseau lived from 1712-1778, passing 11 years prior to the French Revolution that
bore, at first, many of his grievances but certainly did not end up being what he
envisioned. His life in France during a time of crisis and inequality permeated his ideas.
He was born into poverty in Geneva, and his family was dysfunctional. He became a
wanderer, settling in Paris where he lived from 1741 to 1762. He published “Discourse
on the Sciences and Arts” in 1750, “On the Origin of Inequality” in 1775, “Emile”, his
education thesis in 1762, and that same year “The Social Contract”. “Considerations on
the Government of Poland” reflect his wider view of international politics in 1772. In all
his works he is viewed as an “outsider,” which is ironic considering he advocated a
“brotherhood” approach to social problems.
The Calvinists were very influential in the France of the 17th and 18th Centuries. They
were very strict moralists who believed in a sense of pre-destiny. Rousseau was shaped
by this concept, along with the scientific discoveries of the era, but not in the same way
as other theorists such as Locke and Hobbes. Rousseau in fact denounced the
Enlightenment ideas of science and rationalism, relating them to the urban, inhumane
world he tried to advocate against. He viewed much of these ideas as heartless and devoid
of compassion. Whereas Locke had welcomed the Royal Society of London, which was
devoted to the sciences and was founded in 1662, and later the Academy of Sciences in
France (1666), Rousseau opposed the French Encyclopedists in Paris (1751-1768).
Rationalists like Diderot and Voltaire, whose works greatly inspired the French
Revolution one year after he died, were opposed by Rousseau.
Rousseau conceived of “the constitution of natural man” being evolutionary. “Prior to
reason” man felt the need for self-preservation, for compassion, and the natural
compassion of man was where all our good qualities flowed from. This compassion, he
said, would be the basis for a citizenry dominated by “moral liberty” and “legitimate
equality.” His concept of moral liberty echoes the Greeks, who said happiness came from
noble purpose, not acquiring power or money.
Rousseau thought too many “philosophers” were cold and heartless, either ignoring the
plight of man, or treating man’s problems as abstract. Today, such people would be said
to be living in an “ivory tower.” Instead of viewing individual property ownership as
being part of an intertwined investment in the community, Rousseau saw it as “private
interests,” “private wills” and “different interest.” These private interests are, in his view,
the roots of cultural alienation.
The social contract of Rousseau’s view is a civil state that leads to the implementation of
the general will. Rousseau enjoyed creating a kind of “Pro vs. Con” lexicon of
phraseology: “Justice vs. Instinct”; “Duty vs. “Impulse”; "Law vs. “Appetite”; “Reason
vs. Inclinations.”
He envisioned a change from “a stupid, limited animal” to “an intelligent being.” Nature,
he said, is to be replaced by morality. Of course, there are caveats to Rousseau’s
utopianism. The ideal civil state of his theory is limited to about 10,000 people. In other
words, Rousseau describes a small town in America in which the values he espouses
roughly make up the reality of his vision. Petaluma, California. Molalla, Oregon.
Smalltown, U.S.A.
What answers Rousseau are teeming cities filled with illegal aliens who have crossed the
border to live there because there is no work in their native countries? Or refugees from
political despots, wars and famines, who have no place else to go? When a town reaches
10,000, does he propose a law that turns future residents away?
Professor Dalton compares and contrasts the political theory of the realists, the idealists
and the reformers. Everybody, he says, wants security through a strong political system.
Civil and international warfare is something to be avoided at the highest cost. The
difference is that realists believe attaining security is paramount, and any idealistic vision
of civil rights that threatens security is dangerous. If vice is the vehicle towards security,
then so be it, according to Machiavelli’s advice for “The Prince”.
“Machiavelli consciously lowers the standards of social action,” wrote Leo Strauss in
“History of Political Philosophy”.
The Aristotelian argument is for diversity in occupation and education. He said power
should be in the hands of a few, but distributed because of the “natural equality of all
citizens.” When Bill Clinton said, “I feel your pain,” he might have been echoing a
Platonic metaphor:
“When one of us hurts his finger, the whole extent of those bodily connections which are
gathered up in the soul and unified by its ruling element is made aware and it all shares as
a whole in the pain of the suffering part; hence we say that the man has a pain in his
finger,” wrote Plato.
What Plato advocated was creating a polity in which people no longer fear that events
will turn others against them; rather, that their pain and their troubles will be absorbed by
an empathetic public.
Plato saw his ideas as having an effect on the government, and no doubt it has. But I see
his admonitions embodied in the free press. The free press in a Democratic society
provides differing viewpoints and investigative reporting. This is very important.
Human-interest stories and in-depth tales of the plight of citizens create awareness and
empathy.
Rousseau’s “organic polis” is one in which the multitudes are united, so the harming of
one constitutes the harming of the whole. Many have used this concept. NATO says an
attack on one of their countries is an attack on all of them. China calls itself the People’s
Republic of China. Communism says an enemy of the state is an enemy of the "people."
In our jury system, prosecutors use terms like “the people rest,” and cases are titled “The
People of the State of …” vs. the defendant.
There is an intimidation factor to the Rousseau/Plato political structure, and Rousseau
offers some language that may have been benign at the time, but we know that it was
misused disastrously by later regimes.
The legislator should “change human nature; to transform each individual…into part of
the greater whole, from which this individual receives in a sense, his life and his being; to
alter man’s constitution in order to strengthen it to substitute a moral and social existence
for the independent and physical existence which we have all received from nature,” he
wrote.
This is all very good, but one wonders what Rousseau would have thought about those
Nazi soldiers goose stepping in lockstep in order to “strengthen” their society (not to
mention the city he lived in). The nature of man is not only to be free to conform, but free
to not conform. The charisma of actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean was based
on their “rebel” attitudes. On the schlocky Fox reality show “Joe Millionaire”, the girl
picked by “Joe” said what she liked most about him was that, despite his “wealth” (before
she discovered he was not rich), he “marched to the tune of a different drummer, which
attracted me to him.”
Even among the social class, this kind of rebel mentality is valued. There is nothing sexy
about the Red Guards. Fidel Castro is far less appealing in the romantic mind than Che
Guevara, the handsome “revolutionary” he sent to Latin America to foment rebellion
from the norm.
     Before we get to Che, however, we have to pass through Karl Marx. Surely Marx
would have been appalled at what happened to his vision. Would he have felt a
responsibility for the millions and millions of dead bodies that litter his altar? His name
has been vilified, his hoary image despised, his legend trampled on by history. But sitting
in his tiny London flat, weighed down by grinding poverty, his beloved daughter dying
because he could not afford proper medical care, Marx sought only social justice. It is
just and proper to argue that he and Rousseau were wrong. It is not valid to blame them
for the ultimate tragedy of Communism. He never would have advocated the gulags, the
round-ups and the re-education camps. Not the way they eventually occurred.
Marx was born into the middle class in Germany, but when he became involved in Leftist
politics he was exiled to Paris in 1843. After five years he wore out his welcome, and in
the year of the European revolutions, 1848, he was exiled to London. He lived there until
his passing in 1883. Many have said of Communism that the concept was a good one, but
since it so obviously was not, one has to hold Marx and Rousseau to a higher standard, in
my view. Marx should have been more specific or prescient about human nature. He
lived in Dickensian England, a place where many social inequities existed. Nevertheless,
it was a place where Marx was fully exposed to Democracy at a time when Benjamin
Disraeli was the Prime Minster who orchestrated a power shift from monarchy to
parliament. Marx was not closeted in a place where his ideas were the only solution.
Could he not see the changes in England? Disraeli, like Marx, was Jewish. Queen
Victoria said he was her “favorite Prime Minister.” In the United States, the “experiment”
had flourished beautifully. Marx was only 47 when the Civil War ended and the slaves
were freed. Despite these lessons, he doggedly held to theories he developed in
post-Napoleonic times. He lived in a Germany broken up by feudal states, then in a
discombobulated France that had seen one revolution feed more scattered revolutions.
Then he lived in the London of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s time. But he saw change. He saw
that the problems he addressed were slowly being addressed.
The problem with Marx is that change did not occur fast enough. Therefore, he
envisioned great revolutionary change, massive upheaval that could not occur without
uprooting everything around it. Did Marx not understand how much the upper classes
would fight to retain what they had, and what kind of excesses the lower classes would
resort to once they gained the upper hand? Had he not studied the French Revolution?
Did the days of guillotined terror not offer lessons to him?
MARX UNDERSTOOD THAT MAN’S FIRST NATURAL INSTINCTS WERE FOR WORK, FOOD AND
SEX. HE ECHOES ROUSSEAU IN HIS VIEW OF THE NEXT STAGE OF SOCIAL EVOLUTION AS
BEING ABOUT THE ALIENATED SELF IN AN ALIENATED SOCIETY. HE SAW CORRUPTION ALL
AROUND HIM, ESPECIALLY ECONOMIC CORRUPTION. THE CULPRIT? PRIVATE PROPERTY AND
CAPITALISM. HE SAID THESE TENETS PERVERTED HUMAN VALUES, EXPLOITED WOMEN, AND
ENCOURAGED DOMINATION. THE NEXT STAGE IS CLASSLESS COMMUNISM.
WHY MARX THOUGHT COMMUNISM WAS COMING WAS BECAUSE IN CAPITALISM HE SAW
CONTRADICTIONS. GREED AND AVARICE WOULD EXPOSE SOCIETY, THEREFORE CREATING A
POPULACE THAT DEMANDED EQUALITY AND TRUE JUSTICE, I.E., COMMUNISM.
SO WHERE IS MARX WRONG? HE IS WRONG BECAUSE HE FAILS TO SEE THE TRUTHS THAT
ARE EXPOSED BY A FREE SOCIETY AND A FREE PRESS. WHAT IF GERMANY AND FRANCE HAD
NEVER EXILED HIM? HE VIEWED THE UPPER CLASSES AS REPRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS,
SILENCING HIM AND HIS KIND. HE WENT TO ENGLAND AND WROTE, AND HIS VOICE WAS
ALLOWED TO BE HEARD. ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT POPULAR, HE WAS NOT SILENCED. MARX
NEVER ENVISIONED INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING WITH A SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS. MARX
NEVER ENVISIONED CORPORATIONS THAT FELT THE NEED TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY, AND
TO EVEN PROFIT FROM IT? TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS THAT WOULD NOT ONLY HELP
MILLIONS, BUT PROVIDE GOODS AND SERVICES THAT MADE LIFE FREER, AND IMPROVED THE
ENVIRONMENT, TOO.
IN LARGE FACTORIES, MARX SAW ONLY LOW-PAID WORKERS AND HIGH-PAID BOSSES. DID
HE NOT CONSIDER THE PUBLIC THAT NEEDED THE PRODUCTS BEING MADE? DID HE NOT SEE
IN EDUCATION THE KIND OF CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING PRINCIPLES THAT HE ADVOCATED?
WAS IT ALWAYS “GREED AND AVARICE,” OR COULD MARX RESPECT AMBITION AND
ACCOMPLISHMENT?
REGARDING WORK, MARX THOUGHT THAT UNDER CAPITALISM, MEN ARE NOT FULFILLED
BY THEIR WORK, WHICH THEY PERFORM OUT OF “COMPULSION.” THAT IS, THEY MUST DO IT
OR STARVE. JIM MORRISON OF THE DOORS CALLED IT “TRADING YOUR HOURS FOR A
HANDFUL OF DIMES.” MARX WAS THINKING ABOUT FACTORY WORK, WHICH WAS UNSAFE
AND DEBILITATING. LOW WAGE WORKERS IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES TODAY PERFORM
MUCH OF THIS KIND OF WORK. THERE IS A CONUNDRUM TO THE MARXIST VIEW OF WORK,
AND IT EXISTS TODAY. HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES AND “GOTCHA” JOURNALISTS ARE
ALWAYS “EXPOSING” SOME CORPORATION THAT HAS A PLANT IN MEXICO, OR GUATEMALA,
OR SOME OTHER LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY. THESE PLANTS EMPLOY THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR FAR LESS THAN THE U.S. MINIMUM WAGE. THESE PEOPLE ARE
VIEWED AS BEING EXPLOITED. IN REALITY, THEY MAKE MORE MONEY AND PROVIDE FOR
THEIR FAMILIES BETTER THAN A MAJORITY OF THEIR FELLOW CITIZENRY. THE PEOPLE WHO
DO NOT WORK IN THESE FACTORIES ARE NOT DOING SO BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO,
BUT BECAUSE ALL THE JOBS ARE FILLED AS SOON AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE.
THE FUTURE MARX DID NOT FORESEE WAS ENTREPRENEURIAL CAPITALISM, THE SAVIOR OF
DEMOCRACY PERHAPS. THE MARXIST PHILOSOPHY IS WRONG FOR THE SAME REASON THAT
OLD TIME AFFIRMATIVE ACTION QUOTAS WERE CONSIDERED WRONG. PEOPLE IMPROVE.
MEN DESIRE TO REACH FOR SOMETHING BEYOND THEMSELVES. WHAT FREE SOCIETIES
HAVE PROVIDED IS AN OUTLET FOR ANY MAN WITH ENOUGH GUMPTION TO MAKE BETTER
FOR THEIR FAMILIES. MARX SEEMED TO ENVISION SOOT-COVERED MEN WHO TOIL AT THEIR
JOBS WITH NO DREAMS OR ASPIRATIONS. THIS FAILED VISION HELPS EXPLAIN WHY UNIONS
HAVE DRASTICALLY LOST MEMBERSHIP.
Unions were strong because men who worked for the companies had no greater goals
than to just toil at their jobs in safety with reasonable promotions and cost-of-living
adjustments, plus health care and a pension. They weakened because they failed to
address the notion of men who wanted to become the boss. They aspired to be in
management, and the more ambitious among them learned their jobs and the jobs of
everybody else. They educated themselves, and made themselves indispensable to the
companies they worked for, instead of being adversaries. Eventually, when a man
became good enough at what he did, he could go out on his own, start his own small
business, or work for another competing firm that valued his experience and good efforts.
Of course, this sounds like an easy vision for a 21st Century white man, raised in
affluence, who writes these words sitting in a three-quarter of a million dollar hilltop
California home. Granted. Of course there was grinding poverty. Many, many workers
had no hope of ever starting a company. They were ignorant and uneducated, and hoped
only for enough to survive. But Marx was unwilling or unable to ask himself the hard
questions. That would have forced him to address whether my vision of workers rising
above themselves, Horatio Alger-style, was untenable. His alternative is a bleak one,
some kind of place that meets basic worker needs without empowering them. The Horatio
Alger model occurred in the United States. Marx gave it scant attention. He blinded
himself to it. Why? Everybody has their own demons, their own personal animus’s. Marx
seems to me to have been less interested in bringing the workers up than he is in bringing
the employers down.
Marx said that under Communism, the free development of each would conduce to the
free development of all. I have previously mentioned Socratic quotes I do not understand,
and I freely admit when I do not understand something. I have no idea what Marx means
by this.
Marx somehow thought that under Communism, the need for sex would be satisfied in
love, and the need for work satisfied by meaningful labor. Marx might have had
something about sex if what he envisioned were the “communes” of the 1960s. There
was plenty of sex at Charlie Manson’s Spawn Ranch, Dr. Timothy Leary’s mansion in
Duchess County, New York, and at the La Honda commune where Ken Kesey, Wavey
Gravey and the other Merry Pranksters dropped acid.
But why is work supposed to have become more meaningful under this new system? That
is, if the work was mindless and unfulfilling before, why would that change? Making
widgets all day is boring and mind-numbing no matter what. Marx’s argument was that if
everybody is “in it together,” that is, they all share in the profits of the widget sales
equally, then the guy on the assembly line is of equal value to the foreman. However, can
Marx truly know human behavior and think this “equitable” relationship would have a
lasting effect? They are still just widgets, and to my mind making them is never going to
rise to being exceptionally “meaningful labor” over a long period of time.
These kinds of jobs are to be handled by the young and the dumb. Education has
progressed in the United States to the point where the young do not need to work these
jobs, and there are not enough of the dumb to handle them. So they are farmed out to the
Third World. When conditions improve to the point where nobody in the Third World
needs to work these types of jobs, either, the technology will have taken over and people
can move onto better work, while machines handle “widget making.” This is simplistic,
yes; some might call it racist; others, the uncaring screeds of an out-of-touch white
American. Okay, fine. But I think my vision explains work a lot better than Communism.
Marx thought society would evolve into a “species society,” in which humans would
define themselves and realize their species. Under Marxism, this became re-education
camps. In the U.S., we call them guidance counselors.
Professor Dalton points out that in actuality, Marx’s program was never implemented,
since he never advocated totalitarian or despotic rule. Soviet Bloc and Red Chinese
Communism were totalitarian from the beginning. Italian Communism was no better
organized than any of their other political parties. The socialism of Sweden is so tailored
to their small, highly educated, homogenous-white population, that nobody would call it
Marxist.
The fact that real Marxism has technically never been implemented is why liberalism still
exists. The discrepancy between Marx and V.I. Lenin gives the liberals an out, a way to
distance themselves from Communism. The problem is that a pervasive thought
continues to run rampant in the salons of Leftist thought. This thought is that the program
was not bad, they just got it wrong the first time. If they got another chance they would
learn from their "mistakes."
Marx’s social criticisms, however, are not completely invalidated. He is an enormous
historical figure, a man of tremendous importance, and despite my pointed barbs, he is a
man who meant well. Lenin and Joseph Stalin were men of ruthless ambition. If their
intentions had been exposed they would have been imprisoned. Marx’s heart seems to
have some "purity" within it.
Therefore, he is a tragic figure. Since he was Jewish (albeit not a practicing Jew), his
legacy is even more tragic. Hitler hated Communism, in no small part because Jews
dominated it. His actions came about in part because of Marx. What truly would have
broken Marx’s heart would have been the way Jews were exterminated under
Communism. The Jews were the first to be exterminated in the pogroms of farms during
the Russian Revolution. Jews paid the heaviest price when Stalin activated his collectivist
strategy in the 1930s. Again in the 1950s, Stalin murdered Jews, including, for some
draconian reason, Jewish doctors. Jews were rounded up and killed throughout Soviet
rule. History shows that it was not done as systematically as the Nazis. Jewish hate did
not feed the Soviet propaganda campaigns like it did the Germans. But over a longer
period of time, more Jews died under Communism than under Nazism. Of course,
because they did have more time, the Communists murdered many more humans than the
Germans did.
Marxist apologists point out that the gap between rich and poor in the industrial world
has expanded in the past 30 years, but this is a total non-argument. Many rich people
have established vast wealth, but it is not a zero-sum game. For instance, take 1,000
people, and the top 10 of them make $1 million, while the lowest end make $20,000. 10
years later the lowest end is making $40,000 while the highest end is making $5 million.
The income gap has widened, but the lower end has risen nicely. The Republicans call it,
“a rising tide that lifts all boats.” If the zero-sum argument made sense, then all the
people who made $10,000 10 years ago would now owe $4,970,000 per person to the rich
people. The fact is, when the rich got richer, it was their taxes that paid for the services of
the low end. They used the extra money to create companies and jobs that helped increase
jobs and low-end salaries. This exercise only assumes everybody stayed in the same
economic class. It does not take into account a Bill Gates, who at one time was at the low
end, or near it, when he dropped out of Harvard and entered the workforce. 10 years later
he was one of the guys on the high end.
One area where Marx maintains some current relevance is the question of Democracy,
liberty and equality. The first hint that Jeffersonian Democracy might not be for everyone
was the French Revolution, whose battle cry was “fraternite, liberte, equalite.” It should
have been, “Today France, tomorrow the world.” All of Voltaire’s aspirations went by
the wayside by virtue of the guillotine and Napoleon’s armies. Today, despite bumps in
the road, Democracy has taken hold all over the world. It is the greatest, most successful
method of government ever devised.
It also is not a panacea. It has failed in many places. It has succeeded sometimes only by
hook or crook, by virtue of coups, back alley dealings, propped-up governments, and
rigged elections. Countries like Guatemala, Chile, Italy, Turkey and Greece are just the
more obvious examples of places where Democracy flowers, but if the CIA had not
manipulated the people in favor of it, it might have been a different story. Most of the
places where the hand of the American government played a major role in creating
“friendly” Democratic governments surely would have turned away from Communism
eventually, but only after much misery.
The “big experiment” does not work perfectly and immediately wherever it is tried. Let
me be perfectly clear, I see Democracy in the future everywhere. At one time, it might
have seemed unlikely that South Carolina would be integrated and their elected officials
would have among them members of the black race. It would have seemed at one time
incongruous to imagine Nelson Mandela as President of a post-Apartheid South Africa.
But visionaries saw these things. In 1986, I heard a white diplomat from South Africa
address a group in Orange County, California. The questioners pressed him pretty hard
about the Apartheid issue, which at the time was quite intractable. Blacks were in uproar,
rioting and "necklacing" traitors in the streets. The idea of letting these people have run
of the place was horrifying to the white power structure in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“You have to give us time,” the man said, and I realized he wanted to do the right thing.
He was not a racist. “We are like America in the 1950s. The freedom demanded for the
black population will come to South Africa, but it must happen incrementally.”
Based on his timetable, equality and true Democracy would have not come to that
country until the mid-2000s. Four years later, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was President and
Apartheid was in the dustbin of history.
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, history seemed to speed up. Events that took
generations to take place now occur, it seems, much faster. But still, there are places that
are not ready for Democracy. Some day, there will be Democracy throughout the African
Continent, the Third World, and even in Palestine. But it cannot just happen overnight.
It is not reasonable to expect the German and Japanese model of modern, industrial
nations to be followed in all countries. Africa in particular is a tragic place, riven by
AIDS and genocidal dictators. The irony is that the blacks of South Africa, whose plight
under Apartheid drew so much attention, had it far better than almost all the blacks living
under black governments on the continent. Somalians are some of the most physically
beautiful people on the face of the Earth. They have suffered horrendously under a series
of tribal warlords, with over 300,000 dying. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton both
tried humanitarian missions to bring some kind of peace to this land in 1992-93, but it
ended disastrously for the American soldiers and the starving people. When the Tutsi and
Hutu tribes of Rwanda quarreled in 1994, it became all-out genocide. Over a million died
by the sword. The Americans did nothing. The Somalia disaster was fresh in their minds
and they figured the situation was almost beyond help.
ACKNOWLEDGING THAT DEMOCRACY IN ITS PUREST FORM IS NOT THE ANSWER IN THE
THIRD WORLD, HOWEVER, DOES NOT MEAN THAT COMMUNISM EVER WAS OR WILL BE.
WHO BUT A LUNATIC WOULD ACTUALLY ARGUE THAT CASTRO’S CUBA HAS BENEFITED THE
PEOPLE THERE? AFTER JIMMY CARTER WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT IN 1976, AND SAIGON
HAD FALLEN TO NORTH VIETNAM, THE COMMUNISTS BECAME ADVENTURISTS IN THE
MIDDLE EAST AND, ESPECIALLY, AFRICA. THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION, ALONG WITH
THE SIMPLE DISASTER OF COMMUNISM ITSELF, ENDED THE “ADVENTURE” BY THE 1980S.
COMMUNISM WAS SHOWN FOR WHAT IT WAS IN CAMBODIA, WHEN THE KHMER ROUGE
TOOK OVER.
THE REASON SO MUCH OF THE NON-INDUSTRIAL THIRD WORLD IS A DISASTER IS THAT
PROGRESS AND MODERNITY OUTPACE HUMAN ABILITY. WE HAVE SEEN IT IN THE
AMERICAN WEST. THE TRAGEDY OF NATIVE INDIANS WAS NOT JUST WHAT HAPPENED
WHEN THEY WENT HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH THE WHITES, BUT THAT IT WAS INEVITABLE. IF MAN
COULD INVENT A TIME MACHINE AND TRANSPORT AN ENTIRE GOVERNMENT OF LIBERALS,
INDIAN ACTIVISTS, MEDICAL PERSONNEL AND SOCIAL WORKERS TO GOLD RUSH ERA
WASHINGTON, D.C., WITH A DIRECT MANDATE TO RE-WRITE HISTORY AND SEE TO IT THAT
WHITE SETTLEMENTS OF THE WEST BE DONE “PEACEFULLY” THIS TIME, MY PREDICTION
WOULD BE THAT LITTLE WOULD CHANGE EXCEPT THAT MORE WHITES WOULD DIE THAN
ACTUALLY DID. SUBSTANTIALLY MORE INDIANS WOULD DIE, TOO. THE PROBLEM MIGHT
                                    TH
NOT HAVE BEEN RESOLVED UNTIL THE 20    CENTURY.
Marx’s vision of social justice, if implemented in the Old West, might have resulted in
genocide's to rival Eastern Europe. The first premise is that the U.S. was going to expand,
populations were going to spread, and modern progress would occur. America-haters say
that this Manifest Destiny is a scourge on our history, but it was a completely inexorable,
unstoppable movement. Any government that would have attempted to put a break on it,
to legislate against it, to imprison would-be settlers and the like, would never have
survived the vote. Had the government attempted to stem the tide, a riot, a war perhaps to
match the Civil War, would have broken out. There would have been no popular support
among the people to support any military action by a U.S. Government to stop Westward
Expansion.
The "time-travelers" would have set forth their rules of engagement. Many of the
moderns would have been dispatched West to try and put a break on the actions of the
whites when they met the Indians, to give them medical aid, to educate them, and be nice
to them.
The question of whether white men had the right to take over the West may be an
argument, but it is sophistry. There was no Indian Nation. Disparate tribes roamed the
plains. They were often nomadic in nature. They just existed. It is a huge land, an
enormous country. Incredible distances could be traveled without a sign of human life.
The anti-America crowd pictures hordes of whites bearing down on enormous populated
Indian citizenry. They put forth the proposition that industrialization, pollution and
population have robbed us of our land. I beg them to get in a car like Jack Kerouac and
roam the American West.
Take the drive on Interstate 10 between Los Angeles and Phoenix. It is 2004, the apex of
the American Empire, the height of our military might, the Information Age, of
environmental degradation, population explosion and modern technology. Once you get
past the suburban sprawl of San Bernardino and Riverside, you will see some restaurants,
gas stations, some windmills to generate electricity, some signs, some telephone poles, a
town every so often, and a few rest stops. The resort town of Palm Springs will pass by to
your right in the distance, but unless you are paying attention you may not notice.
Beyond that, it is pretty much desert until Phoenix. Beyond that is more desert as far as
the eye and the gas tank will take you, staying on 10, one of the most heavily traveled,
major interstates in the country. In Santa Monica, where the 10 starts, a sign tells drivers
they are entering the Christopher Columbus Trans-continental Highway!
The same thing can be said about the drive between San Diego and Las Vegas, Las Vegas
and Reno, Reno and Salt Lake City, Lake Tahoe and Portland, Colorado and Iowa, and
on and on. The American West today still contains vast quantities of untrammeled land,
as pristine now as it was in Geronimo’s day. The concept that the white hordes descended
like Mongols upon the peaceful Injuns is malarkey of the highest order.
Let us get back to our fictional time travelers, appointed by a Special U.N. Commission
on Time Travel and the Reconstruction of History, headed by Bill Clinton. We now set
forth on the journey West. A large group of Native American leaders, representing all the
various tribes, are sent with the contingent. Time travel allows people to make the trip,
but they do not have modern equipment or medicine. They have to make do with what is
available in the 19th Century. To make a long story short, when they finally make it over
the Rockies, most of the modern men are dead from disease, attrition and hardship. Tired
and bedraggled, the survivors could not care less about diplomacy with whatever will
meet them “on the other side,” but they still want to “do the right thing.”
The Indians they finally see do not understand any of their liberal nostrums, quickly
deduce these quasi-Indians are heap bad medicine, and it is not too darn long before they
break out the old bows and arrows. After that it is every man for himself. About the only
thing Clinton would be able to do, in charge of this doomed operation, is send the Army
out West in huge numbers so that the show of overwhelming force would simply mollify
the Indians. Variations of the Little Big Horn and the Trail of Tears follow.
The plight of the Indians is similar to the plight of the Africans, and the Arabs after
World War I. The “enemy” of these people is, in an odd way, modernity. In other words,
the world changes. Progress takes place, and people who cannot keep up with it are not
just left behind, but left behind to die. What a conundrum. Who would argue that roads,
highways, electricity, hospitals, medicine, phones, air conditioning and a million other
things, almost all invented by white males, is not a good thing? Would any one say that
American Indians would be better off living in teepees than with modern appliances? The
same question applies to Africans in the jungle and Arabs making their way on the
shifting sands of the Sub-Sahara.
So how can the modern wonders of white invention be a bad thing for non-whites? The
answer is complicated. Obviously, modern inventions usually are not bad. Medicine is
never bad, is it? It is if sick people need it and armed thugs steal it. Modern methods of
making and getting food to people is bad if it gets hijacked and stolen, or diverted to
guerrillas, revolutionaries or army troops instead of to the people.
When things were simple, they did not know better. Before white inventions made their
way into the Third World, people just got sick and died. Nobody much paid attention. It
was considered quite natural, actually.
Then came the guns. The gun is one of the most schizophrenic of inventions. If guns had
never been invented, would this have been a good or a bad thing? The gun debate is not
part of the present issue of discussion, which is an attempt to deal with the forces of
societal evolution as an offshoot of Marxist theory.
What modern life has done is to elevate those who have been able to take advantage of it,
but it sheds light on those who do not. For centuries, people in what became known as the
Third World existed. If they had a plague, many of them died. If they had a drought,
people starved. Very few were educated, and ignorance was the norm. Injustice reigned
supreme.
Then came the missionaries. The missionaries, if one really wanted to examine this, are
the original racists. They came to these places to spread religion, medicine and food. On
the face of it, this is a benevolent act, but this was affirmative action at work for the first
time. Too “save” the natives by introducing them to Christ is to assume that the way they
knew was not as good as the way of the white man. To assume they needed to be fed is to
assume that the white man’s way, which is to eat nutritious foods, is better than to starve.
To assume they needed medical care is to assume that the white man’s way, which is to
prevent the spread of disease, is better than pestilence.
 Obviously I am being facetious, but these intellectual exercises hopefully explain, or
shed light, on the impossible-to-avoid cultural clash and backlash that occurred when
whites and natives met and began to inter-act. It is the white man's entire fault. As
somebody once said, no good deed goes unpunished.
So let us get back to Karl Marx, who probably would agree that the white man was at
fault, too. His theories will never die completely as long as big American companies like
Coca-Cola do not pay minimum wage to workers in a bottling plant in the U.S., instead
paying $1.50 an hour for workers in Mexico. The end of Marx and the end of social
inequality may be beyond our ability to deal with, on its own, using current methods. In
Marx’s time, the exploited workers were white, but the downgraded whites of the 19th
Century – the Irish, the Italians, the émigrés – rose up above their standing in the world.
We have seen minorities in the 20th Century – blacks, Hispanics, and Orientals in the
West - rise above their standing in the world. Hopefully, the next wave of change will be
in the 21st Century, when we see the Third World rise above their current standing.
Certainly, the Third World has been a pawn in the global chess match for too long. Now
that the U.S. is the world’s sole superpower, maybe the gates will open for them. When
the Americans and Soviets were dueling it out for 45 years, we all cared less about food
and working conditions in Africa and the Middle East than we did about arming the right
guerrilla armies, fixing the right “elections,” or propping up the right dictator. The fact
that this messy business was necessary does not help those who were left behind. Now,
the challenge is to make a difference even in places where it is not in our so-called
“national interest.”
In the Middle East, oil and the battle against terrorism make this a logical place to help
elevate the living standards of the people. The obstacle there is radical Islam, which is
where Christianity was 500 years ago. The Muslims have to evaluate their religion the
way the Christians did during Reformation and the Renaissance, when they decided not
to be a religion of violence and oppression, and instead to be one of love and spirituality.
This is the role of modern Islam, and we have to help them. When this happens, we can
help promote the kind of human conditions that the West enjoys.
Africa is a tougher nut to crack. It is a land of boundless natural resource, but the brutal
truth is that events can take place there that do not really effect our way of life. When
Africa was a pawn in the Soviet-U.S. chess match, we paid attention to it. Would the
“Rumble in the Jungle,” the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman boxing match of 1974,
have been held in Zaire if we were not in the middle of the Cold War at that time? I do
not think so. Terrorists impede progress in the Middle East because it is in their interests
to do so, just as warlords do the same in Africa.
Yasser Arafat wants Palestine to be poor and in shambles because if peace prevailed and
they were allowed to modernize, the people would not “need” him any more. The African
warlords want their people hungry and crazy. Out of that fatigue for life comes the
soldiers who will fight their awful battles out of desperation. In the post-war Iraq of 2003,
remnants of Saddam's regime, his Fedayeen and Baath Party loyalists, mixed with
Hezbollah and Al Qaeda elements. Some of the terrorists operated in Iraq before the U.S.
invasion. Others came over porous borders after it was over. They attacked the U.S., plus
U.N. and Iraqi elements. They sabotaged infrastructure built by the U.S. to help the Iraqi
people. But why?
Well, these terrorists might say they did it to get the "infidels" out of their country. They
did it to remove the hated Americans from Iraq. But does this hold up to logic? No, it
does not. The reason it does not it because the more they sabotage the U.S. re-building
effort, the longer the U.S. will have to stay and keep re-building. If these terrorists
wanted America and the U.N. out of Iraq, the best and fastest way to see that happen
would be to lay down their arms, turn themselves in, and allow for the smooth,
cooperative transition from American administration to Iraqi independence. If, after the
1991 Persian Gulf War, terrorists elements had sabotaged the re-building of Kuwait, the
U.S. would have had to stay there for years to root them out and repair the damage from
the war. The terrorists did not cross the Kuwaiti border, and in short order the U.S. left
Kuwait with the exception of a small detachment for security. This is an example of the
"new kind of empire" that America represents. This empire is not the kind that ruled
countries, taking them by force, brutally suppressing the people, and creating totalitarian
regimes. This is the American Empire. It is an empire of ideas. In Kuwait we freed a
country, made it safe to do business, an engendered the thanks of grateful people.
That is what we have done in Iraq, too, but the terrorists hate our way of life; our success
and our freedom. They hate the possibility that it will spread throughout the Middle East
the way it spread through the rest of the world. They sabotaged the post-war effort in Iraq
because they did not want to see Iraq become another example of American success.
They are afraid the new American Empire because it is more dangerous to their
antiquated philosophies than the old empires. The old empires were easy to hate, like
prison guards. This new empire is an empire of ideas, the most powerful in the history of
the world. These ideas represent their death knell.
The terrorists of the 21st Century Middle East have in much in common with the
Communists of the 20th Century. They are the losers of history. Marxist atheist dogma
has been replaced by Wahhabi fundamentalism. Both concepts are based on a form of
utopia, whether it be a "workers' paradise" or a "virgin's paradise." These kinds of
anti-social "revolutions" will always be around as long as there is evil and ignorance.
Stamping out evil and ignorance is a tall order.
The recent rantings of Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela of South Africa are
the result of a similar kind of frustration. Both men have spent an inordinate amount of
time criticizing the United States. Mandela called the U.S. an “atrocious” country. These
kinds of remarks are the result of not being relevant any more. When their countrymen
used them as symbols against white oppression, they were important players. Now that
the issue of white oppression has been replaced by the day-to-day administration of
government, they are not major factors. Even former President Jimmy Carter falls into
this syndrome. His policies have been largely discredited, and now, in retirement, Carter
knows he is not important, so he lashes out at George W. Bush. The increasingly less
important international community feels fellowship, and awards meaningless Nobel
Peace prizes to Carter, Arafat and other has-beens.
Marx felt that as humans evolve, they experience three phases of growth. The first phase
was the “animal” phase, which consisted of the need to eat, work and procreate. Hunger
and sex were pursued out of our selfish selves. Work was performed out of necessity.
Marx said that the Western society of his era had evolved into an alienated society, with
man divided against himself. Exploitation and domination were the result of the new
alienation. Marx lived in Europe, but in his era whites were divided by classes. The lower
classes could identify with the minorities and Third World natives who were the
“exploited class” of the 20th Century. I have attempted through example to address the
“exploitation and domination” of natives by whites because I see relevance to the work of
Marx. In an examination of 19th Century Europe, I find parallels among the "exploited
workers" to the natives.
Marx felt that the lower classes of Europe would only find equality through Communism.
Forgetting whether his model was followed closely enough or not, history tells us that
they did not find equality through Communism. Rather, the natural evolution of people
through social awareness and modern technology explains their rise better than any
revolution. At one time, the Irish and the Italians were on the low rung of the barrel. They
came to the U.S. and were members of the roiling class of have-nots that Marx felt would
foment revolution. But they rose within a free market system.
This same evolution occurred in other countries, some more easily than others. Obviously
the “rise” of Jews in Germany resulted in a clash with the worst possible consequences.
All social experimentation and natural progression was put on hold by World War II, but
a look at modern Europe and America indicates that the lower classes of Marx’s day did
rise to the middle class. The lower classes of today are rising to the middle class.
This helps explain the popularity of conservatism in America. Marx saw a world in which
the lower classes had nothing in common with the upper classes. He saw alienation and
strove to make the people more alienated, so as to drive a wedge between classes. This is
the oldest trick in the book. Terrorists in the Middle East and warlords in Africa use this
method. The last thing these people want is for the dispossessed to feel kinship with the
powerful. When this happens, the "leaders" lose power. Marx's ultimate destination was
one class, but somebody would have to topple for this to occur. He never foresaw the
ambition of people in a free society. In the U.S. today, the Democrats are losing an
important part of their constituency precisely because the alienated class does not feel as
alienated as they used to. Democrat efforts to divide the classes, instead of bringing them
together, result in occasional short-term gains. In the U.S., too many of the so-called
"lower classes" rise above their circumstances for this method to have long-lasting
success.
People look at the rich, with their tax shelters and their protectors within the political
hierarchy, and do not feel disdain for them anymore. Instead, they desire to be like them.
The more ambitious among them think they have a shot at it. Look at the Silicon Valley,
for instance, or the dot-com revolution. Much of the wealth of the go-go ‘90s has been
lost, but the spirit of entrepreneurialism that existed then still exists today. The
black-Jewish 20-something with computer skills does not look at the corporate elite with
envy. He looks at them as a model. The Indian immigrant who comes to America or
Europe with the ability to work on microchips does not associate himself with Gandhi’s
underclass. He is thinking about stock-options. The dot-coms did not explode, but the
same conditions that allowed them to happen are just waiting to bubble to the surface,
better than ever the next time. Mistakes of the past are a learning experience for all.
One area that Marx does not readily address is health care, a major bone of contention in
the modern era. Modern medicine is, in some ways, a victim of its own success. The
simple explanation is that people get sick and want the latest cure. Medical breakthroughs
have been so amazing that there are seemingly cures for everything. Of course, it all costs
money. In the past, folks got sick and there were no cures for a lot of diseases. People just
accepted that this was the way it was and that was that. Now people get sick with diseases
that would have killed them in the past, but we have cures now. They consider it their
right to have those cures. Common empathy for the human condition directs us to provide
those cures to everybody, regardless of the cost. Hillary Clinton said everybody should
pay, and believe it or not, I would not really have a problem with that if I thought it
would have worked. The problem is that health care and medical cures do not necessarily
go hand in hand. The other problem is a consideration of the environment that produces
great medical breakthroughs.
Why is the best medicine found in the U.S., and after the U.S., in other industrial,
capitalist countries? Because of incentives. Great doctors and scientists want to make
money just like everybody else. They are inclined to go the extra mile to discover and
make their breakthroughs not because of pure altruism or government regulations, but
because of a desire to make the most for themselves. All the other benefits - fame and
honor - go along with it.
Marx envisioned a “workers paradise” of happy employees all striving for the common
good. He seems to have lost sight of the human desire for excellence. The workers of the
world he helped create just slugged along, putting in their hours and producing
below-standard products. If what they made was great they were not rewarded, and if
what they made was terrible, they were not punished. How any educated man (and Marx
was) could have been so blind to man’s nature is beyond me.
The same philosophy has played itself out in medicine. The social engineers cannot get
past the idea that excellence comes at a price. A great, custom-made automobile costs
more than an ordinary assembly-line job. Health care is now considered a right (whereas
driving a car is not). Everybody wants the Bentleys and Shelby Mustang equivalents of
medicine.
Providing it for everyone by virtue of national care is not deliverable. Compare it with the
idea of a national auto-provider who provides each U.S. citizen with a car from the
government when they turn 18. The auto-provider plan is even more viable, in some
respects. Driving does not have the variables of medical need. Everybody just “needs” a
car to get them around. If everybody gets a Ford Taurus, for instance, they have what
they need. Various medical conditions are such that some people “need” the “Shelby
Mustang” of medicine, i.e., exclusive cancer treatments, high-end AIDS “cocktails,” rare
liver transplants, etc. Others can get by with a clunker (yearly check-ups).
Marx has an answer for the capitalists who exploit the workers. He said they are
“addicted” to money, compelled to consume or accumulate property, and that the more
one gets, the greater the addiction becomes. As Professor Dalton states, Marx felt that
this kind of behavior was as “far removed from our natural needs and state of good health
as obesity or bulimia.”
One can see a certain nobility to Marx’s claims. The man who works hard and
accomplishes greatness, but does so only to share it with others, is a man of saintly
qualities. He might be viewed as a fool or a “chump,” but he is a man of greatness.
Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden might be such a man. Wooden is the
greatest college coach of all time, but he never got rich doing what he did. His salary was
paltry by today’s standards. When he discovered in his early days that a promised
retirement fund was going to a student organization, and not to him, he chose not to leave
out of a sense of commitment. He never cashed in on the shoe contracts and outside
endorsement deals of his successors. He lives to this day by modest means. He could
have gone to the NBA and made a great deal of money, but chose not to. His
accomplishments were “shared” by millions who cheered his teams and benefited from
his example. He is the basketball equivalent of a man who discovers the cure for a rare
disease, but chooses not to gain monetarily for his work.
But Coach Wooden is rare, and Marx should have understood that it is not in the human
nature for men to be like him. That is why he Wooden is so revered. If all were like
Wooden, Wooden would not stand out. Even Wooden himself has a proletariat outlook
on life, as evidenced by the fact that, when I interviewed him, he said the “person of the
century” was, in his view, Mother Theresa.
Now let us examine this. Mother Theresa was a woman of extraordinary greatness, who
forsake all things of worldly value to spend a lifetime comforting the sick in the slums of
Calcutta, India. But what is her contribution vs. that of, say, scientists who discovered
fabulous drugs that cured innumerable diseases? They did so working in a
capitalist-friendly environment in which their accomplishments were rewarded with
raises in salary, stock options, and awards of merit that gave them fame and, in turn, more
fortune. Who did more for Mankind? Mother Theresa bathing the feet a dying man, or a
white-shirted country club doctor in Connecticut or San Francisco or England who made
a medicine that saved that man from dying long before he met his final days in the tender
hands of Mother Teresa?
There will always be sick people. The human condition mandates sickness and death, and
in the end, beautiful souls like Mother Theresa provide comfort and faith that is more
valuable than money. The comparison of the country club doctor and Mother Theresa is
an uncomfortable one. It reeks of country club snobbishness.
The only problem, of course, is that it is on point. The mere fact that people like John
Wooden and Mother Theresa are so revered therefore refutes the Marxist premise, which
bases his entire society on reliance of most people to be as altruistic in nature as these
two people were.
Marx saw the phases of development as analogous to childhood and adolescence. He
compared the “alienation phase” to the teenage years, when life “gets worse before it
becomes better,” according to Professor Dalton. This is an interesting point, actually, and
unlike much of Marx’s theories, not really something that can be disproved. It requires a
look at the future that is impossible to see. That is, of course, unless we say that we are
the future. Marx thought society would grow out of its addictions, rebellions and
alienation's, like the adolescent does, and mature into a healthy “adult.” While the world
has not reached its maturity, the question is, What is our maturity? Whatever we are, we
have come a long way from the Dickensian, colonized, racist world of Marx’s day. We
are past institutionalized slavery, the Holocaust, world war, and the Jim Crow South. We
have matured a helluva lot. We are not what Karl Marx thought a mature world would
look like.
Frank Sinatra once said of America, “We’re not perfect, but we spend a lot of time trying
to fix our mistakes.” The United States still plays power games, and exploitation in one
form or another still takes place, as Professor Dalton notes. It is an ongoing experiment,
this system of ours. Ol’ Blue Eyes was right, though. We do spend a lot of time
examining our actions to try and make it better.
MARX HAD ONE THING THAT HE COULD NOT GET AROUND. THAT WAS THE BASIC NATURE
OF CAPITALISM AS A NECESSARY TOOL. HE COULD NOT ADEQUATELY EXPLAIN IT AWAY OR
GIVE US THE MODEL FOR A BETTER SYSTEM. HE ENDED UP SAYING THAT IT WAS A
“NECESSARY AND DESIRABLE” STAGE IN OUR EVOLUTION TO COMMUNISM. HE SAID IT
WOULD PROMOTE OUR THIRD AND “FINAL STATE” OF EVOLUTION. ONE WONDERS WHAT
MARX WOULD HAVE MADE OF LENIN’S STATEMENT THAT, “THE WEST WILL SELL US THE
ROPE WE WILL USE TO HANG THEM,” WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE AS UTTERLY WRONG AS
NIKITA KRUSCHEV’S SHOE-POUNDING, “WE WILL BURY YOU.”
MARX FELT THAT SHARING AND COOPERATION WERE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE
CAPITALIST SYSTEM. HE SHOULD HAVE SPENT SOME TIME IN ANY SMALL TOWN IN
MID-AMERICA, ESPECIALLY DURING A TIME OF CRISIS LIKE A FLOOD OR A TORNADO. IF YOU
WANT TO SEE “SHARING AND COOPERATION,” CHECK OUT AMERICA. WE WROTE THE BOOK
ON SHARING AND COOPERATION. OTHER COUNTRIES DO NOT, GENERALLY, SHARE AND
COOPERATE LIKE AMERICANS. FOREIGNERS WERE UTTERLY AMAZED AT THE WAY THIS
NATION CAME TOGETHER AFTER 9/11. IN MANY VILLAGES FAR AND WIDE THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD, DISASTERS LEAD TO HOARDING, MAFIA VENDETTAS, ARGUMENTS OVER ANCIENT
FEUDS, TRIBAL IN FIGHTING, AND ALL THE NIT-PICKING THINGS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN
AFTER 9/11. THEY DO NOT HAPPEN IN THOUSANDS OF OTHER LESSER DISASTERS AND
SEMI-DISASTERS THAT REQUIRE PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER ACROSS THE FRUITED PLAIN.
Marx addressed the issue of prostitution as a perfect metaphor for capitalist society. He
said we view “others” as sex objects rather than loved ones. Both males and females are
victims of prostitution because the relationship is based on domination, which deforms
both parties. This prevents healthy relationships from forming. Even here Marx is off the
mark. Many forms of prostitution do look like what he describes, but not all. Modern
prostitution is very often a matter of negotiation not any different from any other business
transaction. Prostitutes and strippers succeed or fail based on the merits, just like anybody
else in business. A beautiful woman who possesses extraordinary skills is in high
demand, and can charge huge sums of money. She is able to define the rules, and is not
“dominated.”
Marx saw workers as prostitutes, exploited by the employer’s “compulsive quest for
increasing profit.” He said the worker was not the only victim. The alienated employer
was a victim of his own compulsions, too. With all due respect, Marx’s views must be
examined in relation to the times he lived in. Prostitutes in mid-19th Century London
were crabby, low-class whores who made their living on the dangerous, fog-shrouded
streets, in a desultory back-and-forth with the skulking johns who sought them out. This
condition does not vary all that much from the factory conditions of the era.
Today, prostitutes are often gorgeous “escorts,” many of them semi-famous porn stars
who exploit their own stature as fantasy women. They are dressed up as glamorous,
socially acceptable trophy girls who provide the kind of entertainment that rich bigwigs
consider their just due for their accomplishments.
This picture is not an attempt to belittle the conditions of drug-addled street hookers
plying their wares in the back alleys of shady big cities, or the bargirls of Manilla and
Hong Kong. It is not an attempt to glamorize the human slave trade of the former East
Bloc. Prostitution is still associated with drugs and organized crime. But the factory
worker and the prostitute in a capitalist society have something in common that Marx did
not account for. The most skilled among them, the most entrepreneurial, the most
ambitious, have a way out. In fact, they can thrive.
Marx asserted that people were perceived solely by their place on the economic ladder.
But the high regard society accorded to John Wooden and even Mother Theresa flies in
the face of this concept.
The third phase of Marx’s world is one of communal self-consciousness. His ideas are
not entirely separate from Socrates and Plato. He hoped that professional "do-gooders,"
for lack of a better term could replace corruption. The Hindu’s esteemed self-conscious
actualization. This involves replacing dominating sex with love; making the home
self-sufficient; and making work creative and self-esteeming. Need I say it? This sounds
like the "family values" plank of the Republican National Convention.
At the heart of Marxism is work. He wanted to elevate work from boredom and tedium,
to something joyous. He wanted this to occur, but did not seem to offer a way of
increasing the value of the workers’ output. For decades, Communism billed itself as a
society that provided a free education to all its citizens, who therefore were more valued
workers because of it. Eventually, this was determined to be a lie. The most promising
youth were chosen for advanced training, in sports, the sciences, or other careers. The
average worker just kept on working in menial jobs without advantage of education or
training. They never became more beneficial to the state-employer.
I can recall living in Europe and discovering this first hand. All my life, I had been told
that the American education system was inferior to the European model. Europeans I met
were highly educated, spoke several languages, and seemed superior to average
Americans. Then I lived in Germany. What I discovered was that the average German did
not speak several languages. They had less education than the average American. The
myth of European educational superiority was a combination of propaganda and the fact
that their “ambassadors” were those Europeans who could afford to travel, and therefore
were cosmopolitan. By the same token, I came to realize that the Americans one meets
traveling in Europe are also more likely to be bi-lingual, better-educated, and more
cosmopolitan that their compatriots.
It “is just in his work upon the objective world that man really proves himself as a
species-being,” said Marx. “This production is his active species life. By means of its
nature, it appears as his work and his reality.” Marx wants each of us to see our own
reflections in our work.
“Objectification” in Marx-speak means the presence of a person’s activity in the
objective world; to see ourselves reflected in our environment. It is the opposite of
individuality. Private property must be abolished because it promotes “exclusive
enjoyment.”
“In a higher phase of Communist society," he wrote, "after the enslaving subordination of
the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental
and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but
life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round
development of the individual, and all the springs of cooperative wealth flow more
abundantly – only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its
entirety and society inscribe on its banner. From each according to his ability, to each
according to his needs!”
Marx felt that economic forces determined ideology. If this were true, then George
Bush’s liberation of Iraq would have been doomed to failure. In fact, if this were true, it
would illustrate only a vicious cycle. No societies that are both poor and totalitarian can
become free with Communism. Of course, all totalitarian societies are poor. Under
Marxist theory, Iraq cannot become Democratic before they become economically
prosperous. The Bush plan relied on Iraqis’ desiring the simple freedom that all men
want.
“YOUR VERY IDEAS ARE BUT THE OUTGROWTH OF THE CONDITIONS OF YOUR BOURGEOIS
PRODUCTION AND BOURGEOIS PROPERTY,” MARX WROTE IN “THE COMMUNIST
MANIFESTO”. “…BOURGEOIS NOTIONS OF FREEDOM, CULTURE, LAW” ARE, IN HIS VIEW,
IDEOLOGICAL RATIONALIZATIONS OF ECONOMIC INTERESTS, WHICH HE SAYS ARE “FALSE.”
ALL JUSTIFICATIONS FOR THE STATUS QUO OF THE WESTERN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
SYSTEMS, SAID MARX, ARE MEANT ONLY TO MASK DOMINANCE AND EXPLOITATION. MARX
FURTHER SAID THAT MORALITY, RELIGION AND METAPHYSICS WERE ALL JUST PART OF A
LARGER IDEOLOGY, ALL TIED TOGETHER, ALL DESIGNED TO PERVERT REALITY.



                                   CHAPTER FIVE

INFLUENTIAL CONTRARIANS

       IT IS A TESTAMENT TO THE IMPORTANCE OF SIGMUND FREUD THAT HIS FINDINGS IN
THE FIELD OF HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY FIND A LEGITIMATE PLACE IN A BOOK ABOUT POLITICS.
FREUD’S FINDINGS HAVE HAD THEIR UPS AND DOWNS, BUT FOR THE MOST PART, HE
REMAINS THE PRE-EMINENT FIGURE IN HIS FIELD. HIS THEORIES HELP EXPLAIN THE
MOTIVATIONS OF SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGURES IN HISTORY.
       IN “CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS”, FREUD EXPRESSES A PESSIMISTIC VIEW
OF MAN. THIS CONTRASTS WITH WHAT SOME SEE AS THE “OPTIMISM” OF ROUSSEAU AND
MARX. I FOR ONE DO NOT VIEW ROUSSEAU AND MARX (PARTICULARLY MARX) AS
OPTIMISTIC. HE DOES “ENVISION” A UTOPIAN SOCIETY OF HAPPY WORKERS. IF IT HAD
EXISTED, IT MORE RESEMBLES HEAVEN THAN ANYTHING A REASONABLE MAN COULD EVER
FORESEE ON EARTH. BUT I AM NOT AS READY TO LET MARX OFF THE HOOK AS OTHERS. I
THINK HE SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE, BECAUSE SURELY HE COULD HAVE SEEN, IF NOT
THE MURDEROUS ACTS OF SOVIET COMMUNISM, SURELY A PERVERTED, TWISTING OF HIS
IDEAS.
        BUT I HAVE HAD MY TIME WITH MR. MARX, AND I MOVE ON TO ANOTHER
GERMAN-SPEAKING JEW OF ENORMOUS INTELLECT. WHEREAS ROUSSEAU BELIEVED THAT
HUMAN NATURE WAS INHERENTLY COMPASSIONATE, AND MARX THOUGHT THAT NATURE
COULD BE CHANNELED INTO A HARMONIOUS SOCIETY, FREUD GOES IN THE OPPOSITE
DIRECTION. HE SAW PEOPLE WROUGHT BY THREE IRREMEDIABLE PERSONALITIES, ALL
BATTLING WITH EACH OTHER. THESE ARE THE ID, THE EGO AND THE SUPEREGO. THESE
HUMAN TRAITS MIGHT BE CONSIDERED METAPHORS FOR ALL OF HUMANITY, ALTHOUGH
THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY FREUD’S VIEW. BUT THE BATTLE WITHIN EVERY PERSON IS LIKE
THE BATTLE BETWEEN NATIONS, IN THAT THERE IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE FOR
DOMINATION.
        THE ID IS THE MOST POWERFUL. THIS IS THE PART OF OUR PERSONALITY THAT
LUSTS FOR AGGRESSION OVER OTHERS. THE ID MIGHT BE THE PART OF OUR PERSONALITY
THAT COMES OUT WHEN WE TRY TO GET AHEAD OF ANOTHER CAR ON THE ROAD AND CUT
THEM OFF. FREUD THOUGHT MAN SUFFERED FROM PSYCHIC ALIENATION AND
VICTIMIZATION FROM OTHERS. ALL EFFORTS TO AVOID THIS PREDICAMENT LEAD TO MORE
SUFFERING.
        THEIR JUDAISM INFLUENCED NEITHER FREUD NOR MARX. MARX PROBABLY FELT IT
WAS TOO STIFLING. FREUD PROBABLY DISDAINED IT BECAUSE IT DID NOT MEET THE NEEDS
OF HIS HIGH-EGO INTELLECTUALISM. JUDAISM AND POLITICS FASCINATE ME. I HAVE
ALWAYS FIGURED THAT JEWS WERE NATURAL CONSERVATIVES, BUT IN THE U.S. THEY
VOTE DEMOCRAT. HOWEVER, IN ISRAEL, THEY VOTE CONSERVATIVELY, FOR THE LIKUD
PARTY, WHICH CONSISTENTLY HOLDS POWER. AS A GENERAL RULE, VERY RELIGIOUS JEWS
ARE CONSERVATIVE, WHILE LESS-RELIGIOUS JEWS ARE LIBERAL. JEWS EXPLAIN THAT THEY
VOTE DEMOCRAT BECAUSE THEY WERE EXCLUDED FROM REPUBLICAN COUNTRY CLUBS
AND FRATERNITIES. THEY ASSOCIATED THEMSELVES WITH MINORITY CAUSES, WHICH IN
THE 1960S BECAME THE DOMINANT CONSTITUENCY OF THE DEMOCRATS. BUT THEY ARE
VERY SMART, WELL EDUCATED, INTELLIGENT, THOUGHTFUL, HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE.
THESE TRAITS THAT TYPICAL REPUBLICANS AND SEPARATE JEWS FROM THE RAGAMUFFINS
THAT MAKE UP SO MUCH OF THE DEMOCRAT CONSTITUENCY. THE LIBERAL JEWS READING
THIS ARE PROBABLY SAYING, “THIS GUY DOESN’T GET IT,” BUT I GET IT, FINE. JEWS SHOULD
BE REPUBLICANS.
        NOT ONLY DO FREUD AND MARX REJECT JUDAISM, THEY REJECT ALL RELIGION.
MARX SEEMED TO FEEL THAT THERE IS SOME KIND OF HEAVEN ON EARTH. FREUD THOUGHT
CONCEPTS OF A FATHERLY GOD OR A MARTYRED SON ARE JUST PLAIN SILLY, THE WORK OF
LESSER MINDS THAN HIS! MARX PREDICTED A HAPPY ENDING, WHILE FREUD’S VIEW SEEMS
PARTICULARLY PRESCIENT IN LIGHT OF COMMUNISM AND NAZISM. MARX’S “HAPPY
ENDING” CLASSLESS SOCIETY HAS NEVER REALLY HAPPENED AND NEVER WILL, BUT IT
MIGHT BE SAID THAT THE CLOSEST ANYBODY HAS EVER COME TO IT IS IN THE GOOD OLD
U.S. OF A. MARX WOULD ROLL OVER IN HIS GRAVE OVER SUCH A THOUGHT. TO MAKE THE
ALLEGORY OF THE BASEBALL FAN OUT OF THESE TWO PEOPLE, FREUD WOULD BE THE RED
SOX FAN, MARX AN OLD BROOKLYN DODGER GUY (“WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR”).
      Freud’s id is the center of our sexual and aggressive instincts. It unconsciously
dominates all the other parts, but creates frustration by making demands that are not
fulfilled. The ego is rational and cautious, and concerns itself with reality. It is our
negotiator to the external world, but is ultimately dominated by the id. Pressured by the id
and the superego, the ego generates anxiety. The heart of Freudian therapy is the
strengthening of the id against the other two. The superego is our conscience, and this is
where our mostly unattainable moral standards come from. It is irrational and the
adversary of the id.
         These values of our psyche have been described in many ways. Our good side and
our bad side. The devil on one shoulder, the angel on the other. The superego is more
powerful than the ego, less so than the id. Its main weapon is guilt, instilled by parents.
Pain and suffering is found trying to fulfill the superego.
         Freud’s anti-religious side is an important consideration in addressing these
theories. According to him, we do not have “morals” in the sense of “goodness.”
Goodness is something that comes from God, but there is no God to Freud. Instead of
God, Freud sees only guilt, imposed by our parents.
         In the song “The Seeker” by The Who, the lyrics are, “I got values, but I don’t
know how or why.” What are values? Why do people have good values in the first place?
Freud would postulate all kinds of answers, without ever addressing the possibility that
they come from a benevolent God. He disdained the values and substituted only guilt, and
said this is where our unhappiness comes from.
         I have done just about everything, within reason (and with the parameters of
heterosexuality) in my life. I have partied. I have lived out most of my wildest fantasies.
Without getting too graphic, I have “been there and done that.” I have felt the
exhilaration of athletic success at the professional level, and enjoyed some fame. This
being said, I can say unequivocally that nothing has ever made me happier and more
utterly satisfied than spending time with my daughter and my family together, especially
on holidays. Nothing. This is a totally natural feeling. It has absolutely nothing to do with
guilt. With all due respect, I think Freud misses this. Whatever it is that is in me, was not,
in my view, in him. I have always feel, when I am with my daughter and my family
together, that I am closest to God. I always pray and thanked Him. Freud said there is no
God. He feels only guilt. Maybe he is just too smart for me to understand. Maybe he is
too smart for his own good. Maybe if he ever felt the way I feel on those simple holiday
occasions, he would not attach guilt and his parents to the central tenets of his
psychological philosophies.
         FREUD SAYS THE SUPEREGO IMPOSES “UNREACHABLE” STANDARDS. BUT HE IS
BASING HIS ANALYSIS ON PEOPLE IN THERAPY. I KNOW COACH WOODEN DOES NOT THINK
HIS STANDARDS OF MORALITY ARE UNREACHABLE. NEITHER DOES MOTHER THERESA.
         SUFFERING COMES FROM OUR OWN BODIES, THE EXTERNAL WORLD, OR PERSONAL
RELATIONSHIPS. ALL ARE INEVITABLE. THE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS PROVIDE THE MOST
PAINFUL SUFFERING. FREUD SAID WE ARE DOOMED TO SUFFER, AND WE DESPERATELY
WANT TO HURT OTHERS. WE DO NOT ADMIT THIS TO OURSELVES BECAUSE THE SUPEREGO
WILL NOT ALLOW US TO. WE COPE THROUGH INTOXICATION, ISOLATION OR SUBLIMATION.
ISOLATION IS IMPRACTICAL TO MOST, AND SUBLIMATION IS THE AGGRESSIVE IMPULSE WE
LIVE OUT THROUGH WORK OR SPORTS.
         RELIGION IS THE MASS SUPEREGO, A COLLECTIVE ETHICAL ORGANIZATION DEVISED
TO SUPPRESS LUST AND AGGRESSION. THE ID WILL TRIUMPH OVER CIVILIZATION. MEN ARE
“WOLVES,” INCLINED TO WAGE WAR AND PERSECUTE MINORITIES. MARX’S BENIGN VIEW
OF HUMAN NATURE IS HOGWASH, ACCORDING TO FREUD. HE SEES PRIVATE PROPERTY AS
ALL THE NEAT LITTLE HOMES THAT ARE HIDING PLACES FOR OUR NATURAL HATREDS, AND
ALSO THINGS THAT WE USE TO REGISTER AGGRESSION AGAINST OTHERS. FREUD’S VIEW
MAKES THE HOLOCAUST SEEM INEVITABLE.
       DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MARX AND FREUD, HOWEVER, OUTWEIGH THE
SIMILARITIES. FREUD FELT THAT THE ID NOT ONLY DOMINATED THE SELF, BUT DID SO
UNCONSCIOUSLY. HE SAID HUMANS ARE UNAWARE OF IT. FREUD’S “EGO” IS NOT THE SAME
AS THE WAY WE USUALLY EVALUATE THE TERM. WE THINK A PERSON WITH A “BIG EGO”
HAS AN INFLATED VIEW OF HIMSELF. BUT IN FREUD’S ORIGINAL DEFINITION, THE EGO IS
NOT PROUD, BUT RATHER CAUTIOUS AND RATIONAL. THE ID AND THE SUPEREGO MASTER IT.
THE SUPEREGO IS ALSO IRRATIONAL, BUT STERN AND STRICT. THIS IS THE AREA THAT
FREUD CALLS GUILT, AND I MIGHT CALL MORALITY, OR OUR GODSELF. FREUD SAYS IT IS
DEVELOPED OUT OF SOCIALIZATION. I FEEL THAT IT IS MANIFEST WITHIN US, THAT IT IS THE
“GOOD” THAT OPPOSES “EVIL.” THE EGO, IN MY VIEW, IS THE CHOICE THAT LIES AT THE
HEART OF THE CONSTANT BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. FREUD FELT THAT RELIGION
WAS CREATED SIMPLY TO SERVE THE SUPEREGO.
       ALIENATION WAS THE COMMON PHRASE OF MARX AND FREUD, BUT WHAT ARE WE
ALIENATED FROM? MARX SAID FROM OUR ESSENCE, FREUD SAID FROM OUR PERSONALITY.
THEIR REMEDIES DIFFER. MARX FELT THAT WE COULD OVERCOME ALIENATION BY
BECOMING ONE WITH OUR COMMUNITIES. FREUD SAID THAT ANALYSIS COULD GIVE
INDIVIDUALS POWER OVER THEIR INDIVIDUAL ID/EGO/SUPEREGO STRUGGLES, BUT HIS
PREDICTIONS ARE BLEAK. ANALYSIS IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO A SELECT FEW. THE MASSES,
HE SAID, WOULD DESTROY US ALL EVENTUALLY.
       WHILE HISTORIANS HAVE POINTED TO COMMUNISM AND HITLER AS OBVIOUS
RESULTS OF FREUD’S PREDICTIONS, HE HAD MORE MUNDANE THOUGHTS ON HIS MIND.
PREDICTING GENOCIDE AND WORLD DESTRUCTION IS TRICKY. ONE FINDS SCANT EVIDENCE
THAT FREUD’S THEORIES ARE MEANT TO DO THAT. YES, HIS CONCEPTIONS OF THE BATTLE
BETWEEN CONFLICTING HUMAN EMOTIONS ARE INSTRUCTIVE IN THE STUDY OF INDIVIDUAL
LEADERS LIKE HITLER. THEY DO NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE PRECISE “MOMENTS OF
HISTORY” THAT MUST OCCUR IN ORDER FOR A HITLER, A MAO, A POL POT – OR FOR THAT
MATTER A LINCOLN OR AN EISENHOWER – TO RISE TO FULL POWER AND EXACT CHANGE ON
THE WORLD.
       FREUD STUDIED INDIVIDUALS. IT IS IN INDIVIDUALS THAT WE CAN BEST STUDY HIS
PREDICTIONS. IN THIS REGARD, THE ID SEEMS TO HAVE MADE ITS PRESENCE KNOWN. IT HAS
DONE SO THROUGHOUT HISTORY, AND CONTINUES TO DO SO. REFORMATION AND THE AGE
OF ENLIGHTENMENT MIGHT BE THE ID PART OF OUR PERSONALITIES ASSERTING ITSELF. THE
SUPEREGO MAY HAVE DOMINATED EARLY MAN BECAUSE IT OPERATED AS A SURVIVAL
MECHANISM. BUT AS LIFE BECAME EASIER, THE ID MADE ITS PRESENCE KNOWN. THE
PAINTINGS DEPICTING CHRIST, ANGELS AND BEAUTIFUL WOMEN WERE FROWNED UPON BY
THE CHURCH AS BEING HERETICAL. WE CHOSE TO PURSUE PLEASURES OF THE FLESH THAT
MANIFESTED ITSELF IN ART AND CHANGES IN THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE.
       SINCE FREUD’S TIME, THE ID HAS BEEN THE DOMINANT FORCE BEHIND DRUG ABUSE,
THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION, PORNOGRAPHY, MUSIC, MOVIES, GAY RIGHTS, WOMEN’S RIGHTS,
AND MANY OTHER FORMS OF EVOLUTION. IN THIS REGARD, FREUD PROVIDES US SOME
HOPE. ANALYSIS AND THERAPY CAN HELP PEOPLE WHOSE ID HAS TURNED THEM INTO
ADDICTS OF DRUGS, SEX AND EVEN VIOLENCE. ADDICTION SEEMS TO BE THE ID RUN WILD.
MODERATION, THE EGO SELF, IS BEST IN ALL THINGS.

HENRY DAVID THOREAU: ANARCHIST?
       HENRY DAVID THOREAU WAS A CIVIL DISOBEDIENT. HE INFLUENCED MAHATMA
GANDHI AND MARTIN LUTHER KING. THE STUDY OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS AN IMPORTANT
POINT, AND IS ESPECIALLY WORTH LOOKING AT AS IT RELATES TO THE AMERICAN
REVOLUTION, THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE CIVIL WAR, WORLD WAR II, AND THE CIVIL
RIGHTS STRUGGLE.
G.W.E. HEGEL SAID THAT PEOPLE ARE SOCIAL BEINGS WHO SEEK FULFILLMENT THROUGH
THE STATE. HEGEL UPHELD MACHIAVELLI'S REJECTION OF THE CLASSICAL GREEK VIEW.
THE HINDU’S REJECTED THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ETHICS AND GOVERNMENT, WHICH THE
GREEKS DID ADVOCATE. THOREAU IS IN LINE WITH THE HINDU’S. THOREAU SAID THE
STATE HAD NO MORAL AUTHORITY, AND FELT THAT THEIR CORRUPTIONS WERE DANGEROUS
TO THE PUBLIC.
THOREAU IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF CREON’S “ANTIGONE”. IF A LAW IS IMMORAL, IT IS TO
BE DISOBEYED. AFTER MANY DEBATES, EVEN THE UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE
AGREES WITH THROREAU. THE U.C.M.J. ACTUALLY GIVES LEEWAY TO A SOLDIER WHO
DISOBEYS AN ORDER IF IT IS NOT MORAL. THIS IS QUITE A LEAP OF FAITH FOR AN
ORGANIZATION THAT IS BASED ON THE STRICT LADDER OF AUTHORITY AND THE
FOLLOWING OF ORDERS. BUT THE NUREMBERG TRIALS AND THE JAPANESE WAR CRIMES
TRIBUNALS WERE NOT JUST THE EXPOSITION OF GERMAN AND JAPANESE EVIL. THEY MADE
US THINK ABOUT HUMAN NATURE AND THE ROLE OF SOLDIERS. THE MY LAI MASSACRE
FORCED US TO EXAMINE OURSELVES. DISOBEYING A DIRECT ORDER IS RISKY BUSINESS, BUT
IT HAS ITS ROOTS IN THE CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE OF THINKERS LIKE THOREAU.
TWO RECENT MILITARY FILMS POINT OUT EXAMPLES OF THE DISOBEYANCE OF IMMORAL
ORDERS. THE FIRST IS “A FEW GOOD MEN”. TWO MARINES ARE ON TRIAL FOR MURDERING
A FELLOW MARINE. THEY CONTEND THAT THEY DID NOT INTEND TO MURDER THE MAN,
MERELY TO GIVE HIM A “CODE RED,” WHICH IS TO SAY THEY INTENDED TO “ROUGH HIM UP”
BECAUSE HE HAD BECOME A BURDEN TO HIS UNIT, AND NEEDED TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON.
THE MAN HAD AN UNKNOWN MEDICAL CONDITION, AND HAD AN UNFORESEEN REACTION TO
A RAG THEY STUFFED IN HIS MOUTH TO KEEP HIM QUIET. THE RAG CAUSED HIM TO GO INTO
SEIZURE AND DIE. THE PREMISE OF ROB REINER’S FILM IS A LITTLE SHAKY, THOUGH.
TOLD IN FLASHBACK AND THROUGH BACKSTORY, WE LEARN THAT CODE REDS ARE A
COMMON PRACTICE WITH THE MARINES, BUT BECAUSE THEY CAN LEAD TO PROBLEMS,
THEY HAVE BEEN DISCOURAGED. THE COMMANDER AT GUANTANAMO BAY IS JACK
NICHOLSON, AND HE THINKS CODE REDS ARE INVALUABLE TO CLOSE INFANTRY TRAINING.
HOWEVER, HE DENIES HAVING ISSUED THE CODE RED. IF NOBODY ISSUED THE CODE RED,
THE MARINES ON TRIAL ACTED ON THEIR OWN. THEREFORE THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
WHAT THEY CAUSED, EVEN IF IT WAS UNINTENDED. HOW THE FILMMAKERS CONTEND THIS
IS MURDER INSTEAD OF A LESSER CHARGE, I AM STILL NOT SURE, BUT THE FILM OPERATES
WITH THIS PREMISE.
WHEN IT IS LEARNED THAT NICHOLSON DID ORDER THE CODE RED, THE MURDER CHARGE IS
LIFTED FROM THE TWO MARINES. HOWEVER, AND THIS IS THE POINT THAT IS MADE, THEY
ARE STILL DISHONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM THE CORPS BECAUSE THEY FOLLOWED AN
IMMORAL ORDER. THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO TELL THEIR SUPERIOR OFFICER TO GO BLOW
WHEN HE TOLD THEM TO TEACH “SANTIAGO” A LESSON. REINER AND SCREENWRITER
AARON SORKIN DISHONORABLY DISCHARGE THEM DESPITE THEIR "MADAM
BUTTERFLY"-LIKE CHOICE. THIS REEKS OF A LIBERAL “PERFECT WORLD” VIEW OF THE
MILITARY, BUT THE LESSON IS STILL A WORTHY ONE.
AS FOR NICHOLSON, HE IS ARRESTED, ALTHOUGH FOR WHAT IS NOT EXPLAINED. IT IS
EITHER FOR ORDERING THE CODE RED AGAINST A DIRECTIVE, THE SIMPLE ISSUANCE OF AN
IMMORAL ORDER, OR POSSIBLY FOR LYING UNDER OATH.
THE OTHER FILM THAT DEMONSTRATES THE QUANDARY IS JAMES JONES’ “THE THIN RED
LINE”, WHICH OVER TIME HAS DEVELOPED INTO A REAL CLASSIC. DURING THE BATTLE OF
GUADALCANAL, THE COMMANDER, NICK NOLTE, HAS SENT A RECONNAISSANCE FORCE IN
STRENGTH UP A HILL TO SPEARHEAD A CHARGE AGAINST JAPANESE STRONGHOLDS. THE
JAPANESE DROP HEAVY ORDNANCE ON THEM AND THE MEN ARE BEING CUT UP. NOLTE
ORDERS A DIRECT CHARGE, BUT THE CAPTAIN IN CHARGE OF THE FORCE, STARLES, KNOWS
THAT IF HE ORDERS HIS MEN INTO THIS LINE OF FIRE THEY WILL BE DESTROYED. THE DIRECT
CHARGE COULD POSSIBLY WORK IF ENOUGH MEN ARE SACRIFICED, BUT STARLES SIMPLY
WILL NOT OBEY NOLTE’S ORDER. NOLTE IS LITERALLY SPITTING MAD, BUT IN THE END HE
DOES NOT PURSUE CHARGES AGAINST STARLES. THE EPISODE IS WHITE WASHED, POSSIBLY
BECAUSE NOLTE KNOWS THAT HIS ORDER COULD, IN A COURT OF LAW, BE EXPOSED AS
IMMORAL.
AT THE HEART OF THE CONCEPT IS THE IDEA THAT INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY TRUMPS THE CLAIM
OF STATE AUTHORITY. IN THOREAU’S DAY, HIS CONTEMPORARIES WERE NOT QUITE READY
TO ACCEPT IT. THOREAU ARRIVED AT HIS CONCLUSIONS AFTER MUCH SELF-EXAMINATION,
AS DESCRIBED IN HIS BOOK, “WALDEN”. HIS JOURNEY IS REMINISCENT OF SOCRATES AND
BUDDHA, OR OF THE VANAPRASTHA STAGE OF THE HINDU VISION OF LIFE. THOREAU WAS
DISSATISFIED WITH THE UNITED STATES, BUT INSTEAD OF LEAVING THE COUNTRY, HE
CHOSE TO LIBERATE HIMSELF THROUGH A “STATE OF UNIVERSALITY.” AS AN OUTSIDER, HE
OBJECTED TO THE STATE’S ABUSE OF POWER, AND ACCORDED LITTLE LEGITIMACY TO THE
POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS OF THE COUNTRY. THIS MANIFESTED ITSELF IN HIS
REFUSAL TO PAY A POLL TAX, HIS PROTEST OF SLAVERY, AND HIS OPPOSITION TO THE WAR
WITH MEXICO. WHILE HIS OUTSPOKEN VIEWS REGARDING WAR AND SLAVERY MADE HIM A
MERE DISSIDENT, HIS REFUSAL TO PAY TAXES MAKES HIM AN OUTLAW. SINCE HE DID THIS
ON PURPOSE WITH NO ATTEMPT TO EVADE THE CONSEQUENCES, HE BECOMES A CIVIL
DISOBEDIENT.
John Locke and John Stuart Mill were British liberal theorists who railed against the
abuse of power, but did not make themselves criminals by breaking laws they disagreed
with. Locke said that government’s duty was to defend private property. Thoreau
denounced private property. A number of leading writers lived in the Walden Pond area
of Massachusetts, among them Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Thoreau challenged these great minds to follow his lead and disobey unjust laws, but
there were no takers. Emerson was aghast at his colleagues’ stance.
Former baseball player Bill “Spaceman” Lee, a friend of mine, is another man who made
his mark in liberal Massachusetts. He once made a comic run for the Presidency on the
“Rhino” ticket, and during this time I invited him to speak to the Orange County Young
Republicans, of which I was a member. Spaceman was viewed as an oddity by the
business suit crowd that made up the Y.R.’s, but he was extraordinarily funny and soon
had us rolling in the aisles when he said, “I’m so conservative I eat road kill. I’m so
conservative I stand back-to-back with Chairman Mao.” I am not sure exactly what
Spaceman meant. I suppose it was Daoist or Buddhist or something, but I am reminded of
him when I think that Thoreau believed that “the government that is best governs not at
all.”
This is an anachronism of sorts. Thoreau was definitely liberal, but like Spaceman
standing back-to-back with Mao, his liberalism takes him so far around that he ends up
right next to the philosophy of conservatives. That is, of limited government. Thoreau
was not the predecessor of Barry Goldwater, however. It is unclear whether he advocated
“limited government” or no government.
Because this distinction is not made clear, his anarchism is called into question. Professor
Dalton says he is not an anarchist, because he did not advocate for the elimination of
government. He criticized majority rule and representative Democracy, while denying
that law can make humans just individuals. He attacked capitalism because it exalts
money and is the engine behind slavery, and went beyond Marx in that he indicted it as
immoral. Marx just saw it as the end product of an evolutionary process that needed to be
changed.
THOREAU LIVES ON AS A SIGNIFICANT THINKER BECAUSE HIS THEORIES OF CIVIL
DISOBEDIENCE ARE JUST AND WERE USED BY GREAT MEN. BUT ASIDE FROM HIS CALL FOR
THE END OF SLAVERY, ONE STRUGGLES TO KNOW WHAT HE WANTED. BORN IN 1817 IN
CONCORD, MASSACHUSETTS, HE LIVED UNTIL 1862, MAKING HIM A CONTEMPORARY OF
MARX. HE CONSIDERED CONCORD TO BE THE CENTER OF THE “AMERICAN RENAISSANCE.”
HE GRADUATED FROM HARVARD IN 1837, INFLUENCED BY EMERSON’S PHILOSOPHY OF
TRANSCENDENTALISM. EMERSON’S VIEWS WERE SIMILAR TO HEGEL’S IDEALISM, THAT A
“DIVINE ESSENCE INHERES IN ALL BEING; A TRANSCENDENT SPIRITUALITY EXISTS AND
PERMEATES NATURE,” AS PROFESSOR DALTON’S OUTLINE READS. HEGEL SANCTIFIED THE
STATE, THOUGH. THOREAU DENOUNCED IT. HEGEL SAW DIVINITY IN IT, BUT THOREAU
CALLED IT “HALF-WITTED,” STRONG IN APPEARANCE BUT ROTTEN AT ITS CORE. THOREAU
DID SEE GOD AS NATURE’S INDIVIDUAL CONSCIENCE. HE SAID THE STATE ATTEMPTS TO
QUELL INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUALITY.
“I SIMPLY WISH TO REFUSE ALLEGIANCE TO THE STATE, TO WITHDRAW AND STAND AFOOT
FROM IT EFFECTUALLY,” HE SAID.
THOREAU IS A REVERED LITERARY FIGURE AND A VERY INFLUENTIAL AMERICAN, BUT AN
ENIGMATIC FIGURE. HERE IS A MAN LIVING IN WHAT WAS THE FREEST COUNTRY ON EARTH
AT A TIME WHEN FREE COUNTRIES WERE PRETTY FEW AND FAR BETWEEN. HE WOULD HAVE
BEEN SWEPT AWAY IN TWO SECONDS, SENT TO A GULAG IN RUSSIA, A RE-EDUCATION CAMP
IN CHINA, A CONCENTRATION CAMP IN GERMANY. IF HE FINDS SO MUCH DISILLUSIONMENT
IN AMERICA, WHERE IN GOD’S NAME DOES HE PROPOSE TO FIND HIS KIND OF FREEDOM?
THAT SAID, THOREAU IS PART OF A LONG TRADITION OF OBSTRUCTIONISTS,
CONFRONTATIONALISTS AND CONTRARIANS. THOREAU PRECEDES MODERN WRITERS LIKE
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, COMEDIANS LIKE BILL MAHER, AND RENEGADE POLITICOS LIKE
RAMSEY CLARK. HE LIVES IN THE PROTESTERS AND THE SHOUTERS. THE PROBLEM WITH
PEOPLE LIKE THOREAU COMES WHEN CONFRONTED WITH THE QUESTION, “WHAT, THEN, DO
YOU PROPOSE AS A SOLUTION?”
PRIOR TO THE IRAQ WAR, I SAW A MAN-IN-THE-STREET JOURNALIST INTERVIEWING
ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS IN NEW YORK CITY. HE ASKED EACH ONE WHAT THEY WOULD
PROPOSE DOING ABOUT SADDAM HUSSEIN OTHER THAN GOING TO WAR. THE QUESTION
WAS STRAIGHTFORWARD AND CARRIED WITH IT NO BIASED EDGE. ONE AFTER THE OTHER,
THE INTERVIEWEES WERE UNABLE TO GIVE ANY CONCRETE ANSWERS. OUT OF SOME 30
PEOPLE, ONLY ONE MADE ANY SENSE WHEN SHE SAID THE WAR WITH IRAQ WAS DEVISED TO
DIVERT AMERICAN ATTENTION FROM THE WAVERING ECONOMY. THIS RIDICULOUS “WAG
THE DOG” SCENARIO MAY HAVE BEEN PART OF CLINTON’S STRATEGY IN CREATING A
BOSNIA-NOT-MONICA STRATEGY, BUT WAS NOT TRUE IN THE CASE OF BUSH.
NEVERTHELESS, IT WAS THE CLOSEST THING THAT ANY OF THESE PROTESTERS COULD COME
UP WITH WHEN ASKED TO PROPOSE A SOLUTION. AT THE VERY CORE OF MY POLITICAL
PHILOSOPHY IS THE PREMISE THAT, UNLESS ONE OFFERS SOLUTIONS, NO MATTER HOW
OUTRAGEOUS, ONE IS NOT "ELIGIBLE" TO ENTER POLITICAL DEBATE. THEY SURE AS HECK
ARE NOT GOING TO GET MY ATTENTION OR RESPECT.
THOREAU SOMEHOW SAW IN GOVERNMENT A SYSTEMATIC UNDERMINING OF MORAL
DEVELOPMENT. IF THOREAU WAS AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER LIKE HUNTER S.
THOMPSON, SY HERSCH, OR WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN, DELVING EVERY DAY INTO THE
SORDID GOINGS-ON OF CIA MANIPULATION, MILITARY CORRUPTION, AND PARTISAN
POLITICAL INTRIGUE, THEN MAYBE I COULD UNDERSTAND WHERE HE WAS COMING FROM.
UP THERE AT WALDEN’S POND, LIVING A QUIETLY RECLUSIVE LIFE, WITH NO
GOVERNMENTAL HINDRANCE, HE REACHED THESE CONCLUSIONS. MAYBE IF HE HAD SEEN
WATERGATE, MY LAI OR THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES, HE
MIGHT HAVE BEEN STARTLED INTO SOME WEIRD REVERSE PHILOSOPHY. WHO KNOWS?
What he did see, from afar, was institutionalized slavery and a war with Mexico. His
opposition to slavery makes him a great man, if for no other reason. In the Northern part
of the U.S. that Thoreau lived in, abolitionist views were the norm. It was not as if he
stood alone, trying to hold up the Seven Pillars by his lonesome.
HE ALSO OPPOSED THE MEXICAN WAR OF 1846-48. THERE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND
ALWAYS WILL BE ANTI-WAR ACTIVISTS. PLENTY OF PEOPLE WERE ABOLITIONISTS, TOO, BUT
THEY CHOSE TO PROTEST THE GOVERNMENT’S POLICIES WITHIN THE SYSTEM, NOT TO
ALL-BUT-DISAVOW THE LEGITIMACY OF THE INSTITUTION. THOREAU SIMPLY VIEWED
SLAVERY AS EVIL AND THE GOVERNMENT AS EVIL FOR ALLOWING IT. HOW HE WOULD HAVE
REACTED TO THE FREEING OF THE SLAVES IS AN INTERESTING POINT OF CONJECTURE.
HIS RESPONSE TO THE GOVERNMENT WAS TO REFUSE TO PAY THE POLL TAX, LEVIED ON
EVERY MALE IN HIS STATE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 20 AND 70. ON JULY 23, 1846, HE WAS
ARRESTED AT WALDEN POND AND IMPRISONED FOR ONE YEAR IN THE CONCORD JAIL. HE
WELCOMED THE EXPERIENCE, USING IT TO WRITE “THE RELATION OF THE INDIVIDUAL TO
THE STATE,” WHICH HE DELIVERED AS A LECTURE ON JANUARY 26, 1848. IN IT, THOREAU
EMBODIES A FAIRLY NEW KIND OF POLITICAL ANIMAL, THE RADICAL. THE OUTSIDER. HE
REJECTS HIS AND HIS NATION’S TRADITIONS. HE WAS A PROTESTER.
HE DENOUNCED NATIONALISM IN THE OPENING PARAGRAPH OF HIS ESSAY, BUT AS
MENTIONED BEFORE, DECLARED HE IS NOT AN ANARCHIST. HE MADE THE SOMEWHAT
CONTRARY STATEMENT THAT THE BEST GOVERNMENT IS THE LEAST GOVERNMENT, BUT
PEOPLE ARE NOT READY FOR NO GOVERNMENT. HE DECLARED “WAR” ON THE STATE WHILE
“USING IT” FOR HIS PURPOSES. LATER ANARCHISTS LIKE EMMA GOLDMAN WOULD ADOPT
THOREAU. IT SEEMS THAT, AT THE HEART OF THOREAU’S COMPLAINT, IS THE NOTION THAT
SPIRITUAL FORCES DRIVE THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.
NOW WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE. AS ANYBODY WHO HAS EVER READ THE FEDERALIST
PAPERS OR STUDIED THE WRITINGS OF OUR DOCUMENTS, PARTICULARLY DURING THE HOT
PHILADELPHIA SUMMER OF 1787, KNOWS, AMERICAN LAWS ARE RIFE WITH RELIGIOUS
REFERENCES. THE FOUNDERS REPEATEDLY REFER TO GOD AND HIS DIVINE INSPIRATIONS.
THAT OFFENDED THOREAU, WHO SAID GOVERNMENT IS NOT IMBUED WITH SUCH
AUTHORITY, ESPECIALLY NOT A GOVERNMENT THAT ALLOWS FOR SLAVERY. THE NATION,
QUITE SIMPLY, IS SUSPECT.
AS FOR VOTING, THOREAU SAID, “ALL VOTING IS SORT OF GAMING…EVEN VOTING FOR THE
RIGHT THING IS DOING NOTHING FOR IT…THERE IS BUT LITTLE VIRTUE IN THE ACTION OF
MASSES OF MEN…IT IS NOT DESIRABLE TO CULTIVATE A RESPECT FOR IT, EVEN THE
WELL-DISPOSED ARE DAILY MADE THE AGENTS OF INJUSTICE.” THEREFORE, WHEN THE
STATE BECOMES INTOLERABLE, “THEN, I SAY, BREAK THE LAW.”
Some had tried to say that Thoreau was simply carrying on the tradition of the colonists
who resisted British rule in 1776. This argument does not hold up because the colonists
were not represented and that was what they sought. They advanced laws within the
British government, and once those demands were not met, an alternative to the
government. Thoreau dissented from a government that gave him every opportunity to
give his views and seek redress, to stand on a soapbox or even run for and hold office.
No, said Thoreau, the government is illegitimate. In many ways, I see in Thoreau
concepts more in line with later French existentialists like Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert
Camus.
At Walden Pond, Thoreau lived a simple life absent from the trappings of wealth. He
chided Emerson, who lived in a big house in Concord.
“Things are in the saddle and ride Mankind,” said Emerson.
“…a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can do without,” replied
Thoreau.
He would have agreed with Marx when he wrote of capitalism, “Its principal thesis is the
renunciation of life and human needs” by teaching that life depends on “the more you
have” and “my own power is as great as the power of money.”
Thoreau differs with Marx, calling luxuries and comforts of life “positive hindrances to
the elevation of Mankind,” subscribing to voluntary poverty. Marx did not find these
luxuries to be evil, but the system that led to their importance blocks man from his true
destiny. Marx would agree with Thoreau in exposing business as working hand in hand
with slavery. Again, Marx would find the businessmen misguided and Thoreau immoral.
“THE RICH MAN IS ALWAYS SOLD TO THE INSTITUTION WHICH MAKES HIM RICH,” WROTE
THOREAU.
“ABSOLUTELY SPEAKING, THE MORE MONEY, THE LESS VIRTUE,” MARX WROTE.
“HIS MORAL GROUND IS TAKEN FROM UNDER HIS FEET,” AS HE STRIVES FOR PROFIT,
THOREAU WROTE OF THE MAN OF COMMERCE.
MARX MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT THOREAU A UTOPIAN THINKER, ALTHOUGH, DESPITE
THOREAU’S LESS-GOVERNMENT CONCEPTS, IT WOULD SEEM THAT MARX’S VISION IS MORE
UNREALISTIC. THOREAU MIGHT HAVE ADVOCATED BREAKING UP GOVERNMENT, BUT MARX
ADVOCATED CONSTRUCTING SOMETHING THAT RELIES ON AN IMPERFECT PREMISE. AS THE
SAYING GOES, IT IS EASIER TO TEAR SOMETHING DOWN THAN TO BUILD IT UP.
MARX WAS AN INEVITABLIST. THOREAU WAS A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR. MARX DID NOT
CONSIDER INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTARY POVERTY, WHICH IS INTERESTING. THE LEADERS OF
COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM NEVER DID, EITHER. MARX HATED THE CAPITALIST
ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH, BUT WHAT WOULD HE HAVE SAID ABOUT THE ACCUMULATION
OF WEALTH AND THE PRIVATE DACHAS OF HIGH-RANKING COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERS?
MARX SIMPLY SAW NO MERIT TO BEING POOR. DESPITE BEING BORN INTO MONEY, HE WAS
SO POOR IN HIS LONDON THAT THE RESULT WAS PERSONAL TRAGEDY, THE DEATH OF HIS
DAUGHTER. WEALTH WAS OKAY BY MARX, AS LONG AS IT DID NOT COME DUE TO
EXPLOITATION. UNDER HIS THEORY, AN ACTOR WHO BECOMES WEALTHY PLAYING
IDEALISTIC ROLES IS FINE. AN ACTOR WHO BECOMES WEALTHY "EXPLOITING" SEX AND
VIOLENCE IS NOT.
Furthermore, Marx would have you join the Communist Party, with all the baggage that
entails. Thoreau wanted no political affiliation. In the end, of course, if Walden lived in
Russia, Walden Pond would have been turned into a collectivist farm. Walden would
have died of starvation whether he joined the party or not. Still, despite Thoreau’s
recalcitrance, one can certainly give him credit for being true to himself.
“RATHER THAN LOVE, THAN MONEY, THAN FAME, GIVE ME TRUTH,” HE SAID.
HE ALSO SAW A FUTURE FOR HIS IDEAS; THERE IS A HISTORICAL INEVITABILITY TO HIS
FUTURE. IN A WAY, HE WAS RIGHT. WE SEE IT ALL THE TIME, ONLY THE STUDY OF THOREAU
ALLOWS US TO PINPOINT WHAT IT IS. THOREAU IS THE PATRON SAINT OF COMPLAINERS AND
WHINERS. NOTHING WILL EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR THESE PEOPLE. THEY WILL ALWAYS
BE WITH US.
THOREAU CRITICIZED PEOPLE WHO SAY THERE IS TRUTH IN GOD. HE DID NOT SAY HE HAS
THE TRUTH, BUT IS IN PURSUIT OF IT. WELL, AREN’T WE ALL. THOREAU LEAVES
EVERYTHING OPEN-ENDED. PERHAPS THAT IS THE WAY IT SHOULD BE, BUT HE GIVES NO
CREDENCE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S BELIEFS. HE KNOWS WHAT HE KNOWS, HE FEELS WHAT HE
FEELS, HE QUESTIONS WHAT HE QUESTIONS. SO, LIKE SO MANY ELITISTS, THE IDEA THAT
SOMEBODY ELSE HAS FAITH IS PREPOSTEROUS!
Where I admire Thoreau is not in his views on government, patriotism or truth, but in his
concept of civil disobedience. This does not change the fact that he would have been just
another face at Auschwitz if he had chosen the wrong country to be civilly disobedient in.
The Israelis have not chosen the Thoreau/Gandhi path, and thank God for it. But in the
right society, Thoreau is the right kind of protester.
“IF A THOUSAND MEN WERE NOT TO PAY THEIR TAX BILLS THIS YEAR, THAT WOULD NOT BE
A VIOLENT AND BLOODY MEASURE, AS IT WOULD BE TO PAY THEM, AND ENABLE THE STATE
TO COMMIT VIOLENCE AND SHED INNOCENT BLOOD,” HE SAID. “THIS IS, IN FACT THE
DEFINITION OF A PEACEABLE REVOLUTION…”

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY
       IT WOULD NOT BE APPROPRIATE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT WHO SHAPED WORLD
POLITICS, AND IN THAT BOOK TO INCLUDE A CHAPTER ON INFLUENTIAL CONTRARIANS,
WITHOUT INCLUDING SOMEBODY FROM RUSSIA. AFTER ALL, RUSSIA HAS BEEN AT THE
CENTER OF THE POLITICAL AND REVOLUTIONARY UNIVERSE, ALBEIT ON THE WRONG SIDE.
UNFORTUNATELY (AND THIS IS MEANT EVER SO SLIGHTLY AS A JOKE, WITH APOLOGIES TO
ALEXANDER SOLZHENITZYN), I HAVE TO GO BACK WELL OVER 100 YEARS TO FIND A
RUSSIAN WHO IS A GREAT THINKER. MAYBE THAT EXPLAINS SOME OF THEIR TROUBLES.
OKAY, I AM KIDDING, A LITTLE BIT. WHEN YOU WIN THE COLD WAR, YOU CAN BE A TAD
ARROGANT.
PROFESSOR DALTON, WHOSE OUTLINE I AM FOLLOWING, CHOSE TO STUDY FYODOR
DOSTOEVSKY, AND IN PARTICULAR HIS CHAPTER ON THE GRAND INQUISITOR FROM “THE
BROTHERS KARAMAZOV”. THE GRAND INQUISITOR’S POWER IS FREUDIAN, BASED ON
INDIVIDUAL AND MASS PSYCHOLOGY, NOT ON ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL FORCES. HIS
NATURE CLASHES DIRECTLY WITH THOREAU.
THE GRAND INQUISITOR IS IN THE TRADITION OF THUCYDIDES, MACHIAVELLI AND
THOMAS HOBBES, IN THAT PEOPLE WANT NOT FREEDOM, BUT SECURITY. THOREAU
THOUGHT MEN ARE FREED BY THEIR CONSCIENCE. THE INQUISITOR THINKS THEM
BURDENED BY IT. IN THIS REGARD HE RESEMBLES FREUD. THEY ARE JUST SHEEP WHO WANT
TO BE TOLD WHAT TO THINK.
        I MUST BREAK IN HERE WITH SOME COMMENTARY. EVERY TIME I COME ACROSS THESE
HISTORICAL FIGURES WHO SPOUT VARIOUS NOSTRUMS ABOUT PEOPLE WANTING OTHERS TO DO
THEIR THINKING FOR THEM; AND RELIGION BEING THE OPIATE OF THE MASSES; AND PEOPLE
WANTING SECURITY, NOT FREEDOM, I AM TEMPTED TO GET ON MY KNEES TO PRAY AND THANK
THE ALMIGHTY FOR CREATING A COUNTRY CALLED THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IN THIS
COUNTRY, LEVELHEADED MORAL PEOPLE SYSTEMATICALLY, COMPLETELY, AND UTTERLY
OBLITERATE SUCH BULLSHIT. YOU MAY RESUME YOUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING.
        DOSTOEVSKY WAS A NOVELIST, NOT A POLITICAL CONSULTANT. BUT HE WAS A
NOTABLE SOCIAL THINKER. HE WAS BORN INTO A MIDDLE CLASS MOSCOW FAMILY,
FLIRTED WITH SOCIALISM, GOT INTO TROUBLE WITH THE AUTHORITIES, AND WAS SENT TO
SIBERIA. THIS MIGHT BE THE FIRST SIGN THAT THOREAU’S THEORIES WOULD NOT HAVE
GOTTEN HIM VERY FAR IN CZARIST OR COMMUNIST RUSSIA. THE RESULT OF
DOSTOEVSKY'S EXPERIENCE WAS ENMITY TOWARD ROMAN CATHOLICISM, AS SHOWN IN
THE GRAND INQUISITOR.
THE CHAPTER STARTS WITH CHRIST RETURNING TO EARTH DURING THE SPANISH
INQUISITION OF THE 16TH CENTURY. HERETICS ARE BEING BURNED AT THE STAKE. ALL
THE INDIANS WERE HERETICS, OF COURSE, SINCE THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE LORD
BEFORE THE SPANIARDS SHOWED UP. CHRIST GRACEFULLY MEANDERS THROUGHOUT THE
CITY, AND HIS RADIANCE AND COMPASSION ARE MADE OBVIOUS. WHEN THE PEOPLE ARE
DRAWN TO HIM, THE GRAND INQUISITOR HAS HIM SEIZED. THE INQUISITOR DELIVERS A
PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN THAT SWAYS PEOPLE AWAY FROM CHRIST, WHO IS LED TO
PRISON. THE INQUISITOR THEN HAS A PRIVATE MEETING WITH CHRIST IN HIS CELL.
HE TELLS CHRIST THAT THE PEOPLE WANT SECURITY, AND IN WORSHIP THEY ONLY WANT
SOMEONE TO WHOM THEY CAN HAND THEIR FREEDOM OVER TO. FREEDOM IS TERRIFYING
TO THEM IN A HOSTILE WORLD. THE INQUISITOR SOUNDS MUCH LIKE HITLER LATER DID.
THE CONVERSATION THEN CENTERS ON SATAN’S THREE TEMPTATIONS OF CHRIST. THE
FIRST IS ECONOMIC. PEOPLE WANT MONEY MORE THAN FREEDOM. CHRIST CAN BRING THEM
ALL TO HIM THROUGH BRIBES. CHRIST SAYS NO.
THE NEXT TEMPTATION IS PSYCHOLOGICAL. THE PEOPLE, WHO DEMAND SIGNS OF CHRIST'S
POWER, REQUIRE VISUALLY SATISFYING MIRACLES. BUT CHRIST DISDAINS SUCH DISPLAYS
BECAUSE HE WANTS PEOPLE TO CHOOSE HIM VOLUNTARILY.
THE INQUISITOR THEN OFFERS CHRIST POLITICAL POWER, COUCHING HIS OFFER IN
LANGUAGE THAT DESCRIBES A “UNIVERSAL” OR “WORLD GOVERNMENT,” WHICH SOUNDS
LIKE THE “ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT” THAT COMMUNISM LATER ASPIRED TO. CHRIST
REJECTS THIS OFFER, AND THEN KISSES THE GRAND INQUISITOR. DOSTOEVSKY DESCRIBES
THE INQUISITOR HAS HAVING HATRED IN HIS EYES THAT EMBODIES THE VERY HIGHEST
FORM OF EVIL. THE ENCOUNTER IS TELLING IN ITS CONTRASTS OF GOOD AND EVIL. IT IS A
VERY PRO-CHRISTIAN MESSAGE, WHILE BEING ANTI-CATHOLIC AT THE SAME TIME, WHICH
                                                  TH
IS VERY SIGNIFICANT. STUDIES OF DOSTOEVSKY BY 20     CENTURY SCHOLARS HAVE BEEN
USED TO HIGHLIGHT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GANDHI’S AND HITLER’S POWER. IT ALSO
SYMBOLIZES THE WIDESPREAD ABUSE OF NATIONALISM IN PURSUIT OF POWER.
BORN IN 1821, DOSTOEVSKY WAS A CONTEMPORARY OF MARX. HIS FATHER WAS AN ARMY
DOCTOR, AND HAD INFLUENCE OVER HIS SON. DOSTOEVSKY WANTED TO BE A WRITER BUT
HIS FATHER DIRECTED HIM TO ENGINEERING. HE SPENT FIVE YEARS IN THE ARMY
ENGINEERING COLLEGE IN ST. PETERSBURG, BUT HIS FATHER WAS MURDERED IN A
PEASANT UPRISING. IN 1844 DOSTOEVSKY RESIGNED HIS COMMISSION TO COMMIT HIMSELF
TO WRITING. IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT THE FRENCH UTOPIAN SOCIALISTS (SAINT-SIMON
AND PROUDHON) INFLUENCED MARX. DOSTOEVSKY READ THEIR WORKS AND BECAME
“MILDLY SOCIALIST,” ACCORDING TO PROFESSOR DALTON. HE WAS A CRITIC OF CZAR
NICHOLAS I (1825-1855).
IN A FIVE-YEAR SPAN FROM 1844-1849, DOSTOEVSKY PUBLISHED 10 NOVELS AND SHORT
STORIES. “POOR PEOPLE” (1845) WAS AN INSTANT SUCCESS. DOSTOEVSKY IS SEEN AS A
LITERARY FIGURE OF GREAT INFLUENCE BECAUSE HE HELPED CREATE THE “SOCIAL GENRE”
THAT WAS LATER FOUND IN THE WORKS OF CHARLES DICKENS IN BRITAIN AND JOHN
STEINBECK IN THE U.S.
HIS TRUTHFUL DESCRIPTION OF THE PLIGHT OF THE POOR IN CZARIST RUSSIA EARNED HIM
AN EIGHT-MONTH IMPRISONMENT IN 1849. THE CHARGES STATED THAT HE WAS PLOTTING
CRIMINAL ATTACKS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, BUT ALSO CITED THE “INSOLENCE” OF HIS
WORKS. HE WAS SENTENCED TO DIE AND WROTE THAT HE "ESCAPED," BUT THE SENTENCE
WAS ACTUALLY COMMUTED TO FOUR YEARS IN SIBERIA. THIS RESULTED IN A MAJOR
CHANGE OF HEART. HE BECAME AN ADHERENT OF NICHOLAS I AND ALEXANDER II
(1855-1881), COMMITTED TO HIS COUNTRY, TO THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN
CHURCH, AND HIS NATION’S CULTURE. HE COMPLETELY DISAVOWED HIS EARLY SOCIALIST
IDEAS. TOWARDS THE END OF HIS LIFE, WHEN THE EARLY STIRRINGS OF THE SOCIALIST
MOVEMENT WAS BEGINNING TO TAKE PLACE IN RUSSIA, HE INTENSELY OPPOSED IT.
FROM 1864 TO 1860, HE WROTE “NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND”, “CRIME AND
PUNISHMENT” AND “THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV”. HIS CHAPTER ON THE GRAND
INQUISITOR IN “BROTHERS” IS SET IN 16TH CENTURY SPAIN, DURING THE “WORST PERIOD
OF THE SPANISH INQUISITION”. STARTED BY FERDINAND AND ISABELLA IN 1481 TO EXPOSE
MUSLIMS AND JEWS, ISABELLA’S CONFESSOR TOMAS DE TORQUEMADA (1420-1498) WAS
THE FIRST GRAND INQUISITOR. HE HAD 2,000 PEOPLE BURNED AT THE STAKE IN PUBLIC
AUTOS DA FE, OR “ACTS OF FAITH.” IT IS TORQUEMADA WHO DOSTOEVSKY MODELS THE
OLD CARDINAL OF HIS BOOK.
At the beginning of the story, Christ enters and is recognized by the people. This
immediately threatens the Inquisitor’s power. Dostoevsky obviously thinks history would
repeat itself, and is pessimistic about man’s ability to learn its lessons. Or, as Santayana
said, “those who not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The Inquisitor
echoes Pontius Pilate and has Christ seized by his soldiers. The rest of the story is
Dostoevsky’s philosophy of good vs. evil, showing the people as accepting Christ’s
imprisonment because they choose to be cowed into submission and obedience
(Dostoevsky did not learn much from the American Revolution). The Inquisitor goes on a
diatribe intended to justify his blasphemy, and in it he announces that he has accepted
Satan over Christ because Satan understands human nature.
The overriding theme of the story is freedom. Christ sees freedom as being spiritual and
says the “truth shall make you free.”
“Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone to whom he can hand it
over quickly that gift of freedom with which that unhappy creature is born…” countered
the Inquisitor. “Did you forget that man prefers peace and even death to freedom of
choice in the knowledge of good and evil? Nothing is more seductive for man than his
freedom of conscience, but at the same time nothing is a greater torture.”
Dostoevsky’s concepts of freedom are incredibly instructive of our knowledge of
European history. In his moody pessimisms about the rejection of freedom, Dostoevsky
echoed the sad tide of political history. We see his words resonating out of the French
Revolution, when freedom gave way to retribution and left the bewildered, morally
corrupt French masses begging for somebody – anybody – to be their master. What a
tragedy! Thus rose little Napoleon.
Dostoevsky’s influence in Russia is tremendous and tragic. The future leaders of
Communism used his words, and the people believed them. Europeans were not prepared
for an alternative to despotism. Dostoevsky indicated that it is natural. The only
exception was Great Britain, which slowly rose above and beyond themselves to become
a Democracy.
DOSTOEVSKY MUST HAVE KNOWN THE AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY. PERHAPS THE
GEOGRAPHICAL AND METAPHYSICAL DISTANCE THAT SEPARATES THE U.S. FROM EUROPE
AND IN PARTICULAR, RUSSIA, MUST HAVE MADE THE STORIES OF OUR REVOLUTION
SOMETHING EXOTIC AND IMPOSSIBLE TO TRULY COMPREHEND. DOSTOEVSKY’S VISION IS
ONE OF GREAT GLOOM. HE COULD NOT COMPREHEND PEOPLE OF FREEDOM AND RUGGED
INDIVIDUALITY. HOWEVER, THE GREAT INFLUX OF IMMIGRANTS FROM RUSSIA, GERMANY,
ITALY, IRELAND AND OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAD BEGIN DURING HIS LIFE. HE DID
NOT LIVE TO SEE THE HEIGHT OF ELLIS ISLAND, BUT WHAT DID HE THINK THESE PEOPLE
WERE LOOKING FOR? WHAT MOTIVATION DID DOSTOEVSKY ATTRIBUTE TO ALL THESE
PEOPLE? THEY WERE OBVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT HE SAYS
THE PEOPLE WANT!
Instead, through the Inquisitor, Dostoevsky wrote that people need to be freed from
themselves, because they are afraid and therefore look to authority “and huddle close to
us in fear, as chicks to the hen. They will marvel at us and will be awe stricken before us,
and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever.”
Now, it is important to note that Dostoevsky was quoting a character that he is not
sympathetic to. Attributing the future of Russia and Europe to him, by calling it his dark
vision, is not entirely appropriate. After all, Dostoevsky was sympathetic to Christ and
does attribute to Christ a spiritual love of the truth, which might be viewed as “freedom.”
This gives man some kind of desire to avoid the authority of the Inquisitor. But he seems
to indicate that the Inquisitor has found the pulse of what makes man tick.
In “Escape from Freedom” by Erich Fromm, the Grand Inquisitor’s view of freedom vs.
authority is related to politics, especially Hitler’s Germany. Fromm felt that there are
different kinds of freedom. John Stuart Mill described a kind of freedom that is more
Western in nature, and helps to promote the vision of individualism that makes up the
American psyche. Fromm said that in contemporary society, people are afraid of this kind
of full freedom.
They are afraid because, as Dostoevsky said, they are “alone with his self and confronting
an alienated, hostile world.” “The frightened individual seeks for somebody or something
to tie his self to; he cannot bear to be his own individual self any longer, and he tries
frantically to get rid of it and to feel security again,” wrote Fromm, in his explanation of
why men “voluntarily” eliminate free choice. Fromm pointed to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”,
and his understanding of how to mobilize the masses.
Security, security, security. This is the world that lies at the heart of the Hitlerian view of
what people want. It is the word that drives explanations for the two massive, evil,
totalitarian movements of the 20th Century. But why? I think that while this is one of the
most imponderable questions ever asked, there are some explanations. First of all, there is
the sheer weight of history in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and in the Orient.
Centuries of monarchs, despots, wars, torturers, tyrants, plagues, disasters, genocides,
racial hatreds, religious hatreds, tribal hatreds, divisions, broken promises,
abandonments, and a million other horrible sides of the human condition. All of these
conditions met up with the Industrial Revolution, when people went to work in factories.
Huge numbers moved from rural farms where they owned the land, to dirty cities where
they found themselves to be numbers. New technology and machinery created weapons
of killing that were impersonal and efficient.
Fortunately, luckily, by the grace of God – choose your phrase – these conditions are not
as much a part of the landscape of America as the rest of world. America is a young
country, and it has been forged out of success. They learned valuable lessons about how
not to govern, what the dark side of the human condition is, and how to improve upon it.
We gained a big boost of confidence when we won our revolution. We saw the French try
to copy us. We saw ourselves become an influential country in the world. Our enemies,
the English, came around to becoming more like us, led by Lincoln’s contemporary,
Disraeli. We fought a terrible Civil War, but out of that we confronted our worst
problems and began the long process of fixing them.
Perhaps most important, we were never occupied. The South was occupied during
Reconstruction, but this was a much different set of circumstances than the French being
occupied by the English, the Sicilians by the Moors, the Germans by the Romans, the
Greeks by the Persians, and all the other results of all the wars. This cannot be overstated
too much.
Let us imagine this scenario. The Civil War started, and around 1862 or so, the French
traveled to our shores and joined forces with the Union. Then French forces took the fight
to the South, and eventually splits with the Union occurred, especially regarding the lands
of Louisiana, in and around New Orleans. The French decided to “re-claim” their lands.
The French push the Confederates to defeat, then occupy the South and force the
Confederates to free their slaves. Then the English, the long-time enemies of the French,
come to the aid of the Confederacy and a major new front is created in which the French
and the English fight each other on our soil.
Eventually, the war ends, and various political compromises, treaties and land grabs dot
the American landscape. Our states are divvied up between various confederated groups
of Franco-Union and Confederate-English military occupations. For years after, we live
as an occupied nation. The slave trade ended at the hands of foreign invaders, not of our
own will. Our laws and freedoms are dictated in part by these alien people. Various fights
and rebellions occur, with different splinter groups trying to fight guerilla wars in an
attempt to create little fiefdoms. Had this been our history, then the kind of citizenry that
Dostoevsky said the Inquisitor was satisfying might have developed. The kind that
Fromm describes in Germany, and which makes up the landscape of humanity in China,
the Middle East, Latin America and throughout the Old World. Then America might have
been open to the kind of dictators and dividers who came to power in the rest of world.
Why did this not happen? Many reasons, of course. Our geographical location created a
kind of psychological separation. We followed the vision of Alexander Hamilton and
Federalized a strong military, with a great navy, to protect ourselves. Plus, and this I
believe whether you like to hear it or not, we were graced by God!
AMERICANS ARE NOT MORE INTELLIGENT, THEY ARE JUST SMARTER. SMARTS COME FROM
EXPERIENCE. WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE HAD SO MUCH HISTORY OCCUR BEFORE WE BECAME
A COUNTRY, AND TO LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES. ALL OF IS TRUE, BUT MEN OF MORALITY
SHAPED THE DESTINY OF THE UNITED STATES. HOW EASILY OUR VALUES COULD HAVE
BEEN RENT ASUNDER, DISCARDED LIKE OLD CAMPAIGN SLOGANS (SEE FRANCE IN THE
1790S). BUT THEY WERE NOT. THEY WERE IMMORTALIZED.
MAN, ACCORDING TO THE GRAND INQUISITOR, IS “WEAK, SINFUL, WORTHLESS, AND
REBELLIOUS.” LET ME TAKE ONE WORD OUT OF THIS SENTENCE AND EXAMINE IT.
WORTHLESS. MAN IS WORTHLESS! TAKE EVERYTHING OUT OF THE EQUATION, AND IF MEN IN
POWER THINK MAN IS WORTHLESS, ALL OTHER EXPLANATIONS FOR HISTORY COME INTO
FOCUS.
“You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” Stalin said.
THE WORTHLESSNESS OF MAN GIVES MEN OF “VISION” THE EXCUSE THEY NEED TO SEND
THEM INTO WARS, TO KILL ENTIRE RACES, TO WIPE OUT RELIGIONS, TO ABORT CHILDREN BY
THE MILLIONS, AND TO TORTURE THE IMPRISONED. AT ITS CORE IS A REJECTION OF
RELIGION, BECAUSE IF MAN IS WORTHLESS, THEN GOD IS IRRELEVANT. THE BATTLE IS
BETWEEN THE CONCEPT OF MAN BEING CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, NURTURED BY HIS
LOVE, AND PROTECTED BY HIS GUIDING HAND, VS. THE IMAGE OF TEETHING MASSES OF
HUMAN ANIMALS.
HUMANS ARE “VILE AND WEAK,” SAYS THE INQUISITOR. “MAN IS WEAKER AND BASER BY
NATURE THAN YOU BELIEVED HIM TO BE.” HUMAN NATURE YEARNS FOR “MIRACLE,
MYSTERY, AND AUTHORITY” TO SOOTHE HIS ANXIETIES.
DOSTOEVSKY POSES “THREE QUESTIONS,” THE TEMPTATIONS OF CHRIST FOUND IN THE
NEW TESTAMENT, MATHEW 4:1-11. PROFESSOR DALTON’S OUTLINES CAPTURES THEM AS
PLENTY, PRIDE AND POWER. THEY ARE BASED ON THE TEMPTATIONS THAT SATAN
OFFERED CHRIST WHILE HE WANDERED IN THE WILDERNESS.
“MAN CANNOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE,” CHRIST SAID WHEN THE DEVIL OFFERED HIM A
DEAL WHEREBY HE WOULD BE A HERO BY FEEDING THE MASSES BREAD.
“IN THE END, THEY WILL LAY THEIR FREEDOM AT OUR FEET, AND SAY TO US, `MAKE US
YOUR SLAVES, BUT FEED US,’” THE INQUISITOR SCREAMS AT THE CHRIST OF “THE
BROTHERS KARAMAZOV”. ONE FEELS COMPELLED TO MAKE THE GUY WATCH SOME JOHN
WAYNE MOVIES! IMAGINE ROOSTER COGBURN LAYING HIS FREEDOM AT ANYBODY’S FEET
IN RETURN FOR SOME FOOD?
THE QUESTION IS WHETHER PEOPLE WANT EARTHLY OR HEAVENLY BREAD. THE
PESSIMISTS SAY THAT TO PURSUE GOD IS A CONTRADICTION OF HUMAN NATURE. THIS FAILS
TO ADDRESS A TREND THROUGHOUT MUCH OF THE WORLD WHEREBY POOR PEOPLE ARE
MORE RELIGIOUS THAN RICH. IF ONE WERE TO BUY THE INQUISITOR’S ARGUMENT, THEN
THE WEALTHY, WHO HAVE THEIR “BREAD” NEEDS TAKEN CARE OF, WOULD TURN TO GOD
MORE READILY THAN THE POOR. THE POOR WOULD BE TOO BUSY TRYING TO FEED
THEMSELVES TO PRAY. THE DIRT-POOR PEASANTS OF LATIN AMERICA WORSHIP CHRIST
WITH A LOVE AND FERVOR ALMOST BEYOND IMAGINATION. THE NOTIONS OF MAN
DESCRIBED BY THESE DARK ARTISTS JUST DO NOT JIVE WITH THIS REALITY.
THE NEXT TEMPTATION THAT THE INQUISITOR PUTS BEFORE CHRIST IS AN OFFER TO
DEMONSTRATE HIMSELF IN A VAIN DISPLAY OF POWER. THE INQUISITOR IS INFURIATED BY
CHRIST’S CALM REFUSAL TO DO SO, SAYING HE WISHES MAN TO FOLLOW HIM FREELY, NOT
BECAUSE OF DEMONSTRATIONS OF IMMORTALITY. DOSTOEVSKY’S INTERPRETATION IS A
BIT OBSCURE IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT CHRIST DID DISPLAY HIS POWERS IN HIS LIFE, BY
WALKING ON WATER AMONG OTHER MIRACLES. WHAT DOSTOEVSKY DOES, HOWEVER, IS
AIMED AT SHOWING THE INQUISITOR, AND THEREFORE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AS BEING
GUILTY OF INTELLECTUAL ARROGANCE, OF “PLAYING GOD,” AND OF BEING DEMONIC. IN
ITS AVOWAL OF INFALLIBILITY, AS PROFESSOR DALTON CALLED IT, STUDIES OF
DOSTOEVSKY’S WORK INDICATE THAT HE IS ALSO SHOWING SCIENCE TO BE GUILTY OF THE
SIN OF PRIDE. WHILE SCIENCE IS SUPPOSED TO BE OPEN-MINDED, IT IS ELITIST AND
IMPERSONAL.
THIS SEEMING SIDE REFERENCE TO SCIENCE, WHICH IS NOT THE MAIN POINT OF THE
CHAPTER, NEVERTHELESS BRINGS UP SOME VERY IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT THE NATURE
OF MAN IN SOCIETY. IT HAS BEEN POINTED OUT THAT SOME DARK THINKERS BELIEVE MAN
TO BE WORTHLESS. THIS IS THE HEART OF THE ANTI-RELIGIOUS CONCEPT. CHRISTIANS
BELIEVE THAT GOD LOVES MAN, AND THEREFORE EACH MAN IS OF GREAT VALUE.
BUT SCIENCE IS A TRICKY QUESTION, AND ONE THAT GETS MIXED UP WITH QUESTIONS OF
EVIL AS IT APPLIES TO MAMMON. SCIENCE IS PRIDEFUL, AND IT DISPLAYS ITSELF IN VULGAR
DEMONSTRATIONS OF ITS “GREATNESS.” CHRIST CHOSE NOT TO DO. THE INTERNET IS AN
EXAMPLE OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INFORMATION POTENTIALLY RUNNING AMOK. IT
IS THE NATURAL TOOL OF THE HATED “ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT.” IT HAS ALREADY BEEN
SHOWN TO BE A VALUABLE TOOL OF TERRORISTS AND PEDOPHILES, AND IT IS ONLY ABOUT
10 YEARS OLD. THE IMPORTANT CONSTRAINT OF SCIENCE MUST BE IN THE IDEA THAT IT
SERVES MAN, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
SCIENCE ALSO TENDS TO ASSERT ITSELF AS INFALLIBLE, OR TRUE. DOSTOEVSKY SAW THIS
AS THE WAY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. BOTH SCIENCE AND THE CATHOLICS VIEW THE
MASSES WITH CONTEMPT, AND IT IS FOR THIS REASON THAT DOSTOEVSKY VIEWS PRIDE AS
THE HARBINGER OF WESTERN DOWNFALL.
PROFESSOR DALTON MAKES SOME IMPORTANT POINTS, WHICH SPEAK TO MY OWN VIEWS
REGARDING MANIFEST DESTINY. DOSTOEVSKY VIEWED THE “WEST” AS BEING THE
OUTSIDE WORLD, AND RUSSIAN WAS NOT PART OF IT. HE SAID THE WEST HAD CONVINCED
ITSELF THAT IT IS ENDOWED BY GOD’S GRACE, AND USES THIS TO JUSTIFY ITS
EXPLOITATIONS OF NATIVE PEOPLE’S AND LANDS. MARX SAW THIS AND THOUGHT IT THE
FATAL FLAW OF CAPITALISM. I HAVE ADDRESSED THESE ISSUES AND PROVIDED MY OWN
STRONG, SOME MIGHT SAY ARROGANT OPINION OF THE ISSUES OF WESTERN COLONIALISM,
“SPIRITUAL OVERSIGHT” AND DISPUTATIONS OF MARX AND HIS ILK.
PRIDE IS A WORD THAT HAS BEEN STRETCHED AROUND. AS IT APPLIES TO THE INQUISITOR
AND BIBLICAL SINS, IT IS A DETRIMENTAL HUMAN TRAIT. BUT JUST AS FREUD’S “EGO” IS
DIFFERENT FROM THE EGO WE USE IN EVERYDAY USAGE, PRIDE HAS COME TO BE SEEN AS
SOMETHING OF VALUE. HUMILITY AND HUMBLENESS ARE VALUABLE HUMAN TRAITS, BUT
PRIDE IN ONE’S WORK, FAMILY, COUNTRY, RELIGION, ACCOMPLISHMENTS – PRIDE IN
WESTERN CULTURE, IN AMERICA’S PLACE IN THE WORLD – THESE ARE THINGS WE DESERVE
TO BE PROUD OF. WHAT MUST BE KEPT IN MIND ARE NOT THE SIMPLE CONCEPTS OF SINFUL
PRIDE, BUT RATHER THE TEMPERANCE OF PRIDE AS BEING SOMETHING THAT EACH MAN
MUST MEASURE AGAINST SOMETHING LARGER THAN HIMSELF.
AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE THIS VERY BOOK I AM WRITING. IN IT I ESPOUSE AND THROW OUT
FACTS, OPINIONS AND KNOWLEDGE, LIKE I AM SOME KIND OF SAGE OR PROPHET WHOSE
WORDS SIMPLY CANNOT BE KEPT TO MYSELF, AS IF IT IS JUST TOO IMPORTANT THAT I
PROVIDE MY WISDOM TO THE GASPING WORLD. PLEASE RECOGNIZE THAT IN SAYING IN THIS
I AM MAKING FUN OF MYSELF. JESUS CHRIST WERE TO APPEAR I WOULD BOW TO HIM AND
SAY NOTHING BECAUSE NEXT TO HIM I AM NOTHING.
But He loves me anyway.
Power is the third temptation of Christ, in the wilderness and in the jail of Dostoevsky’s
novel. In the Bible, Satan offers Christ all the land of the world. In it is the implicit
parallel of one-world government. This was the goal of international Communism. The
United States, with the help of our Allies, prevented this from happening. The Soviet
Union happily would have made this deal with the devil. The U.S. currently possesses
enough military, economic and political power to make the world one Pax Americana; a
single world governed by us, a giant colony, an empire to diminish and make small any
empire ever created in history. The U.S. has rejected the devil’s offer, and casts itself
with the spirit of Christ.
There is a long, long list. It is a list that would fill all the pages of this book. The list
contains the names of leaders; military, political and dictatorial, throughout the annals of
human history. Every person on this list has one thing in common. If they had access to
the power that every President of the United States, elected every four years, has access
to, they would accept the devil’s offer to Christ. They would use all the power the U.S.
has at its disposal, to take control of one-world domination of the Earth.
ALL THESE LEADERS NEVER WOULD HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT REAL POWER IS IN CEDING
THIS POWER. IT IS IN NOT UTILIZING OUR FULL MILITARY MIGHT. IT IS IN ALLOWING
FREEDOM TO REIGN. IN THIS WAY THE U.S. POSSESSES MORE POWER, AND CONTROLS A
MIGHTIER EMPIRE, THAN ANY IN HISTORY. WE HAVE GREATER CONTROL AND MORE
INFLUENCE SIMPLY BY LETTING MAN BE FREE THAN BY ANY OTHER METHOD. THE DARK
VISIONS OF MARX, DOSTOEVSKY AND FREUD ARE EXPOSED AS FRAUDS,
MISCALCULATIONS, LIES, AND FALSEHOODS BY THE VERY EXAMPLE OF THE UNITED
STATES. WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE FREEDOM OF MAN IS NOT OURS TO "ALLOW." IT IS THE
UNALIENABLE, NATURAL RIGHT OF ALL MEN. WE CANNOT "GRANT" FREEDOM, BUT WE CAN
HELP THOSE WHO ARE NOT FREE GAIN ACCESS TO IT.
For example, we do not like the drug trade, which emanates from Latin America. With a
flick of the switch, we could wipe Latin America from the face of the Earth, and with it
the drug trade. We do not like Fidel Castro’s Cuba. If we wanted to, we could eliminate
that island from the maps of the world. North Korea? We could turn them into a hole in
the ground. We could eliminate our enemies and intimidate our “friends.” We could take
dissenters and turn them into dust. Stalin would have done it. Hitler would have done.
Saddam would have done it. Kim Jong-Il would, too.
We do not. We follow the moral way. We let the wicked live, the messy reign, and the
corrupt thrive. We do this because to get rid of them by overwhelming force and our own
fiat would make us no better than they are. We do this because we believe some have the
capability of redemption. We do not believe all the innocent should die so evil may be
eliminated. If we did this evil would just take a different form. We choose excellence.
The Israelis do the same thing. They have the capability of simply making the
Palestinians extinct, and to turn into all its neighbors into fire. They do not do this. They
live with the threats. They put up with the violence.
We choose goodness and freedom. The Grand Inquisitor can put that in his pipe and
smoke it!
The parable of the 20th Century comes at the end of the exchange between Christ and the
Inquisitor. The Inquisitor seems to have hit the nail on the head, his descriptions to Christ
describing the worst excesses of our age. But in the end, Christ closes the encounter with
a kiss. This “gesture of inclusiveness,” as Professor Dalton writes in his outline, is one of
incredible symbolism. It represents the Hitler/Gandhi spectrum, and the East/West divide.
It is a parable for the way we welcomed Germany and Japan back into the family of
nations, and later allowed Russia to save face and call themselves our friend.

Anarchism and liberalism
        Dostoevsky, Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston
Churchill all represent political philosophies that have had millions of followers. In their
own ways, each has been admired and vilified. But there is another kind of philosophy
that is worth looking at. It represents a strain of thought that really never does go away.
This is the idea of anarchism. Rousseau and Thoreau had anarchistic ideas. "Red Emma"
Goldman gave it voice and propelled a movement. In it she expressed views that have
some limited admirable, albeit not very workable, qualities. Anarchism does not offer
answers, but it represents part of human nature that many people relate to. It allows
people to complain without taking responsibility. We see this every day. It is very, very
seductive. Of course, I am more than happy to expose it, and those who do it, for what it
is.
Anarchism has a benign view of humanity. It stresses compassion, a community of
people, but not of state authority. As Professor Dalton points out, the view of anarchists
like Sacco and Vanzetti is one of “violence-prone sociopaths.” But a theorist with the
appropriate name of William Godwin said that anarchism is the result of a natural order
within society, based on voluntary cooperation among equal humans, as opposed to
coercive state power. In this concept we see a world that Jesus Himself might have
approved of. Christ did acknowledge the validity of the state, saying that we “render unto
Caesar that with which is Caesar’s,” when asked about paying taxes to Rome. Christ
advocates a Kingdom of Heaven. He might consider America to have been a nice “keeper
of the flame” until He can establish that once and for all. Despite our patriotic fervor for
America, we have to acknowledge that the anarchists do resemble a Christian vision of
humanity.
That being said, the anarchists do not offer real answers in the real world. Their
conundrum is their ideals vs. the way things are. This is a metaphor for God. God reigns
over a Kingdom in which our questions are answered. These questions are not meant to
be answered in this world. In the mean time, we have to protect ourselves.
Anarchism and Marxism have many similarities. Marx and Goldman have much more in
common than Marx and Lenin. They were both revolutionary in nature, but anarchism is
not as proletarian as Marx’s vision. It is similar to Thoreau's and Gandhi’s non-violent
con-cooperation with supposed “evil.” The problem with both of these examples is that
neither overcame “evil.” Gandhi overcame the English. History has not given the Brits
the credit they deserve. They allowed Gandhi and his movement to grow, to gain
momentum, and to thrive. Thoreau was frustrated by his lack of martyrdom. He lived in a
country that let him say whatever he wanted to say.
THE ANARCHISTS FELT THAT IF THE STATE WAS NOT INVOLVED, PEOPLE WOULD COOPERATE
WITH EACH OTHER, AND IN THIS THEY HAVE AN INTERESTING POINT. VOLUNTEERISM IS A
VERY STRONG THING IN SOCIETY. WE SEE THE COOPERATION, HELP AND COMPASSION OF
THE HUMAN FAMILY IN THE WAKE OF TERRIBLE DISASTERS LIKE EARTHQUAKES, FLOODS,
AND DROUGHTS. THE ANARCHISTS FELT THAT THIS PERVASIVE AND BENIGN PART OF
HUMAN NATURE COULD BE CHANNELED INTO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN ALL OF US.
ANARCHISM HAS BEEN ESPOUSED BY A WIDE VARIETY OF PRACTITIONERS. THE RUSSIAN
NOVELIST LEO TOLSTOY WAS A CHRISTIAN ANARCHIST WHO ADVOCATED NON-VIOLENT
CHANGE. MICHAEL BAKUNIN WAS A VIOLENT ANARCHIST. ANARCHISM HAS BEEN
CONSIDERED EVIL BY SOME. CREON AND THUCYDIDES WERE THREATENED BY IT BECAUSE
IT CHALLENGED THEIR AUTHORITY. ZENO, THE FOUNDER OF STOICISM IN THE THIRD
CENTURY B.C. (FOR A PORTRAYAL OF STOICISM APPLIED IN THE MODERN WORLD, READ
TOM WOLFE’S “A MAN IN FULL”), CALLED FOR A STATELESS SOCIETY WHERE PEOPLE
WORKED IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER.
ANARCHISM WAS KEPT UNDER WRAPS FOR CENTURIES. THE ALIENATION OF 19TH CENTURY
INDUSTRIALISM REVIVED IT, AS IT DID MANY OF THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENTS OF THE
ERA. “AN INQUIRY CONCERNING POLITICAL JUSTICE” (1793) BY GODWIN, GAVE VOICE TO
THE THEORY THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE ABILITY TO LIVE IN HARMONY. GEORGE
WOODCOCK’S “ANARCHISM” PREDICTED THAT EVENTUALLY GOVERNMENT WOULD
BECOME OBSOLETE. THERE IS AN ANARCHIC CONCEPT FOUND IN THE MODERN LIBERTARIAN
AND EVEN REPUBLICAN PARTIES, AND CERTAINLY SO IN THE SEPARATIST AND MILITIA
MOVEMENTS. THE LIBERTARIANS AND HIGHLY INDIVIDUALISTIC REPUBLICANS SEE A
WORLD IN WHICH THERE IS LESS GOVERNMENT, ALTHOUGH NOT A COMPLETE LACK OF
GOVERNMENT. THEY GIVE VOICE TO THAT RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM EMBODIED BY THE
COWBOYS OF THE OLD WEST, AND THE RANCHERS, FARMERS AND SELF-SUFFICIENTS OF
THE MODERN RURAL WORLD. THE MILITIA WINGS RANGE FROM ROMANTICIZED MOUNTAIN
MEN TO THOSE WHO ESPOUSE VIOLENT AND TOO-OFTEN RACIST VIEWS.
EMMA GOLDMAN WAS BORN IN RUSSIA IN 1869, AND MOVED TO AMERICA IN 1886. SHE
WROTE A BOOK CALLED “LIVING MY LIFE”, AND IN IT DESCRIBES A VERY AUTHORITARIAN
FATHER. NEW YORK CITY IN THE POST-BOSS TWEED ERA WAS HER STAGING GROUND. SHE
WAS OFTEN JAILED FOR ADVOCATING FREE LOVE (HEY, AS THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR IN
“DR. STRANGELOVE” MAY HAVE SAID, SHE MIGHT JUST HAVE SOMETHING THERE), ATHEISM
(UGH), CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION AND BIRTH CONTROL.
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF ANARCHISM IS THAT HUMAN NATURE IS BENIGN. MACHIAVELLI
AND FREUD ARGUED THAT PEOPLE ARE THE OPPOSITE: AGGRESSIVE AND UNTRUSTWORTHY,
TO BE CONTROLLED BY THE STATE. THESE PRINCIPLES ARE ACTUALLY PLAYED OUT IN THE
MIDDLE EAST. THE U.S. IS OFTEN ADVOCATING TO OUR ALLIES IN SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT,
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, AND EVEN TO ISRAEL AS IT RELATES TO CONTROL OF PALESTINE,
THAT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES OF FREEDOM BE ALLOWED TO OCCUR. THIS OSTENSIBLY
GIVES VOICE TO THE "ANARCHIC" CONCEPT THAT PEOPLE WILL DO THE RIGHT THING. THE
ALLIES RESPOND WITH THE MACHIAVELLIAN CONCEPT THAT IF THEY ARE GIVEN FREEDOM,
THEY WILL DESTROY THE STABLE GOVERNMENTS AND REPLACE THEM NOT WITH HARMONY,
BUT WITH CHAOS. SO FAR, NOBODY REALLY TRUSTS THE ANARCHIC VISION OF
COOPERATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST. FORMER RICHARD NIXON AIDE CHARLES COLSON
ONCE SAID, “IF YOU GOT ‘EM BY THE BALLS, THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS WILL FOLLOW.”
THIS IS THE APPROACH WE ARE TAKING IN THE MIDDLE EAST. LET THEM "COOPERATE"
WHEN THERE IS LITTLE ALTERNATIVE.
 THE EARLY COMMUNISTS USED THE MALLEABLE AND BENIGN NATURE OF PEOPLE AND
TWISTED IT INTO A VIOLENT REVOLUTION. FASCISTS VIEWED PEOPLE AS MORE GULLIBLE
THAN BENIGNLY MALLEABLE. ANARCHISTS JUST WANT GOVERNMENT TO GET OUT OF THE
WAY.
THE SECOND PRINCIPLE OF THE ANARCHISTS IS TO STRESS COOPERATION OVER
COMPETITION. THIS IS AN INTERESTING CONCEPT, BUT IT HAS FLAWS. AS A FORMER
PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE, I HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF EXPERIENCE WITH COMPETITION. THIS IS
NOT JUST THE COMPETITION WITH MY OPPONENTS ON OTHER TEAMS, BUT WITH MY
TEAMMATES. ANY COACH CAN TELL YOU THAT STRONG COMPETITION FOR POSITIONS ON
THE TEAM MAKES FOR A BETTER BALL CLUB. ONLY WHEN THE POSITIONS ARE TO SOME
EXTENT SETTLED (ALTHOUGH COMPETITION ALWAYS EXISTS FROM SECOND-STRINGERS
AND UP-AND-COMERS), DOES THE TEAM JELL INTO A COOPERATIVE UNIT THAT CAN DEFEAT
OTHER UNITS.
THE OTHER EXAMPLE IS ONE FOUND IN BUSINESS. LOCAL ROTARY CLUBS FOUND IN ANY
AMERICAN CITY, LARGE OR SMALL, ARE ORGANIZATIONS THAT PUT THE LIE TO THE
ANARCHIST'S CONCEPT. THESE KINDS OF ORGANIZATIONS ARE MADE UP OF COMPETING
BUSINESSES WHO COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER AS WELL AS WITH THE GOVERNMENT.
In “Mutual Aid”, Peter Kropotkin said that our actions would be guided by a sense of
“oneness.” The animal world indicates that there is evidence for and against the
anarchist view. In the animal world, there is cooperation, but there is also competition.
The reality of man is somewhat similar. There is a kind of environmental culture that
exists in which competition and cooperation work together. In the end, we have a blend
of both.
Emma Goldman firmly believed that there is a tyranny of the majority, and that this
majority works as a destructive force of coercion and evil. The Communists split from
the anarchists in that they say the proletariat needs must be consolidated with the state, in
order to defeat the bourgeoisie.
The anarchists advocate liberty in all its forms, especially social and economic. They
reject the Marxist principle that any means are justified to attain the end. Goldman said
the means had to be the same as the ends, but anarchists who followed her went too far
and became quite violent.
The anarchists actually held some worthy views. They felt that while human nature was
benign, individual behavior was shaped by choice. This is a slight variation on the
Christian view, which is based also on choice. In Christianity there is a value for evil, as
well. Somewhere between the Christian/anarchist value of “personal choice” is the
concept of “resident evil,” which might be found in Freud’s analysis.
Anarchism seems to be an idea made for the big cities, where people live together and
are, therefore, tied by social circumstance to each other. This leads to a natural
cooperation between people. But as I pointed out earlier, this does not always work itself
out in this way. If anarchistic cooperation was the way in the cities, then how does one
explain why violent, stupid, nonsensical gangs divide many major urban centers, while in
the countryside people who live many miles from each other pull together in times of
crisis?
The anarchists would argue that the gangs in the cities are divided because the evil,
divisive levers of government have operated to separate them by class envy. But class
envy is not at the heart of gang warfare. Drugs and, for lack of a better explanation, the
forces of evil, i.e, drugs and violence as a proof of “respect,” are much more likely to
blame. The weird offshoot of this is that the drug trade in the cities can be traced back to
a cooperative effort from an organization that might be the perfect form of anarchy: La
Casa Nostra.
The Mafia embodies many of the traits of anarchism, with the notable exception of
benevolence. They are a series of families, or groups, who cooperate with each other to
form one organization. They operate in a world of their own, created because they did not
want or trust government intervention in their lives. It was the mob that made the
decision to expand the drug trade into the inner cities, because they had no respect for
blacks. “They're animals anyway; let them lose their souls,” one capo says in “The
Godfather”.
It is no mere coincidence that many anarchists were Italian, and the Mafia grew out of
Italy and Sicily. Whether anarchism gave birth to the Mafia or vice versa is debatable.
The anarchists wanted to foster diversity, but do not think that government can do it.
History disputes this. Call it political correctness, or whatever you want to call it, but the
U.S. government may have done more to “foster diversity” than any organization in
history. How did the anarchists think that such disparate groups as native New Yorkers
and first generation Irish would ever consolidate? Or blacks and Southern whites? How
else, other than laws and government, would these people have been brought in and
joined as one?
GOLDMAN AND ENRICO MALATESTA WOULD ARGUE THAT ANARCHISM DID NOT BREED THE
MAFIA BECAUSE THEY DO NOT EMPHASIZE HIERARCHICAL, AUTHORITARIAN
ORGANIZATIONS. BUT SOMEHOW THEY DO NOT ACCOUNT FOR THE NATURAL RISE OF
LEADERS. CHARISMATIC INDIVIDUALS EVOLVE INTO POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP. IT IS THE
TENDENCY OF PEOPLE TO ACCORD RESPECT TO ELDERS WITH EXPERIENCE. THERE ARE
ORGANIZATIONS THAT WERE FORMED WITHIN THE ANARCHISTIC VISION. AMONG THESE ARE
THE RED CROSS, THE PEACE CORPS, AND DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS.
THE ANARCHISTS TOLD PEOPLE NOT TO VOTE, BECAUSE IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THE STATE.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY MIGHT NOT ADVOCATE THIS, BUT IN A WAY THEY HAVE
BENEFITED FROM NON-VOTING. THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE REPUBLICANS SUCCEED
WHEN VOTER TURNOUT IS LOW. REPUBLICANS ARE GENERALLY GOOD, SOLID CITIZENS WHO
KEEP QUIET, ARE AWARE OF THE ISSUES, AND VOTE. THE DEMOCRAT CONSTITUENCY IS TOO
OFTEN THE OFFSHOOT OF THE ANARCHY MOVEMENT; RUFFIANS, PROTESTERS, RABBLE,
QUASI-CRIMINALS, VARIOUS AND SUNDRY INDIVIDUALS OF LOW RENT. THESE FOLKS ARE
LESS LIKELY TO KNOW THE ISSUES, OR VOTE, THUS HELPING REPUBLICANS. REPUBLICANS
REALLY DO NOT MIND THESE PEOPLE STAYING AWAY FROM THE POLLS, PREFERRING TO
HAVE GOVERNMENT DECIDED BY THOSE WHO EDUCATE THEMSELVES ON THE ISSUES.
THE ELECTION OF HILLARY CLINTON TO THE SENATE FROM NEW YORK IN 2000
EXEMPLIFIES THIS. A STUDY WAS MADE OF THE PRECINCTS THAT VOTED FOR HILLARY AS
OPPOSED TO THOSE WHO VOTED FOR REPUBLICAN RICK LAZIO. IT WAS DETERMINED THAT
HILLARY WON BY VIRTUE OF GETTING THE VOTES FROM NEW YORK CITY PRECINCTS WITH
EXTREMELY HIGH CRIME RATES. LAZIO CARRIED THE SUBURBS WHERE LAW-ABIDING
CITIZENS LIVE. HILLARY BENEFITED FROM HIGHER-THAN-USUAL TURNOUT IN HIGH CRIME
AREAS.
A STUDY OF THE CLINTON VS. LAZIO VOTERS CONTRACTS SOMEWHAT FROM THE
ANARCHIST CONCEPT, HOWEVER. THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT THAT VOTES FOR THE CLINTONS
WOULD ADVOCATE BIG GOVERNMENT WHEN IT COMES TO PROVIDING THEM BENEFITS.
THEY WOULD NOT WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO INTERFERE WITH THEIR "NEED" TO DEAL
DRUGS OR OTHER UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES. THE REPUBLICANS IN FAVOR OF LAZIO WANT
LESS GOVERNMENT. THEY WOULD WANT FEWER TAXES AND CONTROLS ON SMALL
BUSINESS, BUT WOULD WANT GOVERNMENT TO CRACK DOWN ON CRIMES COMMITTED BY
CLINTON'S CONSTITUENTS.
       RES IPSA LOQUITER.
       THE PROBLEM WITH ANARCHISM IS THAT THE ANARCHISTS FAVORED THE EXAMPLE
OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION OVER THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. THEY WERE UNABLE TO
SQUARE THE THREE TENETS OF LIBERTE, EQUALITE AND FRATERNITE. THE VIOLENCE OF THE
FRENCH PEASANTS CREATED AN ANARCHIST MODEL. FOR OTHERS, IT WAS ABHORRENT.
GANDHI MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AN ANARCHIST, BUT HE USED METHODS OF THE
NON-VIOLENT ANARCHISTS TO ATTAIN HIS GOALS. HIS SUCCESS WAS MIXED. HE GAINED
FREEDOM, BUT DIED A VIOLENT END. FURTHERMORE, ONCE HIS COUNTRY BECAME FREE,
THEY WERE UNABLE TO GOVERN THEMSELVES WITHOUT SPLITTING INTO A WAR THAT. FOR
ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES, THAT WAR IS STILL GOING ON. IT IS NOT AT ALL
INCONCEIVABLE THAT INDIA WOULD BE BETTER OFF, CERTAINLY MORE PROSPEROUS, IF THE
BRITISH HAD NEVER LEFT. INDEPENDENCE COMES WITH GRAVE RESPONSIBILITY. NOT
EVERYBODY IS ABLE TO HANDLE IT.
The story of anarchism is the story of rebellion. Rebellion must have some kind of end
game to be successful. Emma Goldman’s rebellion started with her desire to break the
bonds of her authoritarian father. She broke free from him, leaving Russia and settling in
at 210 East 13th Street in New York’s East Village. There, she joined Johann Most and
Alexander Berkman to promote better working conditions for women working as
seamstresses. She was a gifted orator, and soon gained the reputation of being a
dangerous radical. She found herself imprisoned in 1893 for inciting the unemployed to
riot. Inciting a riot seems to go against the grain of the so-called anarchistic concept of
benign behavior, non-violence and rejection of the Marxist statement that the end justifies
the means. Riots become violent and are not benign. Apparently the ends do justify the
means if the people who get hurt are police officers and the businessmen whose shops lie
in the path of the rioters!
SHE PLOTTED TO ASSASSINATE PRESIDENT WILLIAM MCKINLEY IN 1901, AND OPPOSED
THE U.S. ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR I IN 1917. THE GOOD THINGS SHE ADVOCATED WERE
THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT SHE ACTUALLY DID DO. APPARENTLY THE KILLING OF A
REPUBLICAN WAS OKAY. OPPOSING KAISER WILHELM AND HIS ATTEMPT TO INCULCATE
GERMAN CULTURE INTO THE REST OF EUROPE BY FORCE WAS NOT. SHE IS THE MOTHER OF
THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT, THE GODDESS OF THE RABBLE, THE SPIRIT OF THE
FOUL-MOUTHED DIRTY HAIRS WHO LITTER OUR STREETS TO PROTEST ALL THINGS. HER
GHOST URGED THE CHICAGO SEVEN TO THROW BAGS OF FECES AT THE POLICE, OR
REVEREND JESSE JACKSON TO SHAKE DOWN SOME COMPANY WITH THE BLACKMAIL
THREAT OF RACIST COMPLAINT - JUST FOR THE SAKE OF PROTEST. SHE IS AT THE HEART OF
A GROUP OF PEOPLE ALLOWED TO LIVE IN AMERICA BECAUSE IT IS A FREE COUNTRY. THEY
HOLD NO JOBS BUT TAKE MONEY FROM THE DISENFRANCHISED AND CONFUSED.              THESE ARE
PROFESSIONAL DISSENTERS WHO LITTER US WITH THEIR PRESENCE. NIIIIICE.
When Emma was not figuring out how to blow a President’s brains out or opposing
red-blooded Yanks fighting to uphold Democracy, she was preaching that people should
just screw each other whenever they wanted to. She wanted to rid America of our Puritan
values. She did not even see the joy in sex. She viewed it only as a way of tearing things
down. She wanted to see heresy and atheism destroy churches. She wanted soldiers to
become pacifists.
“THE MORE OPPOSITION I ENCOUNTERED, THE MORE I WAS IN MY ELEMENT,” SHE TOLD
ALIX SHULMAN IN “RED EMMA SPEAKS”. SHE WAS DEPORTED TO THE SOVIET UNION IN
1919. WHEN SHE SAW A COUNTRY THAT HAD ADOPTED MANY OF HER POLICIES, SHE WAS -
SURPRISE! – APPALLED AND FELT BETRAYED. THIS SHE STATES IN “MY DISILLUSIONMENT
IN RUSSIA”, WRITTEN IN 1924.
Goldman was a hypocrite, the leader of a movement that decried violence, but who
orchestrated violence. Her elitist concepts made it okay for her to be Machiavellian and
Marxist, but not for others. In 1923 she was effectively a woman without a country.
Having seen the failure of Communism in Russia first hand, she wanted to return to the
"land of milk and honey." Only then did she acknowledge that the violence she spawned
was wrong. This is similar to the Symbionese Liberation Army revolutionaries who
expressed sorrow for the dead in their wake, once they grew up and saw how wrong they
had been.
“The one thing I am convinced of as I have never been in my life is that the gun decides
nothing at all,” she wrote. Maybe this was because she saw that McKinley’s death did not
result in a Democrat in the White House, but instead another Republican, Theodore
Roosevelt who liked guns and called them “big sticks.” Or maybe it was because lots of
people became free to think for themselves as a result of the use of American guns in
dislodging Germany from France in 1918.
“Even if it accomplishes what it sets out to do – which it rarely does – it brings so many
evils in its wake as to defeat its original aim,” she continued. Maybe she said this because
guns were used to promote American-style freedom throughout the world. This was an
unworthy prospect in her mind. Emma’s confusion continued throughout the Roaring
‘20s. In 1928 she was back to her old self.
“We must become Bolsheviks, accept terror and all it implies, or become Tolstoyans,”
she said. “There is no other way.” Maybe because the Chinese Communists were using a
lot of violence at this time, she said, “Revolution is indeed a violent process.”
“Though Goldman grew skeptical about the value of individual acts of violence,” wrote
Shulman, “in her remaining years, she never doubted that necessity of collective
revolutionary violence against capitalism and state.” She supported the violent Spanish
anarchists of 1936. Considering the non-violent plank of the anarchist manifesto, one
would think she would have liked Gandhi. She seems to have found much more in
common with Francisco Franco.
“The first ethical precept <of anarchistic revolution> is the identity of means used and
aims sought,” she said. “The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish
the sanctity of human life…” She felt human life was sacrosanct, unless it was the life of
a Republican, a soldier, a successful guy, or an unborn child.
She offers nothing.
                                    CHAPTER SIX

HITLER, GANDHI AND THE LIE OF MORAL RELATIVISM

        When Muslim extremists destroyed the World Trade Center, part of the Pentagon,
and a plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, the ghosts of Emma
Goldman, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Karl Marx whispered in the ears of the liberal envious
and told them, “Aha, here it is. Backlash against the success of United States. Tell the
world the Americans brought this upon themselves. There is no evil. There is no
morality. It is all relative. There is only the here and now. Why should America be so
successful while others fail? It’s not fair. Let the Americans suffer for once.”
        In this chapter, I shall study the rise and impact of two 20th Century political
contemporaries, Adolf Hitler of Germany and Mohandas Gandhi of India. In so doing I
will make my best case that evil exists, and that moral relativism is immoral.
        Hitler used demagogic psychological powers to liberate the “unconscious of the
German people and articulate their latent aggressiveness,” according to Professor Dalton.
He considers Freud a major political thinker because his evaluation of human nature is
the best answer to the unanswerable question, “How could Nazi Germany happen?” In a
perverse way, Hitler was the wrong man at the right time and in the right place. This is
the way it is in politics and history. Ronald Reagan was the right man to run against and
succeed Jimmy Carter. George W. Bush, if all indications up to now are a go, is the same
to Bill Clinton. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was just the ticket after Herbert Hoover.
Teddy Roosevelt was in the right place on a number of occasions over 20 years -
Tammany Hall reformer; Spanish War hero; V.P. to an assassinated President; leader of a
fledgling nation just itching to bust its muscles. In fact, almost everybody famous was the
right guy (or gal) in the right place at the right time. Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas
MacArthur, George Patton, Harry Truman, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington,
Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth; the list goes on.
        Others had their time altered, through Shakespearean drama, simple bad timing or
murderous tragedy. Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and William
Jennings Bryan help to fill out this list.
        But Hitler and Gandhi seem to transcend their time. They were not constrained by
electoral cycles or term limits. They were the faces of their countries, for good or bad,
and beyond that. They represented the entire moral spectrum of humanity.
        In Hitler, we see perhaps the most influential man of the 20th Century. He is not
the Man of the Century. Time magazine said Albert Einstein was, but even in identifying
Einstein, it can be said that if there were no Hitler, Einstein’s role would have been
diminished. Einstein, like many of the men listed above, exists as a significant historical
figure because he opposed, or juxtaposed, Hitler. Without Hitler, Ike, Patton, even
MacArthur, would not have been nearly the giants they were. Franklin Roosevelt's place
would be far more controversial.
       Without Hitler, Communism probably would not have rose as an international
behemoth. It was in opposing Hitler that the Soviet Union and Stalin rose to a
prominence they never would have known had they just remained in the background.
Without the rise of Russia, China would not have gone to Chairman Mao, Korea would
not have happened, and neither would Vietnam. Truman spoke of a domino effect, and he
applied it to Communism. No domino was bigger and more powerful than Adolf Hitler.
         Hitler started the jet program that started the Americans on a race to get there
first, thus creating an atomic bomb that probably would not have come along for years. It
would have delayed bombs built in Russia and China, and the Russian space program.
         Without Hitler there would not have been a Berlin Wall, East Germany, an Iron
Curtain and a Soviet Bloc. Without Hitler there would be no Israel, and the Communist
spin-off that led to war in Southeast Asia and Pol Pot’s genocides. Without Hitler Gandhi
would not have liberated India, and the British Empire would not have crumbled.
Without Hitler, England and the U.S. would have existed on relatively equal footing for
many years.
Without Hitler, Harry Truman would not have had to drop the atomic bomb and Tom
Dewey would have beaten him in 1948. He probably would have been succeeded either
by William Howard Taft's son, Robert Taft, or maybe Adlai Stevenson. Without Hitler,
countless people who died on the battlefields of World War II would have made names
for themselves in politics, the sciences, in sports and on movie screens.
Without Hitler John Kennedy would not have been a war hero. His brother Joe probably
would have become President. Without Hitler, local business leaders in Whittier,
California would not have asked a young Navy lieutenant to run for Congress in 1946.
Richard Nixon would not have had the Communist scourge and Alger Hiss to campaign
against. There would not have been a Supreme Commander to ask him to be his running
mate, and there probably would never have been a Watergate.
Without Hitler, the dividing line between right and wrong, between good and evil, would
have been much blurrier. The fuzzy morality of Emma Goldman and Karl Marx would
have more easily assuaged its way into the thinking of a fat and happy populace. We
would have been much more willing to be seduced by the socialistic propaganda of John
Steinbeck’s descriptions of the Great Depression and an evil business climate to blame
for it. Without Hitler there would not have been something to rally around.
         The mind can go many places on a subject like this. Page after page could be
filled with wild scenarios and what-could-have-beens. I will let it rest at this juncture.
Suffice to say, the point is made, and the point is this. Somebody, probably a Christian
minister, once said that, “All things happen for some good reason.” There are many
reasons to dispute this claim. Certainly the Jewish people might need some convincing.
As insane as the concept is, it may be said that Hitler’s existence on this Earth resulted in
a change in the course of history that turned the 20th Century. This, quite simply, is a
good thing. Does that mean that if we could time travel we should not have sent assassins
to Germany in the 1920s with orders to terminate Hitler with extreme prejudice? Sure, if
we could have eliminated Hitler, we should have. But this is all water under the bridge.
Sometimes it takes great evil for great good to fight. No place is this more evident than in
the confrontation with Hitler.
         History records him to be the most evil man in history. It is often pointed out that
Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung did more damage. But Stalin and, in turn Mao, are
products of Hitler. It is ironic that Hitler despised Communism as much or more than the
U.S. did in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Stalin and Mao had more time to do their
killing. Much of Stalin's territory grabbing resulted from historical opportunity. Hitler
was the most blatant land-grabber and warmonger of all time.
There is a sense of chauvinism among the modern class. We tend to look back at history
and dehumanize people, especially when studying warfare. Genghis Khan and the
Mongol hordes, for example, are viewed as bloodthirsty beyond our current ability to
understand. The Romans were a cruel empire. They enslaved, raped, pillaged, took the
spoils of war, and terrorized populations through crucifixion. There are conflicting
dimensions in studying the warfare and killing methods of the old warriors. On the one
hand, war was a much more confined process. Most of the killing was hand-to-hand, or in
relatively small numbers. This required a certain kind bravery and savagery. Much of the
killing done today is “anti-septic,” “push button,” “computerized,” and “surgical.” But
we have our modern examples of very personal savagery. Saddam was the most visible of
the current day until the United States decided to put a stop to it. The Taliban in
Afghanistan, the torturers of Bangladesh in the early 1970s, and the necklace specialists
of South Africa's ANC come to mind.
Furthermore, the study of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle put a much more human face on
Mankind long before the birth of Christ. Humanity has always had deep thinkers.
Compassion for our fellow human beings is as old as a desire to kill him. Biblical
scholars will point to the study of Caen and Abel.
However, the viewpoint of modern vanity is that by the 20th Century, the world had
matured. The rise of Hitler’s Germany, however, is alarming and confusing. Communism
was a long time coming. Many books and movements heralded it. We find Communism
in the works of Rousseau, Thoreau, Marx, Engels, Goldman, and many others.
Communism was a social movement of the industrial age.
National Socialism may not have been a new idea, per se. Nationalism is as old as
nations, and it is not necessarily a bad word. Moses might have been a called a
nationalist. Teddy Roosevelt was a nationalist. Certainly, it is a concept that was always
popular in Germany. Otto von Bismarck was a highly successful nationalist. In 1870, the
year the Germans fought France to the encirclement of Paris, he accomplished the great
feat of unifying all the German states and “tribes” into one country. The common
language, culture and arrogance of the German people built itself up to what many think
was their "natural" militarism, resulting in World War I.
Kaiser Wilhelm’s attempt to subjugate Europe into a Greater Germany was not entirely
the result of saber rattling. The blunder of nations was in not recognizing the killing
machines they had created. The German plan for the invasion of France in 1914 had been
sitting in the Kaiser’s desk since his chief of staff drew it up in 1905. It said that the
troops would march into France through Belgium with the “right sleeve of the last
German brushing the Atlantic.” It was the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand by a
Serbian Nationalist that drew the Balkans, Russia and eventually Turkey into a World
War that originally was planned as a French-German re-match. The Americans, the
Dardanelle Campaign, and the Russian Revolution were not considerations.
The point of this discussion is German culture. The Versailles Treaty laid out harsh
penalties on Germany for waging war and trying to impose their culture on everybody
else. Despite criticisms of the treaty, the bottom line is that Germany got what they
deserved. Germany is and was a country of cultured people. The fact that people of such
culture could be put under the sway of a Viennese corporal is the great dilemma of
history.
Hitler and Napoleon have been compared. They have their similarities. Hitler was a
corporal and Napoleon was known as "the little corporal." Napoleon was not actually a
corporal, but in one of his early campaign he moved freely amongst the enlisted
personnel, a rarity for officers. The nickname stemmed from this incident.
Sometimes mass movement is proletarian in nature. The rise of Napoleon and the rise of
Hitler are quite different, however. They both emerged from economic chaos, but
Napoleon emerged from the French Revolution, which was in effect a civil war. Hitler
emerged from a depression that resulted from Germany’s failed war. Napoleon came
from a movement that had “won” in their battle with the French monarchy. Hitler came
from a standpoint of abject failure. The use of their forces by Napoleon and Hitler were
quite different, too. Napoleon utilized foreign mercenaries to man his enlisted forces, a
tradition in his country that still is in effect with the French Foreign Legion. Hitler would
never have thought of such a thing. His forces were made up of “German supermen.”
The greatest similarity between Napoleon and Hitler is the fact that they rose to power
over cultured people. There is arrogance, perhaps even a racist arrogance, which allows
us to tell ourselves that Arabs, Persians, Africans, Indians, Hispanics, Islanders and
Chinese could be swayed by such totalitarians. A kind of British Darwinism has always
tinted our vision of the Third World. This is the same view that gave the English a sense
of destiny in the ruling of dark-skinned peoples. Surely we can be trusted to rule over
them. Middle class conservatives despise academic elite classes who pre-suppose the
same thing for them, but of course the middle class is mostly white.
But the arrogance plays itself out in a view of modern barbarism or, at the very least,
chaos. Whites look at Africa, Latin America, much of the Middle East, and tell
themselves that these places have problems ruling themselves because of some kind of
endemic inferiority within native populations.
THERE MAY BE TRUTH TO THIS. MAYBE WE ARE JUST AT THAT MOMENT IN THE CHANGING
EBB AND FLOW OF HISTORY WHERE WHITE PEOPLE ARE, FOR THE MOST PART, IN CONTROL.
BUT SOME IMPORTANT POINTS NEED TO BE MADE. FIRST, SOME THIRD WORLD CULTURES
HAVE A LOT MORE HISTORY THAN SOME ELITE WHITES ARE WILLING TO CONSIDER. THE
AZTECS WERE NOT JUST PLAINS INDIANS. THEY WERE INVENTORS AND PYRAMID BUILDERS
OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. THEY WERE SCIENTISTS AND MATHEMATICIANS. THEY ALSO
EMPLOYED SOME HIDEOUSLY BARBARIC PRACTICES. SOME MORAL RELATIVISTS HAVE
EXCUSED THESE PRACTICES AS SIMPLY BEING PART OF THEIR PARTICULAR CULTURE.
WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND SHEET-WEARING KU KLUX KLANNERS WOULD HAVE YOU
BELIEVE THAT AFRICANS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN LITTLE MORE THAN “JUNGLE BUNNIES.”
THAT MODERNIZATION IMPOSED UPON THEM BY THEIR WHITE ENSLAVERS AND COLONIZERS
IS THE ONLY REASON THEY HAVE ANY FOOTHOLD AT ALL WITHIN THE MODERN WORLD.
BUT THESE DUNDERHEADS DO NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE BRILLIANT MILITARY
STRATEGIST HANNIBAL, WHO LED THE NORTH AFRICAN CARTHAGINIANS IN WARS THAT
GAVE THE ROMANS ALL THEY CAN HANDLE. THIS INCLUDED A MAGNIFICENT SURPRISE
ALPINE CROSSING THAT LED THEM TO THE GATES OF ROME. NOR DOES IT GIVE MUCH
CREDENCE TO THEIR OFFSPRING, THE MOORS, WHO CONQUERED SICILY AND MUCH OF
ITALY. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR A GREAT DEAL OF THE CULTURE AND RACIAL
MAKE-UP OF THE MEDITERRANEAN. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S "OTHELLO" WAS ABOUT A
MOOR.
THE CHINESE WERE MATHEMATICIANS AND LINGUISTS. THE EGYPTIANS WERE ARCHITECTS
AND WORKAHOLICS. POLITICS, WARS AND THE TIDES OF HISTORY MET AN AGE OF
ENLIGHTENMENT     IN WHICH WHITE EUROPEANS BECAME THE INVENTORS OF THE WORLD,
GIVING A DISPROPORTIONATE CONCEPT THAT THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL PROGRESS.
AT SOME POINT, THE EUROPEANS BECAME THE EDUCATED CLASS, THE RULERS, THE
MILITARISTS, THE ORGANIZERS, THE INVENTORS AND THE CONQUERORS. THERE IS NO
DENYING THEY ARE THE MAJORITY ARCHITECTS OF THE WORLD. HOWEVER, AND HERE IS
THE POINT, THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT THIS RESULTED IN STRAIGHTFORWARD PROGRESS FOR
HUMANITY. THIS CHAPTER IS ABOUT HITLER, GANDHI AND MORAL RELATIVISM. RACISM
AND THE THIRD WORLD ARE TIED TOGETHER WITH IT.
THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW IS REALLY NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER MORAL
WORLDVIEW. AT THE HEART OF ALL GOOD RELIGIONS, AND I INCLUDE ALL THE MAJOR ONES
UNDER THIS UMBRELLA – CHRISTIAN, JEWISH, MUSLIM, HINDU, BUDDHIST – IS
COMPASSION FOR HUMANITY. COMPASSION FOR HUMANITY HAS BEEN THE CONFLICT OF
MAN AND GOVERNMENTS SINCE TIME IMMEMORIAL. IT IS NOT RELATIVE. IT WAS AS MUCH A
MATTER OF RIGHT AND WRONG, GOOD AND EVIL WHEN CAEN SLAYED ABEL, AS IT WAS
WHEN THE AZTECS SACRIFICED VIRGINS BY CUTTING OUT THEIR STILL-BREATHING HEARTS,
AND WHEN THE S.S. SENT TRAINLOADS OF JEWS INTO THE GAS CHAMBERS. THERE IS NO
EXCUSE FOR IT. IT CANNOT BE CLOAKED UNDER THE GUISE OF CULTURE, BRAVERY OR
RETALIATION. REFUTING THE CONCEPT OF MORAL RELATIVISM LIES AT THE CENTER OF
GREAT, UNIFYING POLITICAL MOVES, WHEN COUNTRIES AND LEADERS DECIDE TO "BURY
THE HATCHET" AND MAKE REAL DEALS FOR LASTING PEACE WITH HATED ENEMIES. IT IS FOR
THIS REASON THAT THE PALESTINIANS, OPPRESSED AND TERRORIZED AS THEY ARE, CANNOT
USE MORAL RELATIVISM AS AN EXCUSE FOR SENDING SUICIDE BOMBERS INTO ISRAEL. IT IS
THE REASON THAT ARAB EXTREMISTS, FRUSTRATED BY ENGLISH-AMERICAN
DEMARCATION LINES RESULTING FROM THE BREAK-UP OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE THAT PUT
THE “INFIDELS” IN CHARGE OF THE OIL, MUST BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
THEY CANNOT EXCUSE THEIR ACTIONS AS JUSTIFIABLE BACKLASH.
Compassion for humanity is the responsibility of everybody, especially the ones in
power. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle all emphasized this. Even if we were to accept the
racially charged view that white Europeans are in control of the world because they are
intellectually superior, one thing is as clear as clear can be.
        White Europeans are not morally superior!
        BY NO STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION AM I SAYING THAT WHITE EUROPEANS ARE
MORALLY INFERIOR. WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT MORALITY, GOOD AND BAD, IS THE SINGLE
STRAIN THAT CONNECTS ALL HUMANS THROUGHOUT HISTORY. IT SUPERSEDES
CHRISTIANITY OR ANY ORGANIZED RELIGION. IT IS THE BASIC “FREE WILL” THAT ALL
PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS HAD, FROM THE CAVEMEN TO THE SCIENTISTS. IT IS INHERENT IN
MAN, A STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOD AND THE DEVIL, FOUGHT WITHIN THE BREAST OF ALL
BEINGS.
White accusations of immorality among the dusky peoples, the "great unwashed," and the
wild-eyed natives of the Earth, is hypocritical blindness in light of what whites have
wrought upon the world. This goes back to the question of German culture. The
German-speaking people are the culture of Mozart, Brahms, Wagner, Beethoven, Freud,
Einstein, Martin Luther and Thomas Mann. They are people who embraced Christianity.
They were thoughtful enough about it to reform their Catholicism and create one of the
strongest of the Protestant offshoots, Lutheranism. They are people renowned for their
work ethic, their intelligence, and their physical beauty.
These people elected Hitler, waged war on the world twice in 20 years, leading to the
deaths of 70 million people. They sent 12 million people to concentration camps, and in
the process came close to wiping out European Jewry.
As a result, the world views race in a way they never did before. To some extent, political
correctness owes itself to Hitler. An entire victim class of minority's points to Hitler as an
example of inherent white racism that must always be kept down, checked, exposed and
dealt with. Hitler’s victims were not just his countrymen, the Jews, the soldiers and the
refugees, but generations of good, decent white people who now live in his shadow. This
is a wicked shadow. It is a shadow of aspersion that leaves that trace of question on the
heads of white people who operate in a world in which the unspoken question is whether
they are racists. It has caused many whites to apply guilt to themselves and set out to
bend over backwards to prove that they are not.
Optimists have been known to say “all good things happen for some good reason,” and
while this writer is not advocating affirmative action quotas, white guilt or P.C., I do
acknowledge that there exists today increased sensitivity for people, and a compassion
for others. That is a very good thing.
Hitler’s Germany is not the only example of white people unable to lay claim to a
monopoly on morality. Communism was promoted and maintained, in large part, by
whites. The KGB was a “white” organization. There is no excuse for any of it. The
excesses of Communism cannot be justified as a backlash against exploitation any more
than the Nazi death camps are “understandable” after World War I, Muslim terrorism is a
reaction to Lawrence of Arabia, or the KKK was okay because the South lost.
Another point needs to be made, to dispel myths promoted by the Left for too long
without being debunked by the right. Ever since the McCarthy "blacklist," liberals have
been identified with Communism, and conservatives have been identified with Nazism.
Liberals, trying to get the spotlight off of them when their Communist sympathies were
exposed, attempted to say that there is a far right, an extreme element of conservatism,
and that this is the Nazi equivalent of their Communism.
Eventually, their willing accomplices in the Fifth Column picked up on this. Historical
references to the Nazis were flavored with phrases like “far right” and “right wing.” This
is garbage. This book has gone into great detail describing the thinkers who inspired
socialism and Communism. They include Thoreau, Rousseau, Marx, Engels, Emma
Goldman, and to a lesser extent, Dostoevsky. These people were all "true believer"
liberals. They saw intrinsic flaws in capitalism and felt that workers were exploited
victims. They espoused changes in government and/or philosophy, and were part of a
worldwide movement that operated in France, the United States, Russia, and Germany,
among other nations. There is a direct, undeniable link between them and the Sino/Soviet
Communist bloc that eventually formed.
Some of these “icons of the Left” are embarrassing to the progressive liberals who have
had to try and promote their causes despite growing evidence that they are swimming
against the tide of history. Unable to make these people into heroic figures, the liberals
then turned to the right and tried to pin an equally horrendous historical movement on
them. Hitler’s Germany, they decided, was right wing!
They tried to find similarities between the "party of Lincoln" and Hitler; between Teddy
Roosevelt and National Socialism; between conservative principles of free speech, lower
taxation, business promotion, smaller government, rugged individualism, greater liberty,
and German totalitarianism; between Dwight Eisenhower and…Heinz Guderian? They
tried to find all of these similarities. Of course, there are no similarities. Desperately they
tried to find some correlation. They could not find it in the matter of African American
civil rights, since Democrats ran the Jim Crow South. They only found a few limited
places to go. American country clubs, whose members were mostly Republicans, and
who discriminated against Jews, were trotted out as examples. McCarthyism was their
easiest target, because most of the Communists found were Jewish. So, they grasped for
this straw. They decided that not letting Jews play golf, and the fact that most U.S.
Communists were Jews, was a direct link to Adolf Hitler. This sophist lie was allowed to
grow in part because the dominant media culture – Hollywood and the networks –
consisted of a large number of liberal Jews. They had the power to orchestrate a backlash
against McCarthyism.
At the heart of Leftist lies is moral relativism. Liberals must try to reconcile their evil,
Communism, and say that their “opponents,” the conservatives, have an equally evil
ideologue hiding in their closet. But the concept dies fly, not only because of the failure
to find linkage between the far right and the Nazis in the 20th Century, but also
throughout history. In other words, they are trying to play down their dark side with a the
concept that “everybody’s doing it."
It is, of course, essential to good debate to know what ammunition the other side has, be
capable of playing devil’s advocate, and in this regard systematically debunk the
arguments before they can gain root. So where will the liberals look for historical
“evidence” of the link?
Well, they might try and say that conservatism and despotic dictators and military leaders
have something in common. For some reason that has no good explanation, the phrase
“further to the right than Attila the Hun” has made itself into popular parlance. Popular
right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh even jokes about it. He says he occupies the
“Attila the Hun Chair for the Advancement of Conservative Studies at the Excellence in
Broadcasting Institute.” Because Attila was the leader of a "Germanic tribe," this might
explain the so-called historical “connection” between Nazis and conservatives. There
seems to be no other good explanation. Attila fought the Romans, but he also was allied
with them at times, although he was a notorious double-crosser. Because he was an
effective military commander, this is supposed to make him a “conservative.” George
Patton admired him and was compared to him. Patton was a Republican. Oh.
The Left will point to the Ku Klux Klan and try to make that connection, but this falls
laughably short. First of all, the KKK rose out of the defeated South. The defeated South
was run by the Confederacy. The Confederates were Democrats. The Union elected the
Republican President, Abe Lincoln. The KKK was the shadow para-military of the Jim
Crow South for 100 years, operating like Al Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban. Of
course, the Jim Crow South was, as mentioned before, run 100 percent by the Democrats.
Thinking blacks like Clarence Thomas and Condoleeza Rice, who grew up and
recognized this Truth, made the obvious choice: The Republicans.
The Left will then try to say that after Lyndon Johnson’s Civil Rights Act, the South
abandoned the Democrats and went Republican because the Republicans held the kind of
racist views they could live with. Of course, this does not pass the smell test, either.
Without strong Republicans support, the Civil Rights Act never would have seen the light
of day. The South went Republican because the G.O.P. offered the right kind of
leadership to husband them from Jim Crow to the modern world. Bigoted Democrats like
Albert Gore, Sr., Robert Byrd and William Fulbright fought tooth-and-nail against civil
rights, but the Democrats simply have not had the gumption to face these realities. They
have too many other unpleasant realities to face up to without adding to the list.
The Left will then throw out the name David Duke, a former KKK leader who tried to
run for office as a Republican in Louisiana. Unlike the Democrats, who fail to excoriate
their Gores, Byrds, and Fulbrights, the G.O.P. never gave Duke the time of day. He wad
drummed out of the corps in short order without any decent endorsements, lost, was all
but disgraced by the right, and at last word lives in another country.
Next.
The Left might try and point out that in the 1930s, a small group of Republican
businessmen tried to get a World War I Marine hero to orchestrate a right wing coup
against Franklin Roosevelt. The Marine played along just enough to turn them in, and the
coup never came close to getting anywhere. It consisted of a tiny handful of people and
had no popular support. Had it been exposed, the Republican party would have quashed it
before anybody else would have had to. This of course did not stop the heroes of
Hollywood from making as much hay of it as they could. The book “Seven Days in May”
was based on these events, and in 1963 a John Schlessinger movie, using a Rod Serling
screenplay, starred Burt Lancaster, Fredric March, Ava Gardner and Kirk Douglas.
The Left might try and say that anti-Semitism and racism are products of the "elite
classes" of right. These ideas have fomented for centuries among ruling classes of people
who are supposed to be conservatives. This is the so-called "linkage" between the right
and the Nazis. Anti-Semitism and racism are as old as man. They have found homes in a
lot of places that might be many things, but are not historical pre-cursors of the
Republican party. Does anybody think the Egyptians are the ideological brethren of
Ronald Reagan? Or anybody else in the Arab world, where anti-Semitism has always
been a hotbed? Since the Republican party is also the home of the Christian Coalition,
about the only linkage to racism I can find is anti-slavery. It was the “Christian
Coalition,” if you will, of the 19th Century who forced the issue of slavery.
I am not just a conservative because nature intended me to be one, as if conservatism
comes to somebody the way dark hair, short stature, or athletic ability comes to him or
her. I chose this path. I chose it because I thought a lot about it and I wanted to do what
was right. The beauty part is that the information needed to see why it is right is readily
available to anybody who chooses to find it. I did not learn all this stuff studying for a
doctoral thesis at an expensive graduate school. We need not cede all knowledge to the
elites who occupy the tenured professorships of certain colleges. The daily newspaper,
magazines, the Internet, libraries, and bookstores are your friend, as they are mine. Folks
who possess a lot of knowledge need not be deans and chairs and fellows. They can just
be guys who own a lot of books, and read ‘em!
  Adolf Hitler, who we now can safely say is not associated with the conservative right,
united Germany through division. He did it using methods not uncommon to elite
organizations, whether they be fraternities, the Marine Corps, Navy SEALS, or Masons.
He did it by putting Germany through a kind of “boot camp,” separating what he saw was
the “wheat from the chaff.” It was a harrowing time of round-ups, violence, reprisals,
re-education and test. People knew fear. But when Krystalnacht, the "night of the broken
glass" and the other events described in William Shirer’s “The Nightmare Years” were
over, Germans felt like the frat guys who were accepted, the Rangers who passed the last
survival test. They were in the inner circle that knew what the secret password was. Once
this happened, Hitler said they were uber alles (“all of us”) and he told them what they
wanted to hear. The Jews, he said, were responsible for their downfall. Now that they and
their kind – Communists, anarchists, homosexuals, intellectuals, clergy – were
eliminated, Germany could rule the world, as was their divine right.
Hitler’s hatred of Communism, of course, is still another peace of “evidence” the Left has
tried to use as the link between the right - who hate Communism, too - and the Nazis. The
fact that we allied ourselves with Communism to defeat Hitler effectively ends that
theory.
One of the great arguments throughout history and psychology is the “nature vs. nurture”
concept. This argument has its place in dissecting Nazi Germany. Did Germany turn to
Hitler because of some natural tendency within the country? Did Hitler tap into some
kind of dormant part of the psyche that is as much a part of all of us as our hearts, our
lungs, and our bones? Or was Nazi Germany a product of particular events at a particular
time in history? Of course, nobody really knows the answer. Probably a little, or lot, of
both. But there is another theory, and this is the one I have proposed as a partial
explanation for the violent, beautiful 20th Century.
This is the theory that says that the devil decided to go on the offensive, and that Hitler
was merely his puppet, his mouthpiece, his general. As Mick Jagger once sang, “I rode a
tank, in a general’s rank, when the blitzkrieg reigned, and the bodies stank.” The name of
the song? “Sympathy for the Devil”. Well aaawwrright, Mick and the Stones may have
been on to something!
If so, if the devil and the forces of evil were mounting the big charge, let it be said,
“Thank God for the U.S. of A.” In that case we not only stopped Germany, we triumphed
over evil. Not bad for government work.
Since we do not have access to the devil’s archives, and he turned down my request for
an interview, we can only go by what the evidence is. The psychological answer has
many adherents. Strasser’s critique is that Hitler unlocked Germany’s “mass
unconscious,” according to Professor Dalton. Somehow he found their secret desires.
According to Freud’s terminology, the German people’s mass superego was submerged
in their mass id, allowing them to give “full vent” to an “unarticulated desire for
aggression." There is something to be said for this.
THE DEMOCRATS MIGHT SAY THAT BECAUSE REPUBLICANS ARE NATURALLY PRE-DISPOSED
TO “LOVE” WAR. THIS IS HOGWASH. GENERAL DOUGLAS MACARTHUR ONCE SAID, “NO
ONE HATES WAR MORE THAN A SOLDIER.” HOWEVER, THERE IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL DESIRE
FOR AGGRESSION. THERE IS A PART OF US THAT GLORY IN IT. ONCE WE FEEL THAT WE HAVE
FREED OURSELVES TO THINK THIS WAY, IT IS LIKE OPENING UP A PSYCHOLOGICAL VALVE
THAT ALLOWS US TO VENT THIS AGGRESSION.
WHEN JOHN KENNEDY WAS CONTEMPLATING BOMBING CUBA DURING THE 1962 MISSILE
CRISIS, HE REPORTEDLY SAID, “IT SURE WOULD FEEL GOOD,” AND HE WAS NOT KIDDING.
RIGHT OR WRONG, AT SOME POINT IT FEELS GOOD. THIS IS THE PART OF OUR PERSONALITY
THAT HITLER TAPPED INTO, BUT IT WAS NOT SOMETHING UNIQUELY GERMAN. HE WAS
REACHING INTO SOMETHING UNIQUELY HUMAN.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT. IF WE DISMISS HITLER AS A CREATURE OF GERMANY, OR
EUROPE, OR SOME “OTHER,” WE FAIL TO SAFEGUARD OURSELVES FROM THE SAME KIND OF
PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS THAT FREUD KNEW EVERYBODY HAS.
THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HITLER’S RISE, HOWEVER, ARE PARTICULAR TO A TIME AND
PLACE. THE VERSAILLES TREATY CAME ON THE HEELS OF A CRUSHING, DEMORALIZING
MILITARY DEFEAT, AND WHAT FOLLOWED WAS A BRUTAL DEPRESSION IN GERMANY. HUGE
INFLATION AND MASS GERMANY WAS FORCED TO PAY WAR REPARATIONS THAT RESULTED
IN MASSIVE UNEMPLOYMENT. IN THE 1920S, A WEAK GOVERNMENT, THE WEIMAR
REPUBLIC, LED THEM.
  LUCKILY, THE U.S. LEARNED THE LESSONS OF VERSAILLES. WE GAVE GERMANY AND
JAPAN A CHANCE TO SAVE FACE AFTER WORLD WAR II, PREVENTING A RE-OCCURRENCE OF
EVENTS THAT COULD HAVE LET HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF. IN THE 1990S, WE CAREFULLY
MONITORED EVENTS IN RUSSIA, A COUNTRY COMPARED TO THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC
BECAUSE THEY, TOO, HAD LOST A WAR, ALBEIT A COLD ONE. SO FAR, IT SEEMS THAT
VLADIMIR PUTIN IS NOT HITLER AND NOBODY IS PUSHING THE ID BUTTONS IN THE FORMER
U.S.S.R.
HITLER’S RISE STARTED NOT WITH MILITARY GOALS, BUT IN ANSWER TO GERMANY’S
PSYCHOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC NEEDS. TIP O’NEILL SAID THAT, “ALL POLITICS ARE
LOCAL,” AND SO IT WAS IN GERMANY. INDIVIDUALS LIKED HITLER AT FIRST BECAUSE HE
CREATED JOBS.
PROFESSOR DALTON OFFERS AN EXPLANATION THAT IS NOT ENTIRELY PSYCHOLOGICAL OR
ECONOMIC. HE POINTS TO A COMBINATION OF LEADERSHIP, IDEOLOGY AND ORGANIZATION.
ALL STUDIES OF HITLER START WITH HIS CONVERSION TO ANTI-SEMITISM, WHICH IS
EXPLAINED IN “MEIN KAMPF” (“MY STRUGGLE”), WHICH HE WROTE WHILE SERVING A
PRISON SENTENCE FOR FOMENTING AN UPRISING. HITLER ADVOCATED THE POLITICS OF
EXCLUSION, AND USED HIS PRISON TERM TO MARTYR HIMSELF.
THE HITLER PHENOMENON TAKES ON GERMAN “CHARACTERISTICS” THAT HE DREW UPON
IN “MEIN KAMPF” AND IN HIS ORATORY. THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A STRAIN OF
ANTI-SEMITISM IN GERMAN CULTURE. WAGNER WAS ANTI-SEMITIC, AND THE NORDIC
CHARACTERISTICS OF GERMANS, WHO VALUED BLONDE HAIR, BLUE EYES, PHYSICAL
STRENGTH AND, IN THEIR WOMEN, SEXUAL EROTICISM. THIS WAS SET AGAINST THE IMAGE
OF HEBREWS, WHO TENDED TO HAVE DUSKY SKIN, DARK HAIR, WORE BEARDS, DRESSED
“DIFFERENTLY,” SPOKE AN ALIEN LANGUAGE, WERE SEEN AS THE TRAITORS OF
CHRISTENDOM, WERE NON-ATHLETES, AND WHOSE WOMEN WERE UNAPPEALING.
DESPITE THESE NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTICS, JEWS NEVERTHELESS EXCELLED
INTELLECTUALLY. THEY ASCENDED TO POSITIONS FAR BEYOND THEIR PERCENTAGE OF THE
POPULATION IN THE ARTS, THE SCIENCES, AND IN BANKING. THESE ARE PROFESSIONS THAT
AVERAGE PEOPLE WOULD NORMALLY CONSIDER “HIGH BROW” ANYWAY. TO TOP IT OFF,
THE JEWS HAD THE “ARROGANCE” TO CALL THEMSELVES THE CHOSEN PEOPLE.
HOWEVER, THIS SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES IS NOT ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE TO GERMANY. JEWS
EXHIBITED THESE CHARACTERISTICS WHEREVER THEY WERE. HATRED OF JEWS PRIOR TO
WORLD WAR I WAS JUST AS VEHEMENT IN FRANCE AS IN GERMANY, AS EVIDENT BY THE
DESPICABLE TREATMENT SHOWN A JEWISH ARMY OFFICER IN THE "DREYFUSS AFFAIR."
BUT FRANCE “WON” WORLD WAR I. THE FRENCH DID NOT NEED ANY SCAPEGOATS.
ANTI-SEMITISM IS REARING ITS UGLY HEAD IN MODERN FRANCE BECAUSE THIS IS A
COUNTRY EXHIBITING SOME OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF POST-WORLD WAR I GERMANY.
FRANCE HAS HAD A HUGE INFLUX OF IMMIGRANTS IN RECENT YEARS. THEIR CULTURE IS
UNDER SIEGE. THEIR COLLABORATION WITH GERMANY IS NO LONGER A SECRET. JEWS ARE
HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL IN FRANCE, AS THEY ARE EVERYWHERE THEY ARE FOUND. FRANCE
FINDS ITSELF A SHELL OF ITS OLD SELF, NO LONGER A DOMINANT MEMBER OF THE WORLD
COMMUNITY. THIS HAS PRODUCED A LATENT BACKLASH OF JEW-BAITING THAT BEARS
WATCHING BEFORE IT GETS OUT OF HAND.
HITLER’S EXCLUSIONARY POLICIES WERE HARDLY NEW. IN FACT, THEY RESEMBLE, AS
PROFESSOR DALTON NOTES, THE “DEHUMANIZATION OF THE UNTOUCHABLES IN THE
INDIAN CASTE SYSTEM.” THE EXCLUDED ARE CONSIDERED UNCLEAN, BOTH PHYSICALLY
AND MORALLY. HOWEVER, THE BRILLIANCE OF HITLER IS FOUND IN THE WAY HE BUILT HIS
ENEMIES UP IN ORDER TO TEAR THEM DOWN. HE RECOGNIZED A REBEL SPIRIT IN THE
HUMAN PSYCHE, THE SAME DESIRE TO TOPPLE THE “HIGH AND MIGHTY” THAT INFUSED THE
FRENCH OVERTHROW OF ANTOINETTE AND LOUIS. IN THIS REGARD, HITLER
CHARACTERIZED JEWS AND COMMUNISTS AS “CONTROLLING" EVERYTHING IN GERMAN
SOCIETY. HAD HITLER SIMPLY DEMONSTRATED HATRED FOR THESE GROUPS, HE WOULD
HAVE TAKEN GERMANS TO A DEAD END. AT SOME POINT, THE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE FELT
SORROW FOR THE OBJECTS OF THEIR HATRED, WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN SEEN AS
DISPOSSESSED AND HOMELESS.
IT IS THIS BUILD-UP OF THE “OTHER” THAT STILL FUELS MOVEMENTS LIKE THE ARYAN
NATION IN AMERICA. THE WHITE SUPREMACISTS WOULD NOT GET ANYWHERE IF THEY
SIMPLY POINTED TO BLACK FAILURES IN SCHOOL AND SOCIETY; THE WELFARE STATE, INNER
CITY TURMOIL, BLACK-ON-BLACK VIOLENCE, DRUG DEALING, THE IRRESPONSIBILITY OF
FATHERS, FOUL RAP MUSIC, AND UNDER REPRESENTATION IN A COMPETITIVE BUSINESS
ENVIRONMENT. INSTEAD, THE WHITE SUPREMACISTS TRY TO POINT TO THE SAME CONTROL
OF SOCIETAL INSTITUTIONS THAT HITLER POINTED TO.
THE CATHOLICS ARE NO LONGER VIEWED AS THE ENEMY. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE,
ESPECIALLY AFTER THE KENNEDY PRESIDENCY, THAT AMERICAN CATHOLICS OWE
ALLEGIANCE TO A PAPACY RATHER THAN THE CONSTITUTION. IN THE CASE OF JEWS, THE
SUPREMACISTS USE THE HITLER PLAYBOOK. THEY SEE JEWS IN CONTROL OF HOLLYWOOD
AND ACADEMIA. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT JEWS MAKE UP AN EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH
PERCENTAGE OF MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN THE ARTS AND IN THE INTELLECTUAL SALONS OF
NEW YORK AND CALIFORNIA. HOWEVER, THE KIND OF WORLDWIDE CONSPIRACY THEORIES
THAT INVOLVE THE SO-CALLED TRI-LATERAL COMMISSION ARE EITHER NON-EXISTENT OR,
IF THEY DO EXIST, HIDDEN SO CAREFULLY THAT NOBODY CAN TRULY MAKE THE CASE.
THE SUPREMACISTS OF THE POST-CIVIL RIGHTS ERA, HOWEVER, HAVE TURNED THEIR REAL
ATTENTION TO BLACKS AND OTHER DARK-SKINNED TYPES. JEWS, THEY HAVE FOUND, ARE
DIFFICULT TO IDENTIFY. THEY ARE LIKELY TO “LOOK LIKE” THEM. BLACKS CAN BE
SPOTTED AND IDENTIFIED EASILY. THE BLACKS ARE “BUILT UP” BY WHITE SUPREMACISTS
LIKE THE TERRORIST TIMOTHY MCVEIGH. BLACKS HAVE BECOME SUCH A VICTIM CLASS
THAT “LEADERS” LIKE JESSE JACKSON AND AL SHARPTON HAVE TURNED THEMSELVES
INTO MILLIONAIRES EXTORTING AND SHAKING DOWN MONEY FROM LEGITIMATE BUSINESS,
WHO PREFER TO APPEASE THEM RATHER THAN FACE LAWSUITS AND POISONOUS
ACCUSATIONS OF RACISM.
WHAT INFURIATES WHITE RACISTS NOW ARE NOT BLACKS AT LUNCH COUNTERS OR THE
FRONTS OF BUSES. THEY WONDER WHY IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS A FEDERAL LAW THAT
STATES THAT ONLY BLACKS CAN BE SKYCAPS AND ONLY FILIPINOS CAN WORK IN MILITARY
PXS. THEY ARE EXASPERATED WHEN THEY GO TO THE COURTHOUSE, THE DMV, OR SOME
OTHER GOVERNMENT BUILDING, AND INSTEAD OF GETTING DECENT SERVICE THEY FIND
ONLY MINORITIES, LANGUIDLY AND UNENTHUSIASTICALLY MOVING ABOUT THEIR JOBS,
ALL ON THE TAXPAYER’S DIME. THEY TURN ON THE TELEVISION AND SEE EPISODE AFTER
EPISODE OF “LAW AND ORDER” OR (NAME THE SHOW) THAT DEPICTS THE PERP AS A
SECOND AMENDMENT-SPOUTING WHITE CHRISTIAN BENT ON MURDERING MINORITY KIDS.
OR TOUGH BUT DEDICATED, HONEST BLACK POLICE CAPTAINS WHO KEEP THE WHITES FROM
RUNNING AMOK. OR TV COMMERCIALS THAT MAKE THE WORLD LOOK LIKE EVERYBODY IS
A PREPPY-DRESSING BLACK CONSUMER WHO MAKES THE ENGINES OF COMMERCE RUN.
THEY CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHY FIREFIGHTERS, DOCTORS AND JUDGES ON TV ARE LIKELY
TO BE BLACK, BUT WHEN THEY SEE THEIR REAL-LIFE COUNTERPARTS THEY ARE WHITE.
THEY SEE THESE IMAGES AND THEY SEE LIES. THEY ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT. INSTEAD OF
JUST SHRUGGING THEIR SHOULDERS AND ACCEPTING IT FOR WHAT IT IS, HOWEVER, THE
WHITE SUPREMACISTS TAKE IT VERY PERSONALLY.
THEY DECIDE THAT MODERN MINORITIES HAVE ASCENDED TO A SPECIAL CLASS OF
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BENEFICIARIES, RESPONSIBLE FOR KEEPING THEM FROM REACHING
THEIR FULL POTENTIAL. THEY SEE THEM PROTECTED BY A LIBERAL MEDIA AND AN EVIL
GOVERNMENT. THE WORST PART ABOUT IT IS THEY KNOW THAT SIMPLY EXPRESSING
KNOWLEDGE OF THESE FACTS WILL BRING DOWN THE FULL FORCE OF POLITICAL
CORRECTNESS ON THEIR HEADS. IT INFURIATES THE ARYANS WHO SEE BLACKS ESCAPE
THEIR CRIMES BECAUSE THEY WERE “PROFILED,” WHILE WHITES ARE SOUGHT OUT AND
TARGETED BY THE FBI, THE DEA AND THE ATF.
THE MODERN WHITE SUPREMACISTS HAVE TAKEN HITLER’S IDEA OF BUILDING UP THEIR
ADVERSARIES. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HITLER AND THE ARYANS OF TODAY IS THAT
HITLER HAD THE POWER TO “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT." THE CURRENT RACISTS REALLY DO
NOT, SO THEY FIND OUTLETS FOR THEIR FRUSTRATION.
HITLER DE-HUMANIZED THE JEWS. NOWADAYS, WE CALL IT DEMONIZING THE “OTHER.”
THE LIBERALS HAVE FOUND THAT IT IS THEIR ONLY REAL WEAPON IN THEIR BATTLES WITH
CONSERVATIVES. HITLER ALSO BRILLIANTLY “SEDUCED” THE GERMAN PEOPLE IN THE
MANNER OF A MAN MAKING LOVE TO A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN. HE PORTRAYED HIMSELF AS
THE CLEAN, ARYAN ALTERNATIVE TO THE JEWISH SEDUCER. HE SCARED THE PEOPLE INTO
BELIEVING "THE JEW" WAS OUT TO BEFOUL THEM WITH SICK AND IMMORAL ACTS, I.E.,
SODOMY AND HOMOSEXUALITY.
FINALLY, HITLER, WHO WAS RAISED A CATHOLIC BUT DID NOT BELIEVE, NEVERTHELESS
PLAYED ON GERMAN CHRISTIANITY BY ASSERTING THAT HE WAS DOING GOD’S WORK,
WHICH WAS HE SAID WAS TO EXTERMINATE JEWS.
HITLER USED MILITARISM AND THE “SPIRIT” THAT THE GREEKS SAID WAS NOBLE, BUT
SECONDARY, AND RAISED IT AS THE HIGHEST PRINCIPLE OF GERMAN GLORY. THIS IS AN
INTERESTING POINT. HITLER SAW MAJOR ACTION IN THE GREAT WAR. HE SMELLED DEATH
AND DEFEAT. HE COULD HAVE LEARNED LESSONS FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. IN 1962, NIKITA
KRUSCHEV DREW ON HIS AWFUL EXPERIENCES DEFENDING LENINGRAD DURING WORLD
WAR II. HE WROTE TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY, JUSTIFYING TO HIMSELF AS MUCH AS
ANYBODY WHY HE WAS GIVING IN AND REMOVING NUKES FROM CUBA. BUT HITLER DID
NOT JUST SEE FAILURE. HE SAW MISSED OPPORTUNITY. HIS VIEW OF WAR IS NOT AS ODD AS
ONE MIGHT THINK.
Many Americans were frustrated by our only real military "failure," Vietnam. But instead
of seeing only the failures, they see the clear mistakes that were made. They say that if
we had done certain things, i.e., not fight the war with ”our hands tied behind our backs,”
bombed the dykes, flooded the countryside, then invaded North Vietnam, conquering and
occupying Hanoi, we could have ended Communist adventurism in Southeast Asia once
and for all. Hitler’s love of militarism existed side-by-side with his view of violence as a
tool. Plato and Aristotle saw violence as signs of an immoral state. Machiavelli viewed it
as legitimate state policy, to be used when necessary. He did not endorse excess or
unneeded violence. Marx did not glorify violence, but felt that it was the only way to
disrupt the bourgeoisie. Hitler took it further than anybody. He glorified it and made it a
state creed.
As mentioned before, Hitler feminized the masses, believing that they were like a woman
who secretly wishes for a strong, dominant man. Women prefer to bow to a forceful man,
and people prefer to bow to a forceful leader. Like women, Hitler believed that the
masses are emotional and irrational. It was this in mind that Nazi propaganda emphasized
simple, repetitive messages.
Born in 1889 in Austria, Hitler was the son of a customs official father and a doting
mother. His father died in 1903. Hitler attended high school but dropped out. He viewed
his life as one of struggle, and this was the dominant force of his existence.
In 1907, Hitler set out for the city of Freud, Vienna. He attempted to gain admission to
the Academy of Fine Arts, but his rejection brought about bitterness. His mother died
shortly thereafter, and in his second try at the academy, he was turned away again. His
bitterness was now a struggle. For the next six years, Hitler lived as a vagabond and
starving artist on the streets of Vienna. He observed the dregs of Viennese society.
“By interpreting men exclusively in the light of that twisted experience and seeing in
their motives nothing but hate, ruthlessness, corruption, greed, lust for power, cruelty, or
fear, he imagined with provincial complacency, that he had come close to ultimate
knowledge, whereas actually he was merely revealing his own desperate and depraved
personality,” wrote J.C. Fest in “Face to the Third Reich”. If one is predisposed to belief
in such concepts of absoluteness, this is an apt description of a world served up for the
devil himself.
Vienna was the “hardest, though most most thorough school of my life,” Hitler wrote in
“Mein Kampf". He obtained “the foundations for a philosophy in general and a political
view in particular which later I only needed to supplement in detail, but which never left
me.” In the book, Hitler outlines a tri-partite “axis of evil” that includes Marxism,
parliamentarians, and Judaism.
In World War I, Hitler felt that he was engaged in a struggle that all the German people
wanted. He peppered his memories of the Great War with descriptions of struggle,
describing his feelings about participating in it in orgasmic terms. He felt an “ecstasy of
overflowing enthusiasm.” Hitler fought bravely in the trenches until he was gassed and
spent the last days of the war in a hospital.
“…Any violence which does not spring from a firm, spiritual base,” he wrote, “will be
wavering and uncertain.” Hitler said that violence must be more than “naked force”;
rather, it must stand for an ideological commitment. However, the truth beyond the
ideological commitment is secondary to getting people to believe in it, which is where his
views on propaganda, which are frankly brilliant although evil, come in to play. Getting
back to the Hitlerian allegory of the masses as female, one could compare his views with
the cad who only wishes to talk a woman in to sex. How he gets her into bed is
unimportant, only that he gets her into bed. This is similar to the Machiavellian “ends
justifying the means.” If Hitler is to be compared with great seducers, he is the Robert
Evans, Hugh Hefner and Robert Guccione – combined - of political seducers.
“Like a woman…they have been abandoned,” Hitler wrote in “Mein Kampf”. He likened
the Germans to a beautiful woman who has lost her husband, with a grubby Jew trying to
get into her pants, only to be saved by the gallant Aryan man.
The “Aryan – unlike the modern pacifist,” he wrote, subjugates “lower peoples” and
bends them to his will. Through struggle and domination, those among the populace who
are deserving of greatness will rise “upward,” and in so doing avoid “blood mixtures,”
which preserves “pure blood.” This is not an entirely new idea. Hitler emphasizes race,
but this kind of “destiny” is one that higher classes have applied to themselves with
regard to intelligence, athletic ability, and other concepts of excellence.
In Norman Mailer’s fabulous CIA magnum opus, “Harlot’s Ghost”, a legendary
“company man” named Hugh Tremont Montague is the product of an elite class of East
Coast Americana that includes the best schools and a complete understanding of every
nuance of the espionage arts. He happily understands his essential role in protecting the
U.S. from Communism. In so doing finds no necessity in recognition or grubby politics.
He is so self-assured that his own view of himself is all he needs. In speaking to his
protégé, Harry Hubbard, he tells Harry that some people are blessed with exceptional
ability. Those people deserve to be recognized and placed in positions above the normal,
and not held to the same standards. Unexceptional people, he tells Harry, are “fodder for
the devil.”
This kind of thinking plays itself out in every facet of our society. Gifted athletes are
given scholarships to great colleges, and then paid enormous sums to play for
professional teams, where they are able to live like modern kings. Brilliance is rewarded
in business, academics and in the literary world. People who rise above the masses and
distinguish themselves are accorded godlike status.
WHERE THESE EXAMPLES STRAY FROM HITLER IS THAT THEY ARE COLOR-BLIND (MANY
ATHLETES, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE BLACK), WHILE THE LAW, MORE OR LESS, APPLIES TO
EVERYBODY. WESTERN SOCIETY DOES SOME STRANGE THINGS TO ITS EXALTED, WHO THEY
LIKE TO BUILD UP, BUT ENJOY TEARING DOWN EVEN MORE. HITLER WOULD HAVE NONE OF
THAT “TEARING DOWN.” IN HIS WORLD, THOSE WHO RISE TO “GODLIKE STATUS” ARE
IMMUNE TO ANY OF THE LAWS OF NORMAL SOCIETY. SADDAM AND HIS INNER CIRCLE LIVED
IN A SIMILAR WORLD. LIKE THE NAZIS, MEMBERS OF IRAQ’S BA'ATH PARTY LIVED WELL,
BUT GOD HELP THEM IF THEY DISPLEASED THE BOSS.
HITLER WAS MACHIAVELLIAN IN HIS VIEW OF GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE. HE DESPISED
THE RAGGED FAILURE TO REACH CONSENSUS FOUND IN THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT,
INSISTING INSTEAD ON STRONG, CENTRALIZED CONTROL. HE OPENLY ENCOURAGED
“FANATICISM AND INTOLERANCE” AND TO “INTOLERANTLY IMPOSE ITS WILL ON ALL
OTHERS. HITLER NATURALLY ASSUMED THAT THE STATE’S ROLE WAS TO ACHIEVE RACIAL
PURITY. HE INVOKED PROVIDENCE WHEN HE SAID HE “MUST SACRIFICE HIMSELF FOR THE
TOTALITY” OF THE STATE. HITLER USED REFERENCE TO A GOD HE DID NOT PERSONALLY
BELIEVE IN; TO BELIEVE IN A CHRISTIAN GOD WAS ENTIRELY OPPOSED TO HIS VISION OF
HUMANITY. CHRIST COULD NEVER BE SQUARED WITH HIS ACTIONS. BUT HE USED HIM
WHEN FOR HIS PURPOSES.
HITLER’S VIEWS CLASH WITH THE GREEKS, AND EVEN HIS USE OF VIOLENCE AS A CREED
BREAKS FROM MACHIAVELLI AND MARX, WHO WERE PRAGMATISTS COMPARED TO HIM.
THERE MAY NOT BE ANOTHER POLITICAL FIGURE MORE DIFFERENT FROM HITLER THAN
GANDHI. THIS TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE IN THE END WORKED IN GANDHI’S FAVOR.
GANDHI SAID THE END NEVER JUSTIFIED THE MEANS. GANDHI BELIEVED IN THOREAU’S
NON-VIOLENT COOPERATION. HE DESPISED VIOLENCE NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE HARM IT
DID THE VICTIM, BUT THE HARM CAUSED TO THE ATTACKER.
GANDHI STUDIED THOREAU’S WORKS WHILE PRACTICING LAW IN SOUTH AFRICA. HE
RETURNED TO INDIA AND IN 1919 ORGANIZED AN INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT AGAINST THE
BRITISH. GANDHI OWES MUCH OF SUCCESS TO TIMING AND PATIENT BRITISH
BENEVOLENCE. AS FOR TIMING, HE MADE HIS PITCH FOR INDEPENDENCE IN THE WAKE OF
THE TWO GREAT CONFLAGRATIONS OF HISTORY, WHEN THE WORLD WAS MOST HORRIFIED
BY WAR. THE INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT BEGAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE ARMISTICE, AND
REACHED ITS SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION TWO YEARS AFTER NAGASAKI.
GANDHI WAS ABLE TO TAKE OVER AN INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT PREVIOUSLY RIVEN WITH
STRIFE BETWEEN MODERATES AND EXTREMISTS. THE EXTREMISTS WERE IN FULL THROTTLE
IN 1919 IN LIGHT OF THE AMRITSAR MASSACRE, AND THEY WANTED BRITISH BLOOD.
HOWEVER, GANDHI POINTED THAT THE INDIANS WERE NOT IN A MILITARY POSITION TO WIN
A BLOODY BATTLE WITH GREAT BRITAIN. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, HE SAID THE ENGLISH
HAD DE-HUMANIZED THEMSELVES BY KILLING SO MANY AT AMRITSAR. GANDHI
ENDEAVORED TO POINT THIS OUT NOT ONLY TO THE INDIANS, BUT ALSO TO THE BRITISH,
AND TO USE THEIR OWN COMPASSION AGAINST THEM. IN THIS REGARD, GANDHI WAS NOT
MERELY “LUCKY” THAT HIS OPPONENTS WERE COMPASSIONATE PEOPLE. HE WAS
PERCEPTIVE FIRST IN SEEING THIS DESPITE MUCH EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY, AND IN
FORMULATING A LONG-RANGE PLAN THAT WOULD BEST WORK AGAINST SUCH OPPONENTS.
HAD GANDHI’S OPPONENTS BEEN BLOODTHIRSTY, HE MOST LIKELY WOULD NOT HAVE
SUCCEEDED. IT IS INSTRUCTIVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT HAD GANDHI ADHERED TO THE
“EYE-FOR-AN-EYE” PRINCIPLE MANY INDIANS WANTED, THEN IT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED
FOR “JUSTIFICATION” ON THE PART OF THE ENGLISH; AN “I TOLD YOU SO” ATTITUDE” THAT
WOULD HAVE GIVEN THEM CARTE BLANCHE TO BREAK THE INDIAN SPIRIT BY FORCE.
Gandhi’s contemporary, Nehru, cogently observed that Gandhi’s greatest attribute was in
teaching liberation from fear. The Brits had up-to-then relied on institutionalized fear to
keep the Indians in line. The English had maintained the “jewel in the crown” of the
empire despite being outnumbered 4,000 to one. Hitler appealed to aggressive elements
of the mass unconscious. Gandhi appealed to man’s nobility. This is not just an
impressive political tactic, but one that generates a sigh of relief. After studying
Machiavelli, Freud, Hitler and Stalin, one might be convinced of the frightful human
craving for dominant leaders who tell them what to do because they are too timid to know
better, or lack the courage to make their own decisions. The success of America, and the
English transformation from a monarchy to parliamentarian power, might have been seen
as indicators that the Machiavellian-Hitlerian vision is not entirely true. But the freedom
of the U.S. and English people, up until Gandhi’s India, was seen from a racial
perspective. After all, the Americans and the English were free to make their choices
because they were composed of educated whites. In India, many misconceptions about
dark-skinned peoples were tossed away. In this Gandhi achieves perhaps his greatest
accomplishment. His lasting legacy in India is actually mixed. He was assassinated and
the country itself was split along religious lines, thrust into Civil War. But he made the
world aware that “natives” were capable of compassion, restraint, thoughtfulness and
self-rule.
GANDHI’S POLITICAL INSTINCTS WERE HONED BY HIS OWN RELIGIOUS VALUES. HE WAS A
HINDU, AND THEREFORE AN ADHERENT TO THE HINDI VISION OF LIFE OUTLINED IN AN
EARLIER CHAPTER. AT THE CORE OF HIS PHILOSOPHY WAS SWARAJ, MEANING
SELF-DISCIPLINE. WHILE THIS HAD BEEN TAUGHT TO 2,000 YEARS OF HINDU’S, IT WAS NOT
NECESSARILY A POLITICAL CONCEPT. THE HINDU’S BELIEVED IN ONE-ON-ONE TEACHING
THAT RESULTED IN SELF-ACTUALIZATION. GANDHI INCORPORATED THESE CONCEPTS INTO
MASS INSTRUCTION. THIS WAS NECESSARY BUT DIFFICULT. MANY INDIANS THOUGHT OF
SELF-RULE AS FOREIGN. THEY PREFERRED TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO. IN MANY WAYS THIS
MIGHT HAVE APPEARED TO BE EXAMPLES OF THE HITLERIAN VISION OF MAN. BUT GANDHI
WAS DETERMINED TO SHOW THIS WAS NOT SO.
Swaraj is about self-mastery and personal understanding of ones’ self and others. A
person’s individual journey is meant to be self-liberating. Indians needed to achieve this
before they could hope to achieve political liberation. In this way, Gandhi was not merely
a leader or a strategist. More than anything, he was a teacher. Gandhi had to get Indians
to liberate themselves from their long-held concept of individual liberation and get them
to think about non-exclusivity in their lives. Perhaps the famous term “no man is an
island” is more apropos to what Gandhi taught his countrymen.
It is this teaching principle that Gandhi wanted to impart, not just to get the Indians
liberated from the British, but in getting them to the point where they could rule
themselves effectively. Tragically, he was shot and killed just when he was needed the
most, as a teacher and a unifying symbol. It is a testament to his greatness that no
charismatic replacements have come close to Gandhi since his death, while his nation
slipped back into a funk. But he is a powerful force of nature, and hope springs eternal
that India will find its way with Gandhi’s spirit guiding them.
Gandhi also employed the concept of inclusivity that is called satya, or pursuit of the
truth. The language is important here. Gandhi does not call for possession of the truth, but
pursuit of it. Truth is not entirely possessed by humans. The highest truth we can know is
that we are all part of one another. Note the difference from Hitler. He went by the “boot
camp” approach, separating the unclean, the unworthy and the weak from the selected
few, calling that few “all of us,” directing them not to live in a world still littered with the
unworthy, but to conquer it for their rightful selves.
Gandhi unnerved and disarmed the British by including them, not opposing them. He did
this using ahimsa, intertwined with satya, which is the practice of non-violence. The
highest truth is not the means, but the end. The means and the end are connected. This
diverges even from American campaign theory. The Kennedy’s were strong adherents of
the idea that one had to attain power before they could use it wisely. Gandhi would say
that how they attain power is just as important as the wise use of power.
Unfortunately, both Gandhi and the Kennedy’s met a similar fate. Attaching much karmic
significance to their diverging philosophies is futile. In nonviolence, Gandhi taught, man
elicits the greatest force at the disposal of the human race. But his life, especially since it
coincides with Hitler’s, is a conundrum. When asked how he would have confronted
Hitler, Gandhi is vague. Everybody knows he would have been killed in two seconds and
his “movement” utterly destroyed. His fate would have been left in the hands of the U.S.
and Great Britain, which of course were forced by no other choice to oust the likes of
Hitler by using greater violence than Hitler. It is, in the study of this human conundrum,
that we see the special strategy of the devil.
Gandhi no doubt would have opposed war to take out Saddam Hussein. So, probably,
would Jesus Christ. The phrase the “devil is in the details” and “getting in bed with the
devil” are very telling.
Gandhi believed that truth and nonviolence generated liberation called satyagraha, which
activates our energies for love and compassion, which are (hopefully) stronger than hate.
The best way to describe satyagraha is to remind people the way they felt when their
children were born, or the day they proposed marriage. It is the way they felt when they
were six and had been away at camp for two weeks, and after missing their parents so
much saw them again. What satyagraha does is to give people that kind of feeling about
everybody, not just friends, relatives and loved ones. It has the power of complete
substitution for hate. It is the essence of goodness, and it the most powerful force in the
Universe.
Finally Gandhi endorsed sarodaya, meaning equality. Gandhi endorsed a concept that, in
the caste system as it had evolved in India, was not a state of equality. He felt that people
voluntarily restricted their wants, and that people uplifted each other to unify humanity.
He was not unlike the Bush family and their sense of noblesse oblige. Gandhi was a
member of privileged society. He felt the obligation to extend his wealth, influence and
place in a “socially constructive manner,” according to Professor Dalton. He felt that the
underprivileged would view the benevolence of the upper class and in turn feel the need
to overcome their deprivation. Finally, Gandhi insisted on the Indians being treated as
equals by the Brits. This was a tough nut to crack since even Winston Churchill referred
to Gandhi himself as a “half-naked fakir.”
Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbundar, in
Gujurat province on India’s west coast. He was assassinated in Delhi on January 30,
1948. Gandhi was shaped first by the region of his birth, which was provincial and not
highly influenced by the British, as was Bombay or Calcutta. As a member of the vaishya
caste, he was third in the Hindu hierarchy, a “lowborn.” The Gandhi’s were a sub-caste of
the bania, the small business owners. In their case they ran a grocery. His people were
known to practical. Gandhi’s relatively low caste status helps explain why later, when he
was the most powerful man in India, he emphasized equality for all.
His family was very religious. Gandhi’s mother was one for vows, fasting and
self-control. Gandhi had an oppressive view of sex, and identified with the Harijans, or
Untouchables. He attended Alfred High School, where he was schooled in English. He
gained admiration as well as anxiety for the English. Obviously bright, Gandhi was sent
to London where, from 1888-1891, he took law and spent his time “playing with the
English gentlemen,” as he put it in his simple-titled “Autobiography”. Returning to India
in 1891, Gandhi had high hopes, but did not achieve immediate success as an
English-trained attorney. Upon hearing that lawyers were needed in South Africa, he left
for that English colony in 1893.
This was an important part of his life. He was needed and found himself a man of
influence among the Indian minority, as opposed to being just another Indian lawyer in
India. There were 66,000 Indians in South Africa, most of whom were laborers. 570,000
British and Dutch ruled over them, and the 2 million Africans.
  Gandhi was accorded political status, and utilized a liberal style in forming the
moderate National Indian Congress. He petitioned Indian grievances in court, and
became a darling of the Indian Opinion newspaper, formed in 1903. Gandhi did
everything within the law, using moderate legal and constitutional means at his disposal.
In June of 1906, the Zulus, a renowned warring tribe that had fought the British to a
standstill in the Transvaal Province a few decades before, rebelled against English rule.
Gandhi formed an ambulance corps to assist the British during the rugged Boar War. He
saw first hand the English massacre of 3,500 Zulus.
UP UNTIL THAT TIME, GANDHI WAS AN “EMULATOR,” A TERM USED TO DESCRIBE
EDUCATED INDIANS WHO CHOSE TO DRESS LIKE THE ENGLISH, AND TAKE ON THEIR PROPER
MANNERISMS. GANDHI BROKE FROM HIS EMULATIVE STATUS GRADUALLY, FIRST BY
TESTING HIMSELF WITH A VOW OF BRACHMACHARYA, WHICH IS SEXUAL ABSTINENCE.
YOUNG ENGLISH MALES, SEPARATED FROM HOME, WERE ENCOURAGED TO ENGAGE IN
LIBIDINOUS ADVENTURES IN THE COLONIES THAT WOULD BE FROWNED UPON AT HOME. AS
AN EDUCATED MAN OF PROFESSIONAL MEANS, GANDHI LIVED IN A SOCIETY IN WHICH
WOMEN WERE AVAILABLE TO HIM. IN DENYING HIMSELF HE WAS MAKING HIS FIRST BREAK
WITH ENGLISH WAYS.
“The experience of witnessing the outrages perpetrated on black bodies by white he-men
aroused in Gandhi both a deeper identification with the maltreated, and a stronger
aversion all male sadism, including such sexual sadism as he had probably felt from
childhood on to be a part of all exploitation of women by men,” wrote Erik Erickson in
“Gandhi’s Truth”.
This alerted in Gandhi a deeper, crucial connection between three forms of exploitation:
Imperialism, racism, and sexism. The “Black Act” was enacted in 1907, and in response
Gandhi called a meeting of 3,000 Indians in Johannesburg. The movement took on the
name satyagraha, or truth-force, and set forth to passively resist the British by exposing
truth. Arrests followed, but after seven years of continued campaigning, the government
granted reforms in 1914.
As mentioned before, Gandhi’s key moments came in close proximity to events that took
up greater English concern. In 1914 the Brits were engaging in the saber rattling and
eventual mobilization of forces against Germany that started the Great War. There was a
pattern of giving in to Gandhi during times when the country had to focus on larger
issues.
IN 1909, GANDHI HAD VISITED ENGLAND AND DURING A FIVE-MONTH STAY, LOBBIED
PARLIAMENT. HIS ARRIVAL WAS NOT TERRIBLY WELCOME SINCE HE CAME SHORTLY AFTER
A BRITISH OFFICIAL HAD BEEN KILLED BY AN INDIAN TERRORIST. TO PUT IT INTO CONTEXT,
THE ENGLISH MAY HAVE VIEWED GANDHI THE WAY THEY VIEWED A MEMBER OF SINN
FEIN, THE POLITICAL WING OF THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY, IN THE 1970S. BUT GANDHI
ADVOCATED PEACEFUL MEASURES THAT PUT THE BRITISH AT EASE. HE NEGOTIATED WITH
BRITISH LIBERALS AND INDIAN TERRORISTS.
UPON HIS RETURN TO SOUTH AFRICA, GANDHI DRAFTED THE TREATISE “HIND SWARAJ”
("INDIAN INDEPENDENCE"). HE REJECTED WESTERN CIVILIZATION AND NOT ONLY
AFFIRMED HINDU TRADITION, BUT PREACHED IT AS SUPERIOR. AFTER THE REFORMS THAT
LESSENED THE HARSHNESS OF THE BLACK ACT (INDIANS WERE CALLED BLACKS), GANDHI
WAS EMBOLDENED TO MOVE ON. IN 1915, WHILE THE ENGLISH WERE FIGHTING BLOODY
BATTLES IN EUROPE, HE RETURNED TO INDIA. HIS ADVOCACY OF NONVIOLENCE
CONTRASTED AGAINST NEWS OF THE WAR. INSTEAD OF FOMENTING A COALITION, HE WAS
SEEN AS DISORIENTED AND CONFOUNDED BY THE WAR. HE WAS AN UNEASY ALLY OF
GREAT BRITAIN. THE GERMANS AND THE TURKS OFFERED NO FRIENDSHIP. GANDHI
COOPERATED IN INDIA’S PARTICIPATION IN THE WAR. THE PERFORMANCE OF INDIAN
SOLDIERS SERVING THE CROWN WAS HONORABLE.
THE EFFECTS OF THE WAR, ECONOMIC AND OTHERWISE, CREATED A SENSE OF
DISILLUSIONMENT WITH THE MOVEMENT AND INDIA’S PLACE IN THE CROWN, DESPITE
ENGLAND’S VICTORY. IN 1919, EVENTS SHAPED GANDHI’S PATH. THE “ROWLAND BATTS”
WERE PASSED, GIVING THE GOVERNMENT JURY TRIAL POWER WITH NO APPEAL. IT WAS, IN
EFFECT, MARTIAL LAW. THE BRITISH GAVE THEMSELVES THE RIGHT TO DETAIN ANYBODY
WHO “THREATENED PUBLIC SAFETY,” WAS CONSIDERED “DANGEROUS,” AND VIRTUALLY
ANY OFFENSE OR DOCUMENT WAS DEEMED SEDITIOUS IN NATURE. TO POSSESS SUCH
DOCUMENTS RESULTED IN TWO-YEAR PRISON SENTENCES, FOLLOWED BY TWO-YEAR
PROBATIONARY PERIODS.
IN MARCH OF 1919, GANDHI CALLED FOR A NATIONWIDE SATYAGRAHA IN RESISTANCE TO
THE ROWLAND LAW. AFTER FASTING FOR 24 HOURS, PEOPLE WERE INSTRUCTED TO GO ON
A GENERAL STRIKE (HARTAL), WITH SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE IT CIVIL AND
NONVIOLENT. THE FOLLOWING MONTH IN AMRITSAR (A CITY OF 160,000, LOCATED IN THE
NORTHERN INDIAN PUNJAB PROVINCE), CIVIL AGITATION LED TO CRACKDOWNS. ON APRIL
13, A BRITISH INDIAN ARMY FORCE OF 50 RIFLEMEN, UNDER THE COMMAND OF GENERAL
REGINALD DYER, FIRED ON 10,000 UNARMED INDIANS, KILLING 400 AND WOUNDING
1,500. DUBBED THE "AMRITSAR MASSACRE," IT WAS MARKED FIRST BY THE SHOTS, THEN
DYER’S “CRAWLING ORDER.” DYER WAS PRAISED IN LONDON, AND THE EVENT MARKED
THE FULL TURNAROUND IN GANDHI’S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE BRITISH. BECAUSE THE
KILLINGS WERE CARRIED OUT BY INDIANS, NOT BRITISH REGULARS, IT SOLIDIFIED IN HIS
MIND THE IDEA THAT EMULATION OF THE BRITISH, FOR ALL THEIR GOOD QUALITIES OF
HONOR AND TRADITION, IN THE END WAS DESTRUCTIVE TO INDIA. GANDHI BEGAN THE
PRACTICE OF DRESSING IN TRADITIONAL INDIAN GARB, AND PREPARED FOR THE NEXT
CAMPAIGN. FROM 1919-22, THE COUNTRY ENGAGED IN MASSIVE NONVIOLENCE. THIS WAS
THE GREAT CONSOLIDATION OF INDIA, INCLUDING ALL CASTES; UNTOUCHABLES, HINDUS,
MUSLIMS, EMULATORS, AND THE LIKE. MOST IMPORTANT, GANDHI GAINED CONTROL OF
THE NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT, WHICH HAD BEEN IN A STRUGGLE WITH THOSE WHO
AGITATED FOR ENGLISH BLOOD AFTER AMRITSAR. GANDHI NOW WAS COMPLETELY
INCLUSIVE, EVEN INVITING LIBERAL BRITS TO HIS CAUSE. HE ATTRACTED THE ATTENTION
OF THE PRESS, BASING THE MOVEMENT ON TRUST, TOLERANCE AND ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE.
This was a courageous step for Gandhi and for his followers, who not only abstained
from violence, but also put themselves in harm’s way by virtue of marches and strikes.
This often incurred the wrath of British soldiers who used force to move them off the
streets.
In 1930, Gandhi went on his “salt march,” perhaps his greatest single achievement. It was
dramatized in the Richard Attenborough classic “Gandhi”, and in Joan Bondurant’s
“Conquest of Violence”, in which she states “as for the elements of true satyagraha, all
are to be found in the salt satyagraha.” The march was widely publicized and drew into
his orbit women and other traditionally non-political Indian groups. Studies of Emma
Goldman have ascertained that she embodied a strain of society, which exists everywhere
but manifests itself among the poor and the radical. These might otherwise be considered
“professional protesters.” Gandhi’s “salt march” effectively ended discussion of his
campaign as being of this variety, at least among the mainstream.
The “salt march” was an entirely symbolic gesture. One of England’s most profitable
exports was that of salt collected from the Indian Ocean, but the profits went to them as
they considered this natural resource to be theirs exclusively. Gandhi said the salt was a
product of Indian environment and therefore should belong, along with profits from its
sale, to the people of India. The brilliance of his claim in part deflected talk of his being a
Communist or a socialist. Gandhi did not disdain the capitalistic effects of salt sales.
Rather, he was trying to get India involved in the trade. It was an inherently good thing,
in many people’s eyes, that India wanted to participate in the business of India, instead of
simply playing the role of the servant, the welfare state, or the ignorant.
Gandhi spoke eloquently during of elevating British humanity above imperialism. He
found a receptive audience in the United States, thanks to coverage of him by the New
York Times. His revolutionary position in opposition to the English struck a cord with
Americans, as did his call for equality. Furthermore, the Americans, now a world power
after forcing the Great War to a victorious conclusion, were thinking geo-politically.
They were engaged in “gunboat diplomacy” in China, where a nascent Communist
revolution threatened business trade, and saw India as an important strategic country. In
the endgame, the Americans wanted to stay on the good side of Gandhi should he prevail,
although in 1930 it was far from a settled issue. But they were also naturally pre-disposed
to opposing colonialism. World War I had expanded British colonial rule and American
influence along with it, though. The Yanks were not about to press the issue.
In the 1930s and ‘40s, Gandhi drew women and disparate elements into his movement,
including American reporters and the English, who he extended olive branches to. His
constant mantra was that humanity be elevated above imperialism. As times changed, this
resonated even with the English. Again, tragic events worked in Gandhi’s favor. World
War II took up all the effort and resources of the British Empire as they mounted a
desperate, successful struggle to stop Hitler and Tojo. Unable to pay much attention to
Indian politics, the English had little control over Gandhi. Gandhi did not give the
English much help in their war effort. As a pacifist, he let others do the fighting for him
and took advantage of them when their guard was down. By the time the great crusade
against the Axis Powers was over, Britain was a shell of its old self/ They were unable to
stop the tide of Indian independence, which came officially in 1947. No sooner had this
occurred, than fighting erupted between Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi decided to make a
symbolic gesture that would make himself a martyr and a hero to his people. He went on
a fast in Calcutta, in order to get the religious fighting to stop. Indians were killing
themselves, and undoing all the peaceful good that Gandhi had stood for. The irony is
that the British had kept their powder dry, for the most part, since 1919. Now, far more
Indians were killing each other than the English ever would have. The “Great Calcutta
Killing” was a bloody outburst that lasted throughout 1946 and ’47. Gandhi's fast had the
peaceful effect he desired in August of ’47. It was the “greatest miracle of modern
times,” wrote British historian E.W.R. Lumby.
UNFORTUNATELY, GANDHI MET THE BULLET OF A MUSLIM ASSASSIN SHORTLY
THEREAFTER. THE TWO RELIGIONS WENT BACK TO FIGHTING, AND IN ALMOST NO TIME,
MOST OF WHAT GANDHI SPENT HIS LIFE FIGHTING FOR BECAME, NOT RELEVANT, BUT
PERVERTED BY THE ETHNIC STRIFE, THE CIVIL WAR, THE SPLITTING UP OF INDIAN INTO
MUSLIM PAKISTAN. 50-PLUS YEARS OF CONTINUED BLOODSHED AND HATRED FOLLOWED.
GANDHI IS A REVERED FIGURE AND A GREAT MAN, PERHAPS EVEN TOO GREAT TO BE
CONTEMPLATED BY HUMANS. BUT HIS GREATNESS STANDS NOT IN CONTRAST WITH THE
BRITISH, WHO HE FOUGHT AGAINST, BUT RATHER SIDE BY SIDE WITH THEM. GANDHI
NEEDED ENGLAND, AND ENGLAND NEEDED GANDHI. THE TWO ARE PARTNERS IN HISTORY.
THEY UPLIFTED EACH OTHER IN WAYS THEY COULD NOT DO ON THEIR OWN. IF GANDHI’S
“NEMESIS” HAD BEEN SOME OTHER COUNTRY, HE LIKELY WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED AND
HIS MOVEMENT SQUASHED IN INFANCY. BY THE SAME TOKEN, ENGLAND DISCOVERED, IN
LOSING ITS EMPIRE, ITS SOUL. AS THEY SAY, GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS.
Gandhi’s philosophy is best described in the title of his one-volume collection of
writings, “All Men Are Brothers”. Through self-discipline, Gandhi was an example to his
people, who exhibited a national self-restraint rarely seen in history. He strove to liberate
India from Britain by eliminating from the Indians the fear of the British. His work
inspired many of his followers to stand up to English soldiers, sometimes taking physical
beatings. He is the descendant of Plato and Rousseau, but took their work to a much
higher level. They were mainly writers and teachers, but Gandhi was a “soldier,” a
politician, and a man who risked everything. He elevated political discourse to the
concept of moral freedom. He did it not by attributing morality to the state, but rather
instilling morality in individuals, including playing to the conscience of his “enemies.”
Gandhi fought not only for Indian freedom from the British, but for the freedom of Indian
women within their own culture. While India remains a paternal culture, he did begin a
tradition of women’s liberation. His legacy includes Indira Gandhi, as well as a small
handful of women leaders throughout the Middle East. Women are seen as subservient to
men, but some exceptional women have been accorded special status that has allowed
them to transcend gender roles. This is very much a part of Gandhi’s legacy.
Gandhi’s self-discovery is the self-discovery of an entire people, and in fact his journey is
one the whole world took. His contrast to Hitler is so stark as to make him a symbol of
conscience. In Gandhi, man sees somebody who makes us take a second look at ourselves
and ask questions we never dared ask before. Can the world live in peace? Can conflict
be resolved peacefully? The answer to these questions may not be 100 percent yes, but it
is more often yes now, because of Gandhi, than it was before him. It is important to note
that Gandhi is an important figure whose life is taught in the U.S. All leaders in the most
powerful nation on Earth are well aware of who he was and what he stood for. Gandhi
may not be the prime influence in all decisions made by modern leaders, but his voice is
one that is listened to and respected as part of the process.
Adolf Hitler, for all of his power and the armies at his disposal, has been relegated to a
disgraced part of history. Gandhi, the man of the flowing robes who never hurt a fly,
influences billions. This is as hopeful a fact as any that comes out of the 20 th Century. It
gives hope to the Christian concept that the lamb will in the end reign supreme. It is a
powerful message of truth. Man is not an entirely evolved species. Violence is still very
much a part of the way we do business, but the power of love has been shown to be more
than just a specious phrase.
Gandhi showed that nonviolence is superior to violence. The force contained in emotions
of love and compassion are stronger than those found in hatred, as Professor Dalton
points out. Gandhi discovered that love manifested itself not just in action, but in a
gentleness of the soul. That is, when man not only refrains from hatred, but does not feel
hatred, the veiled threat is replaced by spiritual satisfaction. While Gandhi was not a
Christian, his teachings are very much like those of Jesus. He came to the world as if
Heaven-sent, with words to soothe the savage breast of humanity at a time when Christ’s
message was not getting out. While Christianity is a beautiful religion, Gandhi the
non-Christian is great evidence that it is not the only religion. The dull concept that only
Christians can ascend to Heaven is leavened with stupidity when reflecting on Gandhi’s
life. Forgiveness by one God of all Mankind is at the heart of his message. No single kind
of man is better than another; not the richer more so than the poor, the white over the
black, the smart over the dull. All men are equal and all men are worthy of love.
Gandhi freed himself and his adherents from selfishness and narrow interests, replacing
that with inclusiveness. He believed in sharing, and his concepts of economic freedom
differed from Locke and Rousseau. They felt that the dilemma of Democracy implied, as
Professor Dalton writes, a tradeoff between freedom and equality. Gandhi said that
equality could be attained through individual liberation, with all inclusive of one, and
vice versa. Exclusivity was the enemy of freedom. Dominance and submission are the
concepts that Gandhi abhorred. As mentioned earlier, perhaps in a strange twist, the
Gandhi vision is found in such uniquely American organizations as the Rotary or the
Lion’s Club, where businesses that compete also include. By sharing resources they all
lift each other. Gandhi’s approach is found in American foreign policy, too. The U.S.,
despite the power to do so, has not taken up the mantel of British colonialism. Instead,
they prefer to share power through trade and cooperation. Gandhi might not like the fact
that we occasionally have to use force, but this does not change the fact it is necessary.
Gandhi’s teachings were reflected in our own struggles with the Vietnam War. Martin
Luther King employed Gandhi’s methods in the civil rights struggle. King connected the
war with civil rights in a way he envisioned Gandhi would have. Connectedness is the
legacy of Gandhi.

                                   CHAPTER SEVEN

CIVILIZATIONS AND CHRISTIANITY


“Veni, vidi, vici” (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”)
       - JULIUS CAESAR, 46 B.C.

       400,000 YEARS BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, CAVE DWELLERS KNOWN AS
“PEKING MAN” ROAMED THE EARTH. THEY WERE CAPABLE OF KILLING AND COOKING
ANIMALS. THEY WERE THE SURVIVORS OF THE GREAT ICE AGE. 40,000 YEARS AGO,
MYSTERIOUS CULTS SURROUNDED DEATH AND THE HUNT OF ANIMALS. SCHOLARS SAY
THESE ARE MAN’S FIRST RELIGIOUS RITUALS. MESOLITHIC MAN LEARNED HOW TO USE
BOWS MADE OUT OF IMPLEMENTS OF TOOLS AND BONE. OVER TIME, CLIMATES WARMED,
AND MAN WAS NOT FORCED TO MIGRATE AS MUCH. THE FORMATION OF VILLAGES BEGAN.
ARTISTS DEPICTED MEN AND ANIMALS, CREATING EARLY RECORDS OF LIFE ON EARTH.
FARMING BECAME THE BASIS OF VILLAGE LIFE. MEN LEARNED HOW TO MAKE BOATS,
WHICH THEY USED TO SAIL AND TRANSPORT THEMSELVES.
       FROM 4000 TO 1750 B.C., THE SUMERIANS WORSHIPPED AT TEMPLES SUCH AS THE
ONE AT KHASFADIE. THEY CREATED “SACRED TOWERS” CALLED ZIGGURATS, AND OFFERED
SACRIFICES TO THE GODS. THE EARLIEST SIGNS OF WRITING HAVE BEEN FOUND ON
SUMERIAN TABLETS. THEIR CRAFTS WERE DETAILED AND BEAUTIFUL. SARGON WAS AN
EARLY RULER. HE WAS KNOWN AS RULER OF THE AKKADIANS. MUCH TURMOIL EXISTED;
POWER STRUGGLES AND IN FIGHTING. THE RESULT WAS THE CODE OF HAMMURABAI,
WHICH CAME ABOUT AFTER CONSOLIDATION OF SUMER, AKKAD AND BABYLONIA UNDER A
SINGLE MILITARY CHIEFTAIN AROUND 1790 B.C.
       THE HITTITES MADE HATTUSAS, A FORTIFIED CITY, THEIR CAPITAL. THEY WERE
ROUGH TRIBESMEN WHO BUILT AS KINGDOM THAT LASTED FROM 1750 B.C. TO 700 B.C.
UNDER RAMESSES II, THE EGYPTIANS DECIDED TO FORCE THE HITTITES OUT OF SYRIA IN
1286 B.C. THE HITTITES FOUGHT A MAJOR BATTLE WITH THE EGYPTIANS, DEFEATING
THEM IN THE BATTLE OF KADESH. BUT IN A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF
MISINFORMATION, THE EGYPTIANS CLAIMED VICTORY, WHICH THEY USED TO CONSOLIDATE
ALLIES. A TREATY WAS FORGED.
       THE EGYPTIANS WERE THE BEST OF THE EARLY POLITICIANS AND
COALITION-BUILDERS. THEY DEVELOPED A GREAT EMPIRE. THEY MADE THE MOST OF
SKILLED ARTISANS FROM AMONG CONQUERED POPULATIONS. THEY BUILT BOATS AND
WONDEROUS ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENTS. KING KHUFU DECIDED THAT HE WANTED A
TOMB TO SURPASS ALL OTHERS, AND THE BUILDING OF THE GREAT PYRAMIDS BEGAN. BY
2200 B.C., EGYPT HAD ENTERED A PERIOD OF UPHEAVAL, AND THE PYRAMIDS WERE
ROBBED AND WENT INTO DISREPAIR.
       HYKSOS INVADERS CAME SOUTH FROM SYRIA AND PALESTINE, AND THEY
INTRODUCED THE HORSE TO EGYPT. AROUND 1600 B.C., KAMOSE OF THEBES ORGANIZED
A REVOLT AGAINST THE HYKSOS, AND IN AN AMPHIBIOUS INVASION ON THE NILE RIVER,
WIPED OUT THE HYKSOS STRONGHOLDS, FREEING EGYPT. LED BY THUTMOSE III, THE
EGYPTIANS ATTACKED THE SYRIANS IN THE BATTLE OF MEGIDDO. AFTER DEFEATING THE
ENEMY, IN A LESSON THAT TOO MANY SUCCESSORS FAILED TO LEARN, THUTMOSE III DID
NOT SLAUGHTER OR ENSLAVE HIS ENEMIES. INSTEAD HE CONSOLIDATED THEM INTO HIS
EMPIRE. FIGHTING ERUPTED THROUGHOUT ASIA, AND EGYPT GOT RICHER.
EGYPT WENT THROUGH THE AGE OF THE PHAROAHS, BUT WHEN IRON CAME INTO USE
AMONG PEOPLE IN THE EMPIRE, EGYPT LOST POWER BECAUSE THE COUNTRY DID NOT
PRODUCE ANY. IN ESSENCE, THEIR EMPIRE CRUMBLED FOR ECONOMIC REASONS.
ABRAHAM WAS A NATIVE OF SUMER. HE WAS A HEBREW, ONE OF MANY TRIBES OF
SEMITES SAID TO HAVE DESCENDED FROM SHEM. HE WAS THE SON OF NOAH, SAID TO HAVE
BEEN SAVED FROM A FLOOD WHEN GOD TOLD HIM TO BUILD AN ARC. ABRAHAM REJECTED
THE CONCEPT OF MULTIPLE GODS. HE FELT HE WAS IN THE PRESENCE OF “ONE GOD.” THE
SONS OF ABRAHAM MADE A LONG JOURNEY INTO THE LAND OF CANAAN. NOMADIC SEMITE
TRIBES BEGAN ROAMING THE DESERT IN 3000 B.C., BUT WHEN THEY LANDED IN GOSHEN,
IN THE EASTERN NILE DELTA, THEY CAME UNDER THE RULE OF THE EGYPTIANS. A HEBREW
NAMED MOSES HAD BEEN ORPHANED AND RAISED AS AN EGYPTIAN PRINCE. WHEN HE
EXAMINED HIS CIRCUMSTANCES AND THAT OF THE ENSLAVED HEBREWS, MOSES FELT
KINSHIP WITH THEM. HE HEARD THE WORD OF GOD, AND LED THE HEBREWS ON A LONG
EXODUS FROM EGYPT.
THE HEBREWS WANDERED IN THE SINAI DESERT FOR MANY YEARS. THEY WERE FORCED TO
BECOME A WARRING TRIBE BECAUSE THEY HAD TO FIGHT TO SURVIVE. JOSHUA, A STUDENT
OF MOSES, BECAME A SUCCESSFUL GENERAL. AFTER CROSSING THE JORDAN RIVER, HE LED
THE HEBREWS, WHO CALLED THEMSELVES ISRAELITES BECAUSE THAT WAS THE PROMISED
LAND GOD TOLD MOSES TO LEAD THEM TO, IN A VICTORIOUS ASSAULT AGAINST THE
FORTRESS OF JERICHO. THEY WERE ENCOURAGED BY THIS VICTORY AND WENT ON TO FIGHT
MANY MORE BATTLES, FINALLY MEETING THEIR MATCH AGAINST THE POWERFUL
PHILISTINES. A YOUNG ISRAELITE NAMED DAVID ORGANIZED THE EFFORT THAT DROVE THE
PHILISTINES OUT OF JERUSALEM. DAVID WAS A SUCCESSFUL AND ERUDITE KING. HIS SON
ABSALOM ATTEMPTED TO WREST POWER FROM HIM, BUT WAS KILLED IN THE REVOLT. HIS
OTHER SON, SOLOMON, WAS LOYAL AND ASCENDED AS RIGHTFUL HEIR TO THE THRONE. HE
BUILT A MIGHTY ECONOMIC KINGDOM.
OVER FIVE CENTURIES IN CANAAN, THE ISRAELITES DID NOT PRACTICE THE TEACHINGS OF
MOSES, WHICH HAD COME DOWN TO THEM ON A STONE TABLET CALLED THE TEN
COMMANDMENTS. BUT THEY DID MAINTAIN ABRAHAM’S CONCEPT OF “ONE GOD,” OR
“YAHWEH.” THEIR RELIGIOUS VIEWS SEPARATED THEM FROM THE OTHER TRIBES. IN 597
B.C., THE BABYLONIANS, WHO HAD TAKEN OVER THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE UNDER KING
NEBUCHADNEZZAR, CAPTURED JERUSALEM. THE ISRAELITES HAD FAILED TO PAY HEED TO
THE VOICES OF HATE AND DISSENT OVER THEIR RELIGION UNTIL WAS TOO LATE.
THE ISRAELITES, NOW UNDER BABYLONIAN RULE IN THEIR HOMELAND, DECIDED THAT
THEY HAD BROKEN FAITH WITH MOSES AND WERE PAYING FOR THIS NOW. JEWISH
SCHOLARS EMERGED AND ATTEMPTED TO MEMORIALIZE THE TEACHINGS OF MOSES AND TO
MAKE A HISTORICAL RECORD OF VARIOUS PROPHETS OVER THE CENTURIES. THE RESULT
WAS THE TORAH, THE JEWISH BIBLE. OVER TIME IT WOULD BECOME THE OLD TESTAMENT.
THE ASSYRIANS ROSE FROM 1600 TO 539 B.C. THEY WERE KNOWN AS THE WARRIOR
KINGS. THEY BUILT A WONDROUS CITY, BABYLON, WITH MARVELOUS SIGHTS SUCH AS THE
GATES OF ISHTAR. BABYLON WAS THE FINAL CAPITAL OF THE MESOPOTAMIAN
CIVILIZATION, BUT THE CITY FELL TO TRIBES FROM EAST, THE MEDES AND THE PERSIANS.
THEY WERE DESCENDED FROM ARYAN PEOPLES, HORSEMEN WHO SETTLED IN THE VALLEYS
AND MOUNTAINS OF IRAN.
WHEN CYRUS CONQUERED BABYLON, HE FREED THE JEWS AND ORCHESTRATED THEIR
SAFE RETURN TO JERUSALEM. A PERSIAN, HE WAS ABLE TO COALESCE THE OLD
BABYLONIAN EMPIRE UNDER HIS CONTROL, BUT ALLOWED THE PEOPLE TO KEEP THEIR OWN
GODS, CUSTOMS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. HIS SUCCESSORS, HOWEVER, WERE SEVERE.
DARIUS EVENTUALLY CLAIMED THE THRONE AND PUT DOWN REBELLION. KNOWN AS THE
KING OF KINGS, DARIUS BUILT CITADELS AND PALACES IN HIS HONOR. THE PERSIANS
CONTROLLED GREECE, AND THE GREEKS WERE NOT WILLING TO BE PUT DOWN AS OTHER
SUBJECTS IN THE PERSIAN EMPIRE HAD.
WHEN DARIUS SENT PERSIAN FORCES TO GREECE TO EXACT A FINAL PUTDOWN THAT
WOULD PLACE THEM UNDER STRICT CONTROL, THE GREEKS FOUGHT BACK, PROVING
THEMSELVES TO BE GREAT FIGHTERS AND SMART TACTICIANS. IN A WAR THAT BEGAN IN
480 B.C., THE GREEKS DEFEATED THE PERSIANS IN A NAVAL BATTLE, FORCING THEIR
DEFEAT. ALEXANDER THEN ATTEMPTED TO BRING PERSIA UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF A
GREEK EMPIRE, BUT INSTEAD THE PERSIAN WORLD WAS DIVIDED AMONG GENERALS.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE HISTORICAL RECORD. THE GREEKS WERE A
DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE. HAD ALEXANDER’S DREAM OF A UNITED GREEK/PERSIAN EMPIRE
BEEN REALIZED, PERHAPS A LASTING PEACE WOULD HAVE SETTLED IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
INSTEAD, VARIOUS WARLORDS TOOK OVER FEUDING TRIBES. THE CULTURE OF VIOLENCE
HAS NEVER REALLY LEFT THE REGION.
INDIA BECAME A CIVILIZED CULTURE OVER A 3000-YEAR PERIOD PRIOR TO THE BIRTH OF
CHRIST. HINDUISM ROSE IN INDIA AROUND 1000 B.C., AND IN 560 B.C. A YOUNG MAN
KNOWN AS THE “ENLIGHTENED ONE” BEGAN TO QUESTION HINDUISM. KNOWN AS
BUDDHA, IT WAS SAID THAT HE WAS THE PRODUCT OF SOME 500 REINCARNATIONS, AND
THAT EACH OF THESE LIVES HAD TAUGHT THE BUDDHA THE MEANING OF LIFE. WHILE THE
HINDUS AND THE BUDDHISTS DIFFERED, A SENSE OF BROTHERLY LOVE LAY AT THE HEART
OF BOTH RELIGIONS.
CHINA’S HISTORY DATES BACK TO 4000 B.C. RIVAL CHIEFTAINS, DYNASTIES AND
WARLORDS CONTROLLED THE VAST TERRITORIES. IN 770 B.C., AN ALLIANCE OF
REBELLIOUS STATES TOOK THE CHOU CAPITAL, FORCING A SETTLEMENT. FEUDAL CHIEFS
HELD THE REAL POWER. THE CHOU KING WAS USED AS A FIGUREHEAD BY VARIOUS
POLITICAL FACTIONS, BUT THEN A YOUNG MAN NAMED KUNG FU-TZE, BORN IN 550 B.C.,
ENTERED THE SCENE. BORN INTO A POOR FAMILY, THE MAN CAME TO BE KNOWN AS
CONFUCIUS. HE SPOKE OF THE PROBLEMS IN CHINESE SOCIETY.
A WISE MAN, HE WAS EMPLOYED IN THE GOVERNMENT, BUT DISMISSED BECAUSE HE DID
NOT TAKE ORDERS AND BUILT A FOLLOWING OF HIS OWN. HE BEGAN TO PREACH TO
ANYBODY WHO WOULD LISTEN. HIS MESSAGE MADE SENSE: NEVER DO ANYTHING TO OTHERS
THAT YOU WOULD NOT WANT DONE TO YOURSELF.
From 600 to 300 B.C., various great religions conflicted with each other, among them
Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Judaism. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle tried to
make sense of all the elements of philosophy espoused by these religions. The Chinese
built a Great Wall to keep invaders out. When Hun invaders attacked, a period of conflict
ensued in which it appeared that China would collapse. What saved the country was the
gentry of landowners and noble families who were invested in the country and had the
most to lose. The gentry, through marriages, schools and cultural institutions, managed to
save Chinese society from the varying influences that threatened it. The lesson of China,
unknown to many, is that private property and conservative politics is the glue of national
pride.

The rise and fall of the Roman Empire
        The city of Rome began as six farming villages. Over time, the citizens of Rome
became known as educated people. They were interested in public affairs and well
conditioned in athletic endeavors. A Republican form of government came to power, but
barbarians such as the fierce Gauls had swept down from the Po Valley. In 390 B.C., the
Gauls took Etruria and then invaded Rome. The Gauls failed, and the result was that the
Roman leader, Publius, became a powerful leader. Certain Roman ideals emerged from
the effort at thwarting the Gauls. Military service in the legions of Rome and Italy
became a noble cause. In an effort to prevent future attacks from Barbarians, the legions
were sent out to attack potential enemies before they could become powerful enough to
march on Rome.
        About 350 B.C., the Samnites, savage tribesmen who held the mountains that ran
south along the peninsula, attacked their kinsmen in the lowlands. The threat to Rome
caused the legion to take on the march out of the city. Their ensuing battle won for the
Romans the great plains of Campania, which included a wealthy city, Capua. The Latins
saw the spread of Roman strength. Even though they had been friends, they now saw the
Romans as a threat. A war broke out, and when the legions defeated them, the Latins
were forced to join the legion. In the mean time, a Senate was formed in Rome where
Patricians debated city laws. In the ensuing years, the Romans expanded their armies. In
312 B.C., the senator Appius Claudius Caecus built a highway called the Appian Way.
The Romans were great engineers. They built more roads, bridges and aqueducts. It was
this that furthered their ability to travel and communicate, the keys to empire building.
         In 280 B.C., the Greeks formed an army to meet the legion, led by General
Pyrrhus. He sailed to southern Italy to fight the Romans and set up a western empire of
their own. Known as the Eagle, Pyrrhus met the Romans and defeated them on the plains.
But in victory, he lost most of his army. He was unable to hold the territory he had
gained. Knowing that further warfare would rout his army, he was forced to retreat after
his “Pyrrhic Victory.” He did return in 275 B.C., but the legions were too strong and they
repelled him. His loss left Rome free to expand their empire to Carthage. Soon, it was
“all roads lead to Rome.”
         A pivotal year in the empire was 264 B.C., when a debate ensued in the assembly
to ask whether they should, in essence, be a people of peace or a people of war. They
decided, for all practical purposes, to be a people of war. Greed and a sense of Manifest
Destiny dictated this. Their next move was to form a navy. The Empire had been in
constant struggle with a truly barbarous army from Carthage, in northern Africa. The
Carthaginians worshipped Baal, a cruel god who was embodied by a bronze statue in the
city center. A fire burned in a hole under the statue. Human sacrifices were fed to it.
         The Carthaginians had taken control of the Mediterranean between Sicily and the
African coast, with colonies dotting Spain, North Africa and Gaul. The Romans devised
drawbridges, which were new inventions, and sailed to Carthage. The ships effected
Rome’s successful amphibious invasion, but the Carthaginians were bold
counter-attackers. Through attrition and surprise, the Carthaginians managed to sink the
fleet, leaving the Romans stranded in enemy territory. They were miserably beaten, and
the Carthaginians then sailed to the Italian coast, where they sacked harbors and villages.
         But like the “Pyrrhic victory,” Rome managed to turn defeat into advantage. They
were a wealthy country, and over time the Carthaginians were unable to sustain their
military adventures.
         Hannibal was a lifelong Carthaginian soldier who had gone with his father on
campaigns against the Spaniards. He became a commander at 26, and immediately began
a plan against Rome. Realizing that the battle for the seas was a losing one, he devised
what, up to that time, was the boldest military strategy of all time. The Romans were
prepared to defend a sea invasion. Hannibal led his armies through the Pyrenees
Mountains at the top of Spain, then west across Gaul, and over the Alps into northern
Italy. By 218 B.C., he was ready, and from Spain he descended on 40,000 Spaniards with
Numidian horsemen, routing them.
         Word reached Rome. They sent an army to meet him at Gaul, but Hannibal
by-passed them, risking envelopment in favor of a lightning attack on Rome. He left
behind just enough troops to be sacrificed in Gaul, keeping the Romans busy there. The
trip across the Alps was brilliant but dangerous. Hannibal brought elephants, and had to
cross steep ravines in freezing weather. His leadership and inspiration was legendary, and
he managed to lead his frozen, starved men across the mountains. In September, he
reached the Po Valley. The lessons of Hannibal have been taught to military commanders
for centuries, and his ghost no doubt whispered in the ear of General MacArthur during
the invasion of Inchon. 14,000 of his 40,000 men had died, and Rome had 770,000
citizens, soldiers and allies. The Romans, however, were outflanked and defeated by
Carthaginian troops using elephants as protective battering rams.
         For years, Roman armies sent to the plains were defeated by Hannibal, but in the
end Hannibal fell victim to the same fate as Pyrrhus and other armies who won individual
battles with the legion, but could not win an entire war. His plan had been based on
getting to Rome and surprising them with their pants down. The Romans had built roads
and a system of communications that had allowed them to learn of the Carthaginian
advances in time. Hannibal had been unable to bring with him the heavy artillery
necessary to capture a fortified city.
         Hannibal was allowed to roam the countryside, but Rome was the prize. The
entire purpose of the invasion was centered on capturing Rome. The Romans changed
their strategy to one of attrition, choosing not to send legions into battle with the
Carthaginians, only to be defeated. So, they let time become their ally. But Hannibal was
a dogged commander, and the Romans grew tired of his threat. 54,000 legionnaires
marched to Canae, but Hannibal changed strategy. So brilliant was Hannibal that he knew
when the dust storms would hit the plain, made worse by the churning of thousands of
cavalry and infantry, mixed with the low afternoon sun. He drew the legion into the
middle, and when the dust mixed with the sun encircled them and broke the confused
Romans in a deadly vice.
         In the wake of the victory, Hannibal then made peace with surrounding towns,
turning them into reluctant allies in the wealthy Syracuse region. The lessons of Syracuse
would be learned well by George Patton, who understood during World War II that if
Syracuse fell, all of Italy fell.
         Instead of taking on Hannibal again, the Romans reverted to their attrition
strategy while waging guerrilla tactics on cities that had fallen under Carthaginian sway.
Hannibal marched to the gates of Rome, but his old problem was still his problem. He
lacked the artillery to mount a city attack, and eventually marched south. In retrospect,
Hannibal should have consolidated the territory and the population of the regions he
controlled, creating reinforcements of larger numbers, taking advantage of the natural
resources, plundering for war supplies, and creating technological units that could invent
war machines to be used against Rome. But Rome always had the advantage because of
their system of roads, which allowed them to move from town to town disrupting
Hannibal’s political unity.
         Time did eventually favor the Romans. Using hit-and-run tactics, they eventually
re-captured the cities, including Syracuse and Capua in 211 B.C. Hannibal made his way
out of the area, winner of countless impressive victories, but devoid of the big prize.
There are few military campaigns that carry more lessons than the war between Carthage
and Rome on the plains outside Rome.
         Forced to retreat, Hannibal was met by four Roman Legions in the Alps, and was
beaten. His remaining troops made it to Spain. Rome then put a young commander
named Scipio in charge of the legion. Scipio’s plan would make Rome a world empire.
Scipio’s father and uncle had died fighting Hannibal, and Scipio wanted revenge. He was
convinced that the Carthaginians were depleted in retreat. The Spanish population was
naturally pre-disposed to Rome as opposed to the North Africans. Scipio led his legions
into Spain, where they gathered Spanish forces to join with them. With momentum on his
side, fighting on neutral turf, Scipio’s forces drove the Carthaginians to the sea.
         Now Rome controlled Spain, but they were not through. The African Continent
held riches in human and natural resources, and they wanted it. They had made the
decision to be a warring people, and had survived against Hannibal, the strongest
commander ever known. In 204 B.C., Scipio invaded Carthage. Hannibal had been held
back in Spain. He was now sent back to his homeland to defend its very existence. At
Zama, Hannibal again faced the Romans, who had been defeating all Carthaginian forces
they faced in North Africa. All of the lessons of previous losses had been learned by
Scipio. With the tide turned, he slaughtered the Carthaginians.
        The Romans took political control of the region. Hannibal went home and was
protected by his people, but Rome ordered him turned over. Carthage fled to Syria, but
Rome captured that territory. Hannibal, with no place to turn, killed himself in 195 B.C.
Scipio was honored by Rome as Scipio Africanus.
        Carthage stayed under siege and the Romans refused to let them off the hook,
eventually sacking the city and enslaving the population. Africa became a Roman
province. They demolished Greece in 146 B.C. The Romans controlled Spain and much
of Gaul, then expanded their empire to Asia and Egypt. From 130-70 B.C., Rome
addressed corruption, led by Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had collected evidence of bribes
during the trial of an aristocratic senator, Caius Verres. Now a military and economic
power, Rome attempted to create a Republic that would serve the people and reign in the
plunder that came with conquering foreign lands. A debate ensued regarding the use of
slaves. The influence of Greek political thinkers spread to Rome. But two things worked
against true Democracy taking root in Rome. For one, the people were hungry for
violence and lust. Hedonism spread among the ruling class. Wild orgies and drinking
parties served to hinder the moral authority of the rulers. Chariot races and gladiator
games thrilled large crowds. Slaves were brought in and forced to fight to their bloody
deaths.
        The other thing was that the Roman Senate developed a loathing for the people
they were supposed to serve. They picked up the Greek phrase, deriding their constituents
as "mobs." The empire enjoyed too much power, too many spoils of war, and their
aristocracy was too corrupt. They were exempt from laws, and acts of wanton sex and
wild parties were available. No dominant religion held sway over Rome to provide a
moral template for the leaders. Various military leaders developed private armies.
Intrigues of deceit worked against a coherent ruling order. His enemies forced one
Roman consul, Sulla, into exile, but he formed an army and won victories outside of
Rome. His rival, Marius, died and Sulla returned to Rome. He exacted brutal revenge on
his adversaries. He also raised money by extorting the rich, accusing them of trumped-up
crimes and demanding payment for their freedom, then killing them anyway. Sulla
strengthened the Senate, but not to the advantage of the people.
        When Sulla died in 79 B.C., Rome entered an important phase in its history. A
man named Crassus discovered a way to become rich. As head of the fire department, he
found the buildings of rich people, lit fires to them on either side, and offered to “buy”
the building from the rich men for low prices. He would have made a good baseball
general manager, picking up top free agents-to-be in “trades” with clubs who knew they
would lose them at season’s end and wanted something in return.
        Crassus would then bring his slave fire department in to save the buildings. In the
he end would rent the buildings back to the former owners. Crassus, a military
commander under Sulla, was called to service when Spartacus led a slave revolt of
gladiators and soldiers from armies defeated by Rome. The men were homeless, looking
for a cause and sweet revenge. Crassus achieved heroic status when he formed an army
that met Spartacus’ forces outside of Rome and destroyed them.
        In the mean time, another commander, Pompey, was winning victories in Asia
Minor. A natural rivalry developed. It became obvious that at some point Crassus and
Pompey would vie for the same crown, which was to be Roman leader. Pompey was so
successful that he brought to Rome plundered riches worth a staggering $36 million. But
Pompey had been an outsider, and despite his victories the Senate did not anoint him full
power. Crassus was not given it, either. His put-down of the slave revolt was considered
necessary, but not heroic. It was time for somebody new to emerge as the leader. His
name was Julius Caesar. Caesar was a young officer under Pompey, from a politically
connected family. Caesar had been out of favor with Sulla, which played to his strength
upon the death of the hated Sulla. He had military guile and educated himself on tactics
and diplomacy, but he was not of a warrior’s mindset. Caesar had a soft side, which drew
people to him.
        In 68 B.C., Caesar earned his spurs as an officer in Spain. Upon his return he and
Crassus formed an alliance of convenience that combined Crassus’ money with Caesar’s
public popularity. Caesar managed to diplomatically create a power-sharing plan between
himself, Crassus and Pompey. The Senate lost power and was replaced by what was
called the First Triumvirate. In 59 B.C., Caesar was elected consul and then commanded
a five-year military campaign in Gaul. He pushed the enemy into the English Channel.
Caesar then crossed the Channel and added half of Britain to the empire, an enormous
coup. His exploits were widely hailed, and in Rome, Pompey and Crassus stewed.
Pompey came to be seen as a politician, which was not as powerful as a military
commander like Caesar. Crassus attempted to gain military status on a par with Caesar.
He mounted a campaign to the east, but became bogged down with problems. After being
caught flat-footed by barbarians, he was murdered after thousands of his men died
needlessly.
        Now there were two rivals. Pompey controlled domestic politics, having been in
Rome all the while. Caesar had taken half of Europe for Rome and, worse for Pompey,
Rome was in turmoil, beset by street crime. Pompey convinced the Senate that Caesar
was out to take their power away. He positioned himself as Rome’s defender. But Caesar
had the backing of his legions. Caesar was ordered to appear before the Senate, but to
leave his legions behind. He marched to the Rubicon, the river marking the boundary
between Gaul (where Caesar had control) and Italy. His lieutenant, Marc Antony, acted
as his go-between with Rome. Caesar reasoned that if he came to Rome unprotected,
Pompey would arrest him. Pompey had calculated using a weak hand. He had no army to
match Caesar should Caesar march on Rome. Caesar ordered the legion to cross the
Rubicon. When Pompey heard, he and his Senate colleagues fled.
        Now it was a full civil war. Caesar consolidated full Roman power and left an
army to protect Rome. He took off for Spain to eliminate Pompey once and for all.
Pompey had formed legions along with Greek and Macedonian cavalry, but they were no
match for Caesar’s army. Pompey was forced to flee into exile in Egypt, but the
Egyptians betrayed him. He was murdered, rather than making himself and his host a
target of Caesar’s legions. Caesar was unaware of Pompey’s fate, though. He decided to
pursue him in Egypt.
        This led him right into a family feud. In 48 B.C. he arrived in Egypt and
discovered that Pompey’s death had been ordered by 13-year old Ptolemy, who shared
the throne with his 20-year old sister, Cleopatra. Cleopatra aggravated the ruling class in
Alexandria with her brashness and blatant sexuality. She lost a power struggle with her
brother and was ordered out of Alexandria – just as Caesar was arriving. What timing!
        Cleopatra performed some bedroom gymnastics that disarmed Caesar in ways
Crassus’ and Pompey’s armies and political factions never could. He agreed to help her
take back the throne. Caesar’s men marched to the palace, took Ptolemy prisoner, and
held siege. The Egyptians surrounded the palace. Then reinforcements arrived from Asia
Minor, and the Egyptians were put down. Cleopatra’s charms had gotten the best of him,
and would prove costly. He had used men and taken too much time dealing with Egyptian
politics. Adding Egypt to the empire was not worth losing power in Rome. Barbarians
who defeated Crassus were in provinces in Asia, now depleted by forces that had come to
aid in Cleopatra's struggle.
        Meanwhile, Pompey’s sons had taken Africa. Caesar wanted to return to Rome,
but Cleopatra just kept turning on the charm. He kept the man in Alexandria throughout
the Winter. In the Spring, he at last departed for Asia. Over the next months he restored
order in Asia, then in Africa. In 46 B.C. he returned to Rome.
        He was a conquering hero, having won great conquests in Gaul, Africa, Egypt and
Asia, while defeating domestic opposition from Crassus and Pompey. At his victory
procession, he said “Veni, vidi, vici” – “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
        Caesar then proved to be a fair leader of Rome. He pardoned old foes, fed the
poor, provided land for veterans of campaigns, and was highly popular. He also declared
himself Dictator for Life. Nobody in the Senate dared vote against him. They even
offered to make him King, but he said he wanted to preserve the Republic. This proved to
be a conundrum. He ruled benevolently, but could not be replaced. His great popularity
was a threat to the other Senators. There were still remnants of the old rivalries.
        GAIUS CASSIUS, AN OLD OFFICER UNDER POMPEY, WAS SPITEFUL TOWARDS
CAESAR, PLOTTING AGAINST HIM. HE APPROACHED SENATOR MARCUS JUNIUS BRUTUS, A
THOUGHTFUL AND HONEST MAN WHOSE FAMILY HAD FOUGHT TO RID ROME OF THE OLD
ETRUSCAN KINGS. BRUTUS THOUGHT A PLOT AGAINST CAESAR TO BE RIDICULOUS.
CASSIUS PERSISTED AND FOUND HIS EAR BY COMPARING CAESAR AND HIS DICTATOR FOR
LIFE TITLE TO THE ETRUSCAN TYRANTS. BRUTUS’ REPUTATION FOR HONESTY WON THE
DAY. HE GATHERED CONSPIRATORS, CONVINCING ALL THAT CAESAR WAS TOO
POWER-HUNGRY.
        CAESAR’S WIFE, CALPURNIA, HAD A VISION OF THE PLOT AND WARNED HER
HUSBAND TO “BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH.” ON MARCH 15, 44 B.C., CAESAR IGNORED
HER AND A SOOTHSAYER, WHO WARNED OF BAD OMENS, AND ARRIVED AT THE SENATE. ON
THE STEPS OF THE SENATE, THE CONSPIRATORS STABBED HIM. CAESAR, MORTALLY
WOUNDED, RECOGNIZED BRUTUS, HIS TRUSTED FRIEND, A MAN OF HONESTY.
“ET TU, BRUTE?” HE CRIED (“YOU TOO, BRUTUS?”). HE WAS DEAD.
The aftermath of Caesar’s death was typical of the in fighting, treachery and political
machinations of Roman times. The senators gathered cautiously to discuss his death with
Marc Antony, Caesar’s second-in-command. Marc Antony asked only that Caesar be
given a proper public funeral. His assassins were at first relieved that the request was so
modest. But Marc Antony knew public emotion well. He understood the love that the
people had for Caesar. When Caesar’s body was displayed, he was wearing the bloody
robe he had worn at the time of his killing. This aroused great passion, and the crowd
turned into the proverbial mob. The crowd then turned on Brutus and his conspirators.
Eventually they were forced to flee, leaving Rome in the hands of Cicero while Marc
Antony was positioned to rise in power.
Marc Antony was not Caesar’s handpicked heir to the throne, but his public position after
his death changed his situation. Cicero decided to play his hand. He sided with Caesar
Octavius, Caesar’s 18-year old nephew and sole heir, against Marc Antony. Caesar
Octavius spurned Marc Antony’s efforts at power sharing. Cicero underestimated
Octavius’ skill. Octavius earned the loyalty of a large army. Cicero made it plain that he
was using Octavius and would then push him aside. Octavius made a power play and had
Cicero killed.
Marc Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Julius Caesar’s old Master of the Horse, had
been given command of legions in the West. Brutus and Cassius had armies in the East.
Octavius consolidated them along with Marc Antony and Lepidus in a war against Brutus
and Cassius. In 42 B.C., the Senate elected them the second “Triumvirs of Rome.” They
set out to destroy Julius Caesar’s murderers. At Philippi, in Macedonia, Octavius earned
his spurs in a winning battle. Antony’s forces also were victorious. Brutus and Cassius
both committed suicide to avoid capture. In Rome, Cicero was executed.
The Second Triumvirate had the same problems as the first. Lepidus was weak. Antony
and Octavius were rivals. Antony went on campaign in Asia, leaving his personal secret
police to stir up trouble. It was during this campaign that Antony ran into the great femme
fatale of history, Cleopatra. He would fall for her just as Julius Caesar had.
At this point, a study of the Roman Empire begins to reveal some important lessons.
Rome accorded great power to her military heroes, but in order to maintain power, one
had to build coalitions in Rome. Unfortunately, military heroes spent half their time on
campaign in distant provinces or unconquered territories. When gone their rivals operated
against them. Legions tended to stay loyal to commanders, rather than a central
government. Various leaders would make their move when they thought enough force
was amassed. This caused the constant turmoil and upheaval of Roman leadership. It
required absolute loyalty from commanders to Caesar, but too often Caesar was the
commander, leaving somebody to seek power back home.
IT WAS IN UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PROBLEM THAT ALEXANDER HAMILTON BRILLIANTLY
HELPED TO DEVISE THE CONCEPT OF OUR MODERN GOVERNMENTAL POWER-SHARING
ARRANGEMENT. HAMILTON CALLED FOR A STRONG MILITARY THAT WAS BEHOLDEN TO
CIVILIAN CONTROL THAT OPERATED CENTRALLY, INSTEAD OF A KIND OF TRAVELING
GOVERNMENT LED BY A PRESIDENT WHO WENT ON CAMPAIGN. HAD ABE LINCOLN BEEN
FORCED TO LEAVE WASHINGTON DURING THE CIVIL WAR TO LEAD THE UNION TROOPS,
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MIGHT HAVE BEEN BROKEN UP OR EVEN SPLINTERED BY
CONFEDERATES IN WASHINGTON, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF HIS ABSENCE.
CONSIDERING WHAT KIND OF POWER CLEOPATRA HAD OVER POWERFUL MEN, ONE CAN
ONLY IMAGINE HER SEXUAL ABILITIES. SHE MET ANTONY ON HER LUXURIOUS BARGE
AFTER PHILIPPI. SHE HAD CONSIDERED SEVERAL POTENTIAL MATES, ALL WITH AN EYE TO A
POLITICAL POSITION THAT WOULD MAKE HER QUEEN OF THE EAST OR EVEN THE
MEDITERRANEAN. CAESAR, CHOICE NUMBER ONE, WAS DEAD. POMPEY’S SON WAS HAPPY
TO FALL UNDER HER SPELL, BUT HE LACKED THE POWER SHE WANTED. IN ANTONY, SHE
SAW HER TICKET TO POWER. SHE MET ANTONY IN A SCENE STRAIGHT OUT OF AN
ELABORATE, HIGH-TICKET PORNOGRAPHIC MOVIE, COMPLETE WITH SEXUAL CHILDREN
FANNING HER AND MAIDS DRESSED LIKE SEA NYMPHS. SHE LUXURIATED ON HER BED LIKE
VENUS, HER FINE, TANNED BODY WRITHING AS IF CRAVING GREAT PLEASURE. ANTONY WAS
DONE. HE FORGOT ABOUT CAMPAIGNING AND SPENT ALL HIS TIME PLEASURING
CLEOPATRA.
BACK IN ROME, OCTAVIUS HAD NO CLEOPATRA’S TO DIVERT HIM FROM HIS PURPOSE.
WHEN NEW WARS BROKE OUT IN ASIA, ANTONY ASKED OCTAVIUS TO SEND TROOPS.
OCTAVIUS KNEW HE COULD WEAKEN ANTONY BY DENYING THE REQUEST. ANTONY
RETURNED TO ROME. AGAIN AN AGREEMENT WAS REACHED, TO SPLIT THE WORLD
AMONGST THE THREE LEADERS. A POLITICAL MARRIAGE WAS ARRANGED, BETWEEN
ANTONY AND OCTAVIA, THE SISTER OF OCTAVIUS. VARIOUS CAMPAIGNS ENSUED.
OCTAVIUS MADE HIS MOVE, ATTACKING AND TAKING OVER LEPIDUS’ ARMIES. AT THIS
POINT, ANTONY COULD HAVE MET OCTAVIUS IN A MAJOR BATTLE FOR ALL OF THE EMPIRE.
INSTEAD HE HEARD THE SIREN SONG OF CLEOPATRA. HE SENT OCTAVIA BACK TO ROME
AND RETURNED TO ALEXANDRIA. CLEOPATRA MADE HIM KING OF EGYPT. A PLOT WAS
HATCHED TO BRING MUCH OF THE EMPIRE UNDER THEIR JOINT CONTROL. WHEN NEWS
REACHED ITALY, OF ANTONY’S PLANS AND THE SHUNNING OF HIS SISTER, ANTONY WAS
DECLARED AN ENEMY OF ROME. A FINAL BATTLE WAS SET UPON. IN 31 B.C., FORCES OF
OCTAVIUS MET ANTONY’S NAVY AT ACTIUM IN GREECE. 1,000 SHIPS AND 80,000
LEGIONNAIRES ENGAGED IN THE PIVOTAL STRUGGLE. ANTONY HAD LOST THE GRIP ON HIS
MEN. YEARS OF LOVING AMONGST THE EGYPTIANS HAD LEFT THEM WONDERING ABOUT
THEIR STRANGE WAYS. THEY WERE CONVINCED THAT ANTONY HAD FALLEN UNDER A
SPELL FROM THE BEWITCHING EGYPTIAN BEAUTY. OCTAVIUS WON THE DAY WHILE MANY
OF ANTONY’S MEN REFUSED TO FIGHT THEIR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN. ANTONY EVADED
CAPTURE. CLEOPATRA MANAGED TO BREAK THROUGH A LINE TO ESCAPE, TOO. THEY
RETURNED, DEFEATED, TO ALEXANDRIA, TRAILED BY OCTAVIUS’ ARMIES.
IN 30 B.C., OCTAVIUS MARCHED AROUND THE AEGEAN, THROUGH ASIA MINOR AND INTO
EGYPT. WHEN THE ROMANS APPEARED ON THE HORIZON, ANTONY’S FEW SOLDIERS
SURRENDERED. THEN WORD CAME OF CLEOPATRA’S DEATH. ANTONY WENT OFF BY
HIMSELF AND COMMITTED SUICIDE. BUT WORD OF HER DEATH WAS FALSE. CLEOPATRA
INSTEAD WENT TO HER PALACE, ANOINTED HERSELF WITH OILS, PREPARED TO WELCOME
OCTAVIUS AS HER NEW LOVER. HER CHARMS DID NOT WORK ON THE YOUNGER MAN. WHEN
SHE REALIZED THAT SHE COULD NO LONGER SLEEP HER WAY TO THE TOP, AND INSTEAD
WAS TO BE TAKEN AS A PRISONER OF WAR, SHE HAD HER PRIESTS BRING A POISONOUS
SNAKE TO HER. SHE LET THE SNAKE BITE HER, AND SOON SHE WAS REALLY DEAD.
OCTAVIUS NOW HELD FULL POWER AT THE AGE OF 32. EGYPT WAS UNDER ROMAN
CONTROL, BUT IT WAS A TIME TO MAKE PEACE AFTER YEARS OF CAMPAIGNS, IN FIGHTING
AND CIVIL WARS PITTING ROMANS AGAINST ROMANS. OCTAVIUS WAS NAMED OCTAVIUS
AUGUSTUS, A NAME GRANTED TO THE GODS. HE SET OUT TO RE-BUILD ROME.
ARISTOCRATS LIVED OFF THE RICHES OF THE EMPIRE. GREAT WEALTH POURED IN TO THE
CITY FROM THE CAPTURED TERRITORIES. THE PURSUIT OF SEX BECAME THE FAVORITE
PASTIME OF THE RICH. BUT AUGUSTUS WAS A MAN OF DISCIPLINE, AS EVIDENCED BY HIS
SPURNING OF CLEOPATRA. HE CHOSE TO LIVE AND RULE NOT AS A GOD BUT AS A MAN. HE
TONED DOWN THE HEDONISM OF SOCIETY. HE ALSO SENT HIS LEGIONS TO THE FRONTIERS
NOT TO MAKE WAR, BUT TO BUILD SOCIETIES AND CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT FOR STRONG
ECONOMIES AND TRADE.
AGAIN, THE LESSONS OF ROME ARE EXPLORED. BECAUSE ROME WAS A REPUBLIC, BUT NOT
A DEMOCRACY, THEY WERE STILL RULED BY EMPERORS. OCTAVIUS AUGUSTUS TURNED
OUT TO BE A GOOD ONE, BUT THIS WAS THE RESULT OF CHANCE AND STRUGGLE. EMPERORS
STILL COULD NAME THEIR SUCCESSORS, INSTEAD OF HAVING POWER PASSED ON BY VOTE
OR SOME MORE REASONABLE MANNER. AUGUSTUS CHOSE TO PASS POWER TO HIS STEPSON,
TIBERIUS. TIBERIUS WAS A TYPICAL RICH KID, BORN TO POWER, ELEVATED TO WITHOUT
MERIT. HE WAS CONTEMPTUOUS AND STINGY, HAD LITTLE USE FOR THE PEOPLE, AND
CONSIDERED THE SENATE “SLAVES” INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM THINK THEY CONTROLLED
ROME. A BRUTUS-STYLE PLOT WAS FORMED BUT TIBERIUS’ PRAETORIAN GUARDS
PROTECTED HIM.
IN THE PROVINCES, HOWEVER, ONLY HIS POLICIES AND NOT HIS PERSONALITY WERE
KNOWN. HE WAS LOVED BECAUSE HE MADE FAIR LAWS BASED ON CREATING ECONOMIC
OPPORTUNITY. BUT TIBERIUS DIED SUDDENLY. HIS GREAT-GRANDSON, THE INFAMOUS
CALIGULA, REPLACED HIM. HISTORY CANNOT CONFIRM IT, BUT CALIGULA PROBABLY
MURDERED TIBERIUS.
CALIGULA WAS CRIMINALLY INSANE. HE ENJOYED KILLING FOR PLEASURE, AND WENT ON A
WILD, MURDEROUS SPREE OF BLOOD, SEX AND MADNESS. FINALLY, HIS OWN GUARDS
TURNED ON HIM AND KILLED HIM DURING THE GLADIATORIAL GAMES. THE SOLDIERS THEN
MARCHED TO THE PALACE AND FOUND HIS UNCLE, CLAUDIUS, WAITING TO BE KILLED. BUT
THE SOLDIERS KNEW CLAUDIUS WAS A SENSIBLE MAN WHO HAD NO CONTROL OVER HIS
NEPHEW. IN AN ACT OF SEMI-DEMOCRACY, THEY ANOINTED CLAUDIUS EMPEROR. FOR A
WHILE, CLAUDIUS RULED WISELY, LISTENING TO THE ADVICE OF GREEK ADVISORS HE HAD
BROUGHT IN TO HIS COUNCIL. BUT HE HAD FOUR WIVES. ONE OF THEM, AGRIPPINA, WAS
HELL ON EARTH. SHE HAD A SON NAMED NERO. SHE HEN-PECKED CLAUDIUS INTO NAMING
NERO HIS HEIR. ONCE THAT WAS DONE, SHE FED CLAUDIUS POISON. NERO WAS EMPEROR.
NERO AND CALIGULA WERE CUT OUT OF THE SAME CLOTH. NERO TURNED ROME,
LITERALLY, INTO A CIRCUS. HIS MOTHER KNEW SHE WAS TARGETED FOR ASSASSINATION,
AND AVOIDED FOUR ATTEMPTS. IT FINALLY TOOK A DIRECT MILITARY ATTACK TO KILL HER.
IN THE SUMMER OF 64 A.D., NERO MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE STARTED A FIRE THAT NEARLY
BURNED DOWN THE ENTIRE CITY. NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE. NERO PLAYED THE FIDDLE
WHILE HIS CITY BURNED. GOSSIP THAT HE HAD CAUSED THE FIRE IN ORDER TO RE-BUILD
THE CITY WITH BUILDINGS AND STATUES THAT HONORED HIM RAN RAMPANT. ANNOYED AT
THE GOSSIP, NERO NEEDED A SCAPEGOAT. HE CHOSE THE CHRISTIANS, A NEW AND
TROUBLESOME RELIGIOUS GROUP. THEIR LEADER, CALLED CHRISTUS, HAD BEEN PUT TO
DEATH DURING TIBERIUS’ RULE. HIS DEATH ONLY SPURRED THE SPREAD OF THE RELIGION.
NERO HAD THE CHRISTIANS ROUNDED UP, CONDEMNED THEM FOR SETTING THE FIRE, AND
HAD THEM KILLED BY WILD ANIMALS AT THE COLLOSEUM. THE PEOPLE QUICKLY REALIZED
THE CHRISTIANS WERE INNOCENT. THEIR DEATHS SERVED TO MARTYR THEM AND HELPED
THE RELIGION SPREAD FURTHER. NERO DECIDED TO LEAVE THE CITY TO AVOID THE
CRITICISM. HE WENT TO GREECE WHERE HE ORDERED THEM TO HOLD THE OLYMPIC GAMES
THAT HAD BECOME PART OF THEIR TRADITION. WHEN HE RETURNED, ROME WAS FILLED
WITH PLOTS AGAINST HIM. HE COULD NOT FEND OFF ALL OF THEM. EVENTUALLY FORCED
TO RUN FOR HIS LIFE, HE KILLED HIMSELF BEFORE CAPTURE. NO MORE CAESARS WERE
SELECTED. PLAGUES AND UNCERTAINTY HAUNTED ROME FOR MANY YEARS, DURING SUCH
TIME AS A SUCCESSION OF LEADERS, EITHER UNLUCKY OR UNWORTHY, RAN THE EMPIRE.
BY 117 A.D., HOWEVER, THE EMPIRE WAS WEAK IN ROME BUT STRONG THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD, WHICH INCLUDED SPAIN, SYRIA AND BRITAIN. THE EMPEROR WAS NOW HADRIAN,
A SOLDIER-STATESMAN. HE SET OUT TO VISIT THE PROVINCES. BY THIS TIME, PEACE, ROADS
AND METHODS OF TRANSPORTATION MADE TRAVEL SAFE. ROMANS WERE FREE TO VISIT AS
TOURISTS THE EXOTIC LOCALES OF THE WORLD. HADRIAN BUILT MORE ROADS AND
BEAUTIFUL EDIFICES. 65 TO 100 MILLION PEOPLE WERE UNDER HIS RULE. HE HELD THEIR
LOYALTY NOT BY MILITARY ACTION, BUT THROUGH THE INFLUENCE OF IDEAS:
ARCHITECTURE, MUSIC, ART, AND GOVERNMENT. THIS PERIOD LASTED UNTIL 167, WHEN
BARBARIC GERMANIC TRIBES POURED INTO ITALY. MARCUS AURELIUS, THE EMPEROR BY
THIS TIME, LEFT ON CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE HORDES, LEAVING ROME UNDER THE CHARGE
OF HIS SON, COMMODUS. COMMODUS WAS STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CALIGULA-NERO MOLD;
A BRAGGART, A COWARD, CRUEL TO THE CORE. HE LEARNED GLADIATORIAL SKILLS, AND
FOUGHT IN THE GAMES, BUT ALWAYS AGAINST LESSER OPPONENTS IN FIXED MATCHES THAT
LEFT NO DOUBT THAT HE WOULD WIN. HE BECAME EMPEROR, BUT WAS EVENTUALLY
ASSASSINATED BY HIS WRESTLING TEACHER AT THE ORDER OF THE PRAETORIAN GUARD.
THE END OF THE EMPIRE DID NOT OCCUR QUICKLY. THE ROMAN EMPIRE LASTED UNTIL
476. IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP ALL THE POWER FROM BEING CONSOLIDATED BY A SINGLE, BAD
EMPEROR LIKE COMMODUS, NERO OR CALIGULA, THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH VARIOUS
SYSTEMS, SUCH AS THE APPOINTMENT OF FOUR CAESARS, EACH WITH AN ARMY BEHIND
HIM. NOTHING REALLY WORKED. THE SENATE DID NOT POSSESS REAL POWER. THE
CAESARS WERE NOT ACCOUNTABLE. WHEN ONE PROVED TO BE INCOMPETENT, HE COULD
NOT BE REMOVED THROUGH A PEACEFUL PROCESS. RULE OVER ROME WAS SIMPLY TOO
HEADY FOR A MAN TO ACCEPT AS PUBLIC DUTY.
IN 284, DIOCLETIAN SURVIVED A TYPICAL POWER STRUGGLE AND ASCENDED TO THE
THRONE, HOLDING IT FOR 20 YEARS. HIS LEGACY LASTED AN ADDITIONAL 80. DIOCLETIAN
KNEW HOW TO HOLD POWER, BUT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PEOPLE. HE TURNED ROME AND
MUCH OF THE EMPIRE INTO A VIRTUAL MILITARY STATE, CONSCRIPTING YOUNG MEN AND
IMPOSING DRACONIAN LAWS THAT HURT THE ECONOMY. EVENTUALLY, THE DIOCLETIAN
EMPIRE WENT TO CONSTANTINE, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MEN IN WORLD HISTORY.
CONSTANTINE WAS A MILITARY COMMANDER RIGHT OUT OF THE DIOCLETIAN SCHOOL,
WHICH IS TO SAY HE WAS RUTHLESS AND SPARTAN. BUT ON THE NIGHT BEFORE GREAT
VICTORY, HE HAD A VISION IN THE SKY. IT WAS A GLOWING CROSS SHOWN IN THE HEAVENS
ALONG WITH THE WORDS, “IN HOC SIGNO VINCES” – “BY THIS SIGN, YOU WILL CONQUER.”
CONSTANTINE TOOK THIS AS CHRIST’S SIGN THAT HE HAD BEEN CHOSEN TO RULE ROME.
FOR YEARS, ROMAN EMPERORS ADORNED THEMSELVES, OR HAD THE SENATE ADORN
THEM, WITH THE TITLE AUGUSTUS. IT GAVE THEM GOD-LIKE STATUS. CONSTANTINE NOW
HAD A GREAT WEIGHT LIFTED FROM HIS SHOULDERS. HE WAS NOT A GOD. ALL HE HAD TO
DO WAS OBEY THE ONE TRUE GOD.
   Suddenly, Christianity, the growing threat to so many emperors, whose disciples had
been fed to the lions, was the official religion of the Roman Empire. It was a victory for
the lamb of God. The government that had killed the Son of God now worshipped Him. It
changed everything. For one thing, the people liked the idea that a divinity had chosen
the leader, instead of a bloody general defeating another bloody general and then calling
himself a god. Of course, Christ would be misused. For he next 1,400 years, European
kings would claim their thrones as “divine right,” but an important threshold had been
crossed.
THE  VIRTUALLY OVERNIGHT CONVERSION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE INTO A CHRISTIAN
BASTION IS UNPRECEDENTED, AT LEAST TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE. I AM NOT A
RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR, BUT I AM UNABLE TO CONCEIVE OF ANY OTHER RELIGION THAT
ACHIEVED WHAT CHRISTIANITY DID. IN A MERE 476 YEARS, THE RELIGION HAD RISEN FROM
AN OBSCURE MIDDLE EASTERN SECT. ITS LEADER HAD BEEN PUT TO DEATH, ITS
FOLLOWERS BEDRAGGLED AND PERSECUTED, MADE TO SUFFER THE WORST ATROCITIES. IT
WAS A RELIGION WITH NO HOME AND NO GOVERNMENT. IT BECAME THE MOST INFLUENTIAL
RELIGION OF THE MOST WIDESPREAD EMPIRE ON THE PLANET. IN FACT, IT DID NOT TAKE 476
YEARS. IT ALL VIRTUALLY OCCURRED IN ONE SINGLE EPIPHANY.
NO OTHER RELIGION HAS RECEIVED SO MANY CONVERTS SO PEACEFULLY, FROM AMONG ITS
ENEMIES. THE JEWS CERTAINLY SUFFERED AS MUCH ADVERSITY. THERE HAVE ALWAYS
BEEN CONVERTS TO JUDAISM, BUT THERE IS NO HISTORY OF MAJOR ARMIES OR
GOVERNMENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE OPPOSED TO THE JEWS, WHO SIMPLY TOOK TO JUDAISM
OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH.
BUDDHISM, HINDUISM, CONFUCIANISM AND LATER ISLAM CERTAINLY HAVE THEIR
ADHERENTS, BUT THESE RELIGIONS STARTED AS PHILOSOPHIES. CHARISMATIC LEADERS
WERE DEIFIED AND MILLIONS FOLLOWED. BUT THEY HAVE NO RECORD OF SIMPLY
ENVELOPING MASS CONVERSION, WITHOUT WAR OR THE THREAT OF WAR, OVER NIGHT.
CONSTANTINE WAS A CHRISTIAN, BUT HE DID NOT STAMP OUT OTHER RELIGIONS. BECAUSE
OF HIS POWER AND INFLUENCE, AND BECAUSE HIS TESTIMONY WAS SO COMPELLING, MANY
FOLLOWED HIM INTO CHRISTIANITY FOR POLITICAL REASONS. CONSTANTINE FELT OTHERS
WOULD SEE CHRISTIANITY AS HE SAW IT. HE CHOSE NOT TO FORCE IT. HE DID GIVE IT THE
IMPRIMATUR OF STATE SPONSORSHIP, THOUGH, DECLARING THERE WOULD TWO CAPITALS
OF ROME. THE ITALIAN CAPITAL WOULD BE IN ROME. THE CHRISTIAN CAPITAL WOULD BE
BYZANTIUM, THE ANCIENT GREEK STRONGPOINT ON THE HELLESPONT. IT WAS HERE THAT
THE LAND ROUTE BETWEEN ASIA AND THE DANUBE JUMPS ACROSS THE CHANNEL BETWEEN
THE BLACK SEA AND THE MEDITERRANEAN – A CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD.
IN 330 A.D., THE "NEW ROME" WAS BUILT. IT WAS NOW NAMED CONSTANTINOPLE. THE
BUILDING OF THE CITY AND THE SPREAD OF THE NEW RELIGION WERE MEANT TO DO TWO
THINGS. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HOLD THE EMPIRE TOGETHER IN A FELLOWSHIP OF MAN.
HOWEVER, THE NEW RELIGION AND THE "NEW ROME" WEAKENED ROME. ALL CITIZENS OF
THE EMPIRE HAD NOW BECOME EQUALS, IN THE EYES OF GOD AND THE EYES OF THE
GOVERNMENT. AN ITALIAN, EVEN A ROMAN, WAS NO MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OTHER
CITIZEN OF THE EMPIRE. CHRISTIANS WERE OF EQUAL VALUE. THEIR INCOME, CITIZENSHIP
OR INFLUENCE WAS RENDERED UNIMPORTANT NEXT TO THEIR RELIGION.
CHRISTIANITY HAD SOMEHOW MANAGED TO TRIUMPH OVER TYRANNY. IN EXAMINING HOW
THIS HAPPENED, ONE MUST LOOK CLOSELY AT THE NATURE OF THIS RELIGION. IT IS A
RELIGION THAT APPEALS TO BOTH RICH AND POOR. NORMAN MAILER IS NEITHER A
CHRISTIAN, NOR A LIFELONG CONSERVATIVE. BY THE EARLY 1990S, HOWEVER, MAILER,
WHO AT ONE TIME MIGHT HAVE BEEN AN ANARCHIST OF THE EMMA GOLDMAN BENT, HAD
REACHED THE POINT WHERE HE CALLED HIMSELF CONSERVATIVE. IT WAS DURING THIS
TIME THAT HE PUBLISHED “HARLOT’S GHOST”. IN THIS NOVEL THE HUGH MONTAGUE
CHARACTER EXPLAINS CHRISTIANITY AND THE PERVERSIONS OF THOSE WHO TRY TO TWIST
IT TO THEIR OWN PURPOSES. MAILER’S MONTAGUE PROBABLY GIVES VOICE TO MODERN
CHRISTIANITY AS WELL AS ANY OTHER I HAVE FOUND.
“THE BETTER YOUR FAMILY,” HE TELLS HIS PROTÉGÉ, HERRICK HUBBARD, “THE MORE
CLOSELY YOU MUST BE EXAMINED AS A SECURITY RISK. FOR THE RUSSIANS ARE ABLE TO
GET THEIR LICKS IN ON WHATEVER IS LEFT OF THE CHRISTIAN IN MANY A RICH SWINE. IT
GOES SO DEEP – THIS SIMPLE IDEA THAT NOBODY ON EARTH SHOULD HAVE TOO MUCH
WEALTH. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT’S SATANIC ABOUT COMMUNISM. IT TRADES ON THE
NOBLEST VEIN IN CHRISTIANITY. IT WORKS THE GREAT GUILT IN US. AT THE CORE, WE
AMERICANS ARE EVEN WORSE THAN THE ENGLISH. WE’RE DRENCHED IN GUILT. WE’RE
RICH BOYS, AFTER ALL, WITH NO BACKGROUND, AND WE’RE PLAYING AROUND THE WORLD
WITH THE HEARTS OF THE POOR. THAT’S TRICKY. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE BEEN BROUGHT
UP TO BELIEVE THAT THE FINEST LOVE YOU WILL EVER COME NEAR GOES BACK TO THE
SENTIMENTS OF CHRIST WASHING THE FEET OF THOSE SAME POOR PEOPLE.”
IN THIS PASSAGE, MONTAGUE EXPRESSES THE POWER OF CHRIST TO CHANGE THE HEARTS
OF POWERFUL MEN; TO REMIND AN EMPIRE OF THEIR GUILT AND TO TEACH ITS LEADERS
THAT THEY ARE MEN, OF EQUAL VALUE IN THE EYES OF GOD, TO THOSE THEY RULE NO
MATTER HOW WRETCHED. IT EXPLAINS HOW CONSTANTINE COULD TURN ROME INTO A
CHRISTIAN EMPIRE, AND IT EXPLAINS WHAT IT IS MEANT TO EXPLAIN. THE AMERICAN
EMPIRE, EVEN MORE POWERFUL TODAY THAN ROME WAS IN HERS, IS STILL MONITORED BY
A HUMBLE DECENCY AND LOVE OF HUMANITY. IT ALSO EXPLAINS THE BASIC SNAKE-LIKE
APPROACH OF COMMUNISM, WHICH IS ATHEISTIC AND HAS NO PLACE FOR CHRIST. IT
WORKS ON THE GOODNESS OF CHRIST THAT EXISTS IN MEN, FOR ITS OWN IMMORAL
PURPOSES. THE DEVIL, AS THEY SAY, IS A LIAR. THIS PLAYING ON MEN’S EMOTIONS, ON
THEIR GUILT, HAS BEEN AT THE CORE OF COMMUNISM’S “USEFUL IDIOTS.” MONTAGUE
SAYS IN THIS PASSAGE THAT HE IS ON THE SIDE OF GOOD. HE EXPLAINS IN THE NEXT
PASSAGE, HE WOULD NEVER KNOWINGLY WORK FOR THE SIDE OF EVIL. HE HAS WORKED IT
OUT IN HIS MIND. HE HAS ARRIVED AT THE CONCLUSION THAT HUMANS WHO WISH TO LIVE
FREE AS CHRISTIANS FACE THE CONUNDRUM OF DOING NECESSARY WORK. ONLY WHEN
REALIZING THAT THEY ARE MEN, AND NOT CHRIST HIMSELF, ARE THEY COMFORTABLE
WITH WHERE THAT WORK TAKES THEM. THIS HELPS EXPLAIN CONSTANTINE AND THE NEW
CHRISTIANITY OF ROME. CONSTANTINE, UNLIKE PREVIOUS EMPERORS, DID NOT CONSIDER
HIMSELF DIVINE, BUT DIVINELY INSPIRED, WHICH IS A BIG DIFFERENCE. THEREFORE, HE
WAS FREE TO DO THE WORK OF MAN. WHILE CHRIST IS AN EXAMPLE, NO MAN IS ABLE TO
LIVE UP TO HIM.
As Rome became a Christian city, the empire lost strength. The people lost the will to
impose themselves on the rest of the world. Barbarians invaded and splintered Asia,
Britain, Gaul and Spain. After Constantine’s death, the empire did not have strong
leadership. The Goths even captured Rome for a while. They did not stay, but it was the
end of the empire.
Rome fell because they did not have the moral authority to rule. When Christian love was
embedded in the hearts of enough of its citizens, they lost the ruthless will to fight for
what they had so ruthlessly acquired. This lesson is as important a lesson as any in
history. It applies to the current status of the United States. America, despite its
protestations that there must be a separation of church and state, is a religious country.
Christianity is dominant among those religions. Up to now, the U.S. has extended its
influence because it has the moral authority to do so. The trick is to maintain that moral
authority. If we ever lose it, we will lose our empire just as Rome lost theirs.
      The study of history is daunting beyond imagination, as is the collection of books,
materials and research material gathered in my office as I write this. There is enough to
write separate volumes on many of the relevant events in history. I am contemplating
writing a 5,000 or 6,000 page book. This requires re-focusing on what the goal of this
book is. I do not intend this to be 6,000 pages. I may write six volumes on world history
at a later time. For now, my concentration is on the United States, written from the
perspective of a conservative, Christian worldview. Therefore, I will reduce my
elaborations on history. I am making the effort to continue demonstrating important
events from the standpoint of how they shaped a world that, through all of its twists and
turns, is now dominated and controlled by the United States. What it comes down to is
that this fact would not seem to be an accident. There must be some reason why, in a
couple hundred years, a small group of colonies in an almost-uninhabited part of the
world rose to become the greatest superpower in the history of Mankind. No empire, no
despot, no dictator or axis of nations has ever known the power and influence of modern
day America. We hold this influence not simply because we are the most powerful
military ever assembled (we are), but because of many other things – music, culture,
media, Hollywood, fashion, money, oil, politics. We have managed in a few decades to
gain greater influence, through a simple philosophy based on freedom and Democracy,
than the Romans had in the course of a Millennium.

Homer and the Trojan Wars
       THE HISTORIAN MUST BE A DETECTIVE. THE EXAMINATION OF HISTORY IS IN PART
THE ASSEMBLAGE OF CLUES. THE CLUES GO BACK A LONG WAY, BUT ONE THING LOOKS TO
BE VERY CLEAR. IN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO WE AS AMERICANS ARE, WHAT WE STAND
FOR (AND EVENTUALLY WHERE WE ARE GOING), WE KEEP COMING BACK TO THE CRADLE OF
DEMOCRACY, GREECE. THIS SEEMS TO BE A STRANGE PLACE TO COME BACK TO. GREECE IS
NOT A VERY POWERFUL COUNTRY. THEY HAVE AN UNSTEADY GOVERNMENT, AND HAVE
FLIRTED WITH COMMUNISM. THE COUNTRY IS NOT TERRIBLY PROSPEROUS, THEIR PEOPLE
NOT OVERLY IMPRESSIVE. BUT HERE IS THE KEY. ROME CONTROLLED THE WORLD, AND
GREECE FELL UNDER ITS YOKE, BUT IT IS GREECE AND ITS DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES THAT
SURVIVE, MORE INFLUENTIAL THAN ROME.
       AMERICANS SHOULD TAKE SOME LESSONS FROM THE GREEKS, AND A FEW OTHER
MAJOR COUNTRIES IN WORLD HISTORY. THE LESSON IS IN UNDERSTANDING THE SHIFTING
SANDS OF HISTORY. GREECE WAS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL COUNTRIES IN THE
WORLD, BUT NOT ANYMORE. THE ROMANS REPLACED THEM, BUT THEIR TIME CAME AND
WENT. THE CHINESE HAD THEIR RUN, BUT BECAME A FRACTURED COUNTRY NOW HOLDING
ON TO A FAILED IDEOLOGY. THE BRITISH RULED THE PLANET, BUT THEY ARE NOW OUR
BACK-UPS. THE RUSSIANS AND THE GERMANS TOOK THEIR TURN AT WORLD DOMINATION
BUT DID NOT MAKE THE CUT, EITHER.
       DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE U.S. AS A NATION, AN EMPIRE, AN IDEA, WILL
EVENTUALLY RECEDE IN IMPORTANCE. WELL, EVENTUALLY IS QUITE A CONCEPT.
EVENTUALLY THE EARTH WILL CEASE TO BE HEATED BY THE SUN. BUT UNTIL THEN, THE
U.S. STANDS FOR SOMETHING THAT MUST REMAIN STANDING, AT THE RISK OF SOUNDING
ARROGANT, FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.
       We have explored the "big three" of Greek philosophy. Now allow me to return to
Greece, using as source material the classic “The Iliad of Homer”, translated by
Richmond Lattimore. The "fall of Troy" (which has nothing to do with USC’s failure to
win a National Championship in football from 1978-2002), concerns the “classical”
Greeks of the post-Homeric period. As with Thucydides and the varying written accounts
of the Peloponnesian War, Greek history is influential in part because they were a literate
people and much was written about their accomplishments. They left a traceable record
of their deeds. The Trojan War is one of these written-about events. The Trojan War has
often morphed into myth, for varying reasons. Greek mythology is such that anything to
do with Greece, the ancient civilization, occurred so long ago as to almost appear to be a
parable instead of the flesh-and-blood story of real people. Thus has the story of Homer
become an allegory of sorts.
        The fact is that Paris, who was also known as Alexandros, was the son of Priam,
who was King of Troy. Troy was a city-state located in the northwest of Asia Minor.
Paris traveled to see Menelaos, the King of Mykenai, in Sparta, and fell in love with
Menelaos' wife, Helen. He took Helen back to Troy, with her full consent. This caused a
great stir. The princes of Greece, displeased that a man could be so contemptuous as to
simply “steal” another leaders wife, decided to get Helen back. A force of 1,000 ships
was arrayed, manned by fighters, and led by Agamemnon, who was Menelaos’ older
brother.
        Helen was a great beauty. Her visage has been made a legend by the term, “The
face that launched a thousand ships.” It was one of the greatest alliances ever formed,
with lords and kings from the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Thessaly, and various
islands, engaging in the armada. The fleet landed and assembled at Aulis in Boiotia, then
made for Troy. A fight ensued, but the city held. Nine years of battle ensued.
Agamemnon, the most powerful warlord, feuded with Achilles, causing Achilles to
withdraw his forces. Hektor, the son of Priam, took advantage of the break in the
invading force and attempted to destroy the ships, which would strand the forces and hurt
their morale, already low after years of battle on foreign soil. Achilles saw the gains of
Hektor and returned his forces, catching Hektor by surprise and killing him while routing
the Trojan counter-offensive. Achilles, too, died in the next fight, but his forces still took
Troy. The defending armies were killed and the population enslaved. Despite the victory,
troubles ensued when the Greek lords returned to their homelands amid bad weather.
Upon their arrival, political in fighting was brought about by their absence and
disagreements over the validity of such an operation, simply because of Helen. The
lesson of the Trojan War is about war aims; what constitutes valid reasoning for sending
men into battle. It is an argument that goes on today and will as long as there are reasons
to fight.
The “Iliad” and the “Odyssey” are Homeric poems that contain all knowledge of the
Trojan War. Homer is considered the official poet of Greece, because his work was
recorded. Other poets were quoted at great length during his day, but Homer’s work was
kept and maintained. He is the one who is remembered. Homer wrote of the return of the
troops. The “Iliad” is a 15,693-line poem, divided into 24 books. Much of the work was
not de-constructed until the third century B.C., after the time of Plato. In it, Chryses,
priest of Apollo near Troy, requests of the Greeks the return of his daughter, who has
been captured by them and is Agamemnon’s concubine. Agamemnon refuses, and
Chryses prays to Apollo to avenge him. Wrath ensues, causing much consternation
among the invading Greeks. Agamemnon agrees to give the girl back, but wants a
compromise to sooth his wounds. Achilles, the ally of Agamemnon, opposes the idea of
replacing the concubine, so Agamemnon then takes Achilles’ concubine, Briseis.
Achilles then withdraws his forces and leaves a curse on Agamemnon, who is always on
the bad end of wrathful curses and prayers. The gods get involved, as they always did
with the Greeks. Much fighting with the Trojans ensues, with no decisive verdict one way
or another. Eventually, the god Zeus favors the Trojans and they sweep the plain,
threatening to drive Agamemnon’s demoralized troops into the sea. Agamemnon then
acknowledges his errors and agrees to give Briseis back to Achilles. After much
politicking no deal is set. The Greek troops stalemate by the ocean.
Eventually Agamemnon and his allies, Diomedes, Odysseus, Eurpylos and Machaon, are
defeated. Only Aias is left to fight the Trojans. Many manipulations sway the battle back
and forth. The Greeks refuse to yield. They fight for their lives and manage to survive
thanks to Achilles, who with Agamemnon gone returns to the fray in the nick of time.
Patroklos, an ally of Achilles, arrives with fresh troops. He pushes the Trojans back, but
Hektor then kills him. This turns the tide again to the Trojan side. Patroklos’ army is
captured.
The gods favor Achilles, though, and in a move that Hitler could have used on the
Russian front, simply shouts war cries at the Trojans. Patroklos’ troops, the Achaians,
escape. Achilles then ends his quarrel with Agamemnon, and leads Agamemnon’s army
into battle, slaughtering the Trojans in a final battle. Hektor runs, but the gods prevent his
escape. He is stripped and dragged by his heels. More requests are made, all in the spirit
of honor overseen by the gods. Hektor is allowed to be buried, along with Patroklos.
The machinations and intrigue of war are as vividly described in the story as in any John
Le Care novel. Homer’s poem is about Pyrrhic Victory; that is, battles fought and won at
greater loss than the gains of victory. Homer was required (in Greek) by students at West
Point and by military historians. Lessons are learned about personal vendettas,
backstabbing, inside politics, and the wisdom of committing troops to battle for nefarious
reasons.

The life of Christ
        This book has not attempted to follow a direct time line. Rather, I have examined
eras and empires. This has required going back and forth in time so as to maintain the
train of history. Now we go back, from the end of the Roman Empire, nearly 500 years to
the man responsible for bringing it to its end. In so doing, He replaced warring minds
with a message of peace. His name is Jesus Christ, and He was probably born in 6 B.C. It
is easier to attribute his birth to six years prior to his birth date than it is to change all the
landmark dates of human history. Historians have determined that mistakes were made in
determining the Christian calendar in relation to His life. December 25, for instance, is
probably not his birthday, but rather the day we have determined to celebrate it.
All that is known about Jesus of Nazareth appears in the first four books of the New
Testament. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote them years after his death. All tell
different stories.
An angel appeared before a married woman named Mary, who was still a virgin. The
angel informed her that she would be giving birth to the Messiah, who the Jews had long
prophesied would come to them and be their King. Her husband, Joseph, was a carpenter.
They never consummated the marriage. The baby Jesus was born to them. Jewish
prophets and wise men came to mysteriously know of the baby’s impending birth. Based
on ancient writings, they followed the stars to be at His birth.
   Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary, in Bethlehem of Judea, during the days of King
Herod. Little is known of Jesus’ childhood. How He came to know who He is was not
known. He may have been told, it may have been hinted at, or He may have simply come
to understand through the force of His inner spirit. He spoke Aramaic, served as a Jew in
synagogue, studied Scripture, and learned the skills of carpentry.
Jesus was 30 years old when He began to make His mark. He was drawn to the prophet
John the Baptist, preaching in the Jordan Valley. Jesus was baptized by John, and after
much discussion went on a 40-day journey of fasting and prayer in the wilderness.
According to the Bible, Jesus was tempted by the devil, just as He was in Dostoevsky’s
chapter on the Grand Inquisitor in “The Brothers Karamazov”. Of course, what happened
in the desert is to some extent speculation. One might presume that the devil showed his
hand during this time. Christ may or may not have been convinced of His true Self, that
of the Son of God, when He went on his sojourn. But when the devil paid so much
attention to Him, it was obvious that he was not just another man. Upon His return, Jesus’
course was set. He began to preach the word of God.
Over time, Christ’s fame spread. People came to Him demanding miracles and to heal the
sick. Jesus performed a number of miracles, such as when He single-handedly caused an
enormous catch of fish using nothing more than a broken net. The fishermen, James, John
and Peter, who witnessed this (along with a large crowd), became His first disciples. On
another occasion, He walked on water. Crippled, plagued and dying people were healed
by His touch.
Christ’s trouble occurred when he returned to Nazareth. The people who had known him
all His life were amazed at the stories of Jesus, and His claim that He was anointed by
God Almighty. They had not seen the miracles first hand, and thought him arrogant. They
demanded miracles. Christ wanted them to come to Him through faith, not by trickery.
Jesus’ continued to preach in the Synagogue. His easy approach, using regular words
instead of the expert text of the Pharisees, drew more to Him. He traveled about, invited
to the homes of his growing flock. His disciples wandered along with Him. No riots,
fights, starvation or crime followed him, only love and kindness. Christ did not deny
Judaism. He said He was there to bring perfection to the religion. He pointed out certain
wrongs in the Old Testament, such as the term “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
tooth.” Jesus preached against vengeance, and told people to “turn the other cheek.”
This phrase is often the one cited by those who preach against war. It is one that leaders
who believe in Christ but still desire to protect their countries have a hard time squaring.
Perhaps nobody really knows “what Jesus would do.” It is possible that if he were
President of the United States, he would not legalize aggression. Instead, Christ might
very well let other nations destroy us. After all, the Roman Empire destroyed many
people, nations and governments. In the end Christianity conquered all. Christ knows that
life on Earth, freedom, prosperity, power and all the benefits of our existence, are nothing
compared to Eternal Heaven.
There is some arrogance in the American idea, which I have proposed herein, that this
country is indeed protected by God. Are we doing His work? Are we protecting His
people? The answers are not easy. In fact, they are too complex to try to understand. All a
man can do is to satisfy himself that he is doing his best. No matter what his best is, he
does not possess all the answers. He is not God. Once a man who might be President
understands he is not God, he can understand that he never will be able to “do what Jesus
would do” because he is not Jesus.
Pope John Paul, as a young Christian in Poland, was a freedom fighter who battled the
Nazis who occupied his country. He engaged in activities that might be called
“terrorism,” resulting in the deaths of human beings. It was meant to intimidate and scare
other humans into the fear of death. Is that what Jesus would have done? The Pope is a
learned and thoughtful man. It is doubtful that he really knows the answer to this question
any more than I do.
Christ also taught men to build a treasure in Heaven, not on the Earth. A choice had to be
made between material things and the Kingdom of Heaven. There is no question that this
is a conundrum for many, too. People work to provide for their family, to make a better
life for their children, and to create things so that one has the comfort to do further good
works. These works provide jobs and fulfill services. Can this be a bad thing?
Christ asked men to be merciful, and not to judge others. Christ’s teachings were
astonishing for their times, but others were disappointed. He was expected to be the
promised Jewish King sent to lead them against the Romans. Jesus Christ actually did not
earn the name of “Christ” until after his famous Sermon on the Mount. He had by this
time gathered 12 disciples. He asked them who He was. Simon Peter replied, “You are
the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Christ was a Greek word that meant Messiah, the
Anointed One.
Jesus then confirmed that Simon Peter was right, He was indeed the Son of God. With
that, He told them what the future was. He would be killed for being so. His disciples did
not understand. Jesus sent the disciples out among the populace to preach, with no food
or necessities, only the faith that God would provide. They came back amazed that they
had traveled and preached and, indeed, their needs were taken care of time and time
again. Christ attempted to reinforce their faith, telling them faith can move mountains.
The disciples were still human and their faith was sometimes wanting.
When Peter was in a boat, he saw the dim outline of Jesus on the water. He called out that
if it was indeed his master, he bid him to come to him on the water. Jesus replied,
“Come,” and Peter began to walk on water. He walked several steps, but the experience
shook him. Fright replaced faith. With that he began to sink, calling to Jesus to save him.
Jesus helped him in the boat.
“O man of little faith,” Jesus said, “why did you doubt?”
Jesus resumed the performance of miracles, but it sometimes had the opposite effect of
that with which He desired. He cured Romans and Canaanites. His fellow Jews saw this
as treachery, since Rome was the hated oppressor. Canaanites did not believe in the “one
true God.” Jesus preached that all men were God’s chosen children, not just Jews. The
Pharisees were angered at what they considered blasphemy.
Jesus’ teachings caused problems among the Jews, some of whom became careless of
their religion, became friendly with pagans, and even married outside their religion. The
Pharisees made additional rules to countermand the effects of Jesus. These complicated
rules stood in stark contract to the simple commandments of Jesus. Jesus even chose
Matthew, a tax collector and therefore, by Jewish opinion, a sinner, as one of His
disciples. Jesus preached and His disciples worked on the Sabbath. This turned the tide
against Him. The Pharisees began to say he was a sinner. Jesus reminded them of Moses’
Second Commandment, to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” When asked who His
neighbors were, Jesus did not give a direct answer. Instead He offered a parable. He told
the story of a man, attacked by thieves and lying on the side of the road. A priest and a
Levite, who assisted priests in the temple, both passed the helpless man Apparently they
were afraid, or they might have thought the man unworthy of their help.
Then a Samaritan passed. Samaritans were thought to be very low people by the
Pharisees. But the Samaritan carried the man to safety at a nearby inn. The Pharisee saw
Jesus’ point. The Samaritan was the one who had shown mercy.
“Go and do likewise,” said Jesus.
Jesus then came to Jerusalem. He was met with great fanfare. He taught people the
Lord’s Prayer, and found great comfort in certain Jewish Scriptures that had been
forgotten or passed over by subsequent scholars. But He was constantly asked if He was
“the Christ.” Jesus chose not to perform miracles in front of large crowds. He answered
questions in roundabout ways, apparently wishing to have people choose to worship Him
of their free will instead of out of coercion or magic. This angered many. The old charges
of sin and blasphemy reared their ugly head again.
Then Jesus was told of the death of a friend, Lazarus, who lived an hour’s walk from the
city. He had been deceased for four days. Jesus went there. If the reports are accurate, He
rolled the stone off Lazarus’ grave and brought him back to life. This was the final straw,
as far as the Pharisees were concerned. The Jewish Passover was approaching. Many in
Jerusalem had heard of the Lazarus miracle. Jesus’ popularity did not sit well with the
Pharisees, whose power and influence paled next to Him. Jesus was hailed as the King,
returned to His people just as Scriptures had predicted, but he did not heed strict Jewish
law. The Pharisees met and debated whether he should be put to death. Jesus then boldly
rode into Jerusalem and taught at the Temple, further infuriating the Pharisees. The
Romans entered the picture, but chose not to arrest the popular Rabbi. The Pharisees also
tried to trap Jesus by peppering him with questions, implicating Him with the hated
Romans.
“Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” they asked Him. They figured He
would not have a good answer. To say yes would lose the respect of the Jews, but to deny
Caesar’s legal ability to tax the people would be a reportable offense. Jesus simply noted
that Caesar’s image was on the coins, and said, “Then render to Caesar the things that are
Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
This statement has been used by many to promote taxation, and to say that Christ
believed in lawful government. Then Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ most popular disciples,
went secretly to the chief priests and offered to tell them where Jesus camped, in
exchange for 30 pieces of silver. The night before Passover, Jesus sat down for The Last
Supper. Normally, the Passover feast would have been held on Friday, but Jesus gathered
his disciples a day early. He broke bread and told the disciples it was His body, and the
wine was His blood, thus beginning the Sacramental tradition. He again foretold His
death. He predicted that one of them would betray him, while the others would deny Him.
He also told them that the Holy Spirit would soften his death. Then they went to
Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, to pray. Judas knew they would be there. He
directed a congregation of Jewish Temple servants and Roman soldiers to the place. Jesus
was arrested.
An impromptu hearing was held in the house of a Jewish official, where Jesus was asked,
“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
“I am,” He replied, “and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power,
and coming with the clouds of Heaven.”
This was considered blasphemy worthy of the death penalty. That decision was left to the
Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. He would have preferred to have been left out of this
Jewish squabble. But leadership has its requirements, and his requirement was to make a
decision. Pilate did at first try to divert the question of Jesus’ fate to Herod, the Jewish
King and ruler of Galilee, Jesus’ hometown. But Herod merely dressed Jesus in the
clothes of a king, mocking his so-called status of “King of the Jews.”
As it happened, this all occurred on Passover Friday. A tradition was allowed in
Jerusalem at the time because the Roman governor wanted to look merciful. One
condemned prisoner would be released to the people. The two prisoners in his custody on
that day were Jesus and a well-known thief named Barabbas. When Pilate addressed the
crowd, the response was that Barabbas be released, not Jesus. Why this was is
speculation, but it makes sense that the Jewish officials had succeeded in making Jesus
look to be blasphemous. Jesus made no attempt to save Himself, through miracles or
powerful words. He just let it happen. He wanted people to make the right decisions of
their own free will. He had performed miracles to reinforce the beliefs of those who
already loved Him. He received animosity when he approached more cosmopolitan urban
areas like Jerusalem. The more animosity He received, the less He was willing to perform
miracles.
Pilate was disturbed by his predicament. He did not want to crucify Jesus, but the tide of
emotion from the Jews was developing into a life of its own. The Jewish elders told him
that Jesus was not their King, and gave their loyalty to Caesar. Caesar, they said, was
their King. This was quite a turnaround for the Jews, who hated Caesar, but now used
Caesar to show that they hated Jesus. Jesus’ fate was sealed. Pilate tried to “wash my
hands” of the decision, stating that it was the Jews who demanded his crucifixion, not
him.
Jesus was flogged, a crown of thorns placed on his head, and marched to Golgotha, “the
place of the skull.” There, he was crucified and placed in public spectacle between two
thieves. The Jews taunted him and told him that if He was the Son of God He should save
Himself and come down from the cross. For about nine hours it went on like this, until
Jesus cried out to God, asking why He had been forsaken? Jesus forgave those who had
done this to him, telling God that they knew not what they had done. Then He died for
the sins of all humanity.
Jesus was buried in a nearby garden. On Sunday, some of His followers came to his grave
to pray and worship. They found the stone covering His grave moved, which frightened
them. Mary Magdalene, a one-time prostitute who had become one of His most ardent
followers, was weeping next to the grave when Jesus appeared to her, alive. Jesus told
Mary and a few others that He was not a ghost, but a living man returned from the dead.
He ate a meal with them, and traveled into the mountains, where He met some Apostles.
He provided them instructions to carry out his teachings, and then He ascended to
Heaven before their eyes.
This is the Gospel story of Jesus Christ. There are many who do not believe it. His
disciples and Apostles wrote much of what we know. The possibility exists that they
made much of it up. It is possible that Mary Magdalene and the others who claim to have
seen Jesus return from the dead invented the story to glorify his memory. They may have
conspired with the Apostles in the mountains to say that they, too, saw Him. His
ascension to Heaven may have just have been a story. Possibly, they did see “something,”
and in their grief they agreed on the story as it has been related.
Jesus’ miracles in the countryside may have been exaggerated. Perhaps, instead of
walking on water, he walked during low tide. Historians have said that Moses did not
actually part the Red Sea. He may have merely led his people across low-lying wetlands
that filled up when the tide came in, preventing the chasing Egyptians from their pursuit.
Doctors have demonstrated that there is great evidence that attitude can be of great
benefit in the healing of maladies. Perhaps the sick who were healed by Jesus just needed
hope, which the charismatic prophet gave them.
Perhaps Jesus’ predictions were only made up by those who wrote of Him after His
death. Maybe that attributed powers to Him that He did not have. All of this is possible.
Questions arise from His life and the very nature of faith comes in to play. Jesus did not
like to offer proof of His divinity. He wanted people to have faith in Him. In that leap of
faith comes the real power of God. He felt that His examples were enough proof of who
He was.
Obviously, the Jews do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. Their rejection of Jesus comes
from two main strains of history. First, they were complicit in His death. This forces them
to either reject Him completely, or face the agonizing guilt of their role in the murder of
the Son of God. Second, the Jews rejected Jesus because they were expecting a divine
man to be sent by God. The political circumstances of their existence at the time of His
life put them under the thumb of Rome. Therefore, they expected that the King would
lead them to victory over Rome. Instead, Jesus rejected much of Jewish law. He made no
attempt to lead an insurrection against the Roman legion. The freedom He taught was
individual; in the heart, the mind, the soul.
Jews are not the only ones who do not believe in Jesus. Atheists, Hindus, Muslims,
Buddhists and Confucians are among those who do not accept Christ as the Savior.
Christianity has spread throughout the world, but there is a geographical reality to the
religious strength of Christianity. There is virtually no doubt that a man named Jesus did
live in what is now Israel and Palestine, for about 35 years, some 2,000 years ago. While
it is possible His story is just a fable, a fairy tale, there are some cogent facts that need to
be made clear.
Jesus is a historical figure who lived during the same time as many other historical
figures. Man had much earlier learned how to write and document the events of history.
Socrates, Plato and Aristotle lived, and wrote books, 400 years before Christ was born.
The Peloponnesian War, for instance, was written about extensively. The Romans had
exercised political control over much of the world by the time of His birth. They were
prolific record-keepers. Rome and its provinces were a highly organized society when
Jesus lived. They communicated, passed laws, taxed citizens, and gathered evidence of
everything that occurred under their control.
Furthermore, while Lazarus’ and Jesus’ resurrection were reportedly seen by only a few,
thousands of normal people saw Jesus over a two to three year period. The miracles He
performed are not disputed even though many observed them. Some of what we know
about Jesus comes from His own proclamations, but much is the evidence gathered by
observers. Many of those observers were not pre-disposed to believe Him before they met
Him.
Jesus may have been an ordinary man. He may have been delusional, like some Freudian
patient who thinks he is Henry VIII or Napoleon Bonaparte. If so, He was a charismatic
delusional. His message resonated in a way that no other message has ever resonated. The
fact that some questions still are unanswered about His life and who He was is probably
exactly the way He wants it to be. It is in achieving faith without proof that he bonds and
strengthens His relationship with his adherents.
The years after His death may offer greater “proof” that He is the Son of God than His
actual life. The Jews settled back and forgot about Jesus. They were looking for a man to
lead them from out of Roman bondage, and they had still not found him. But many Jews
were the early Christians. At first, they met secretly. Jesus’ followers multiplied quickly.
At the celebration of the Pentecost, 3,000 Christians appeared. Soon they numbered
5,000. Peter and John began to preach openly, baptizing the converted and espousing the
power of the Holy Spirit.

Christianity spreads, the Church is formed, and religion takes different shapes
       THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN THE POST-CHRIST PERIOD SPREAD FROM THE EUPHRATES
ON THE EAST TO THE ATLANTIC ON THE WEST, FROM THE RHINE ON THE NORTH TO THE
NILE IN THE SOUTH. JEWS MADE UP PARTS OF THE POPULATIONS ALMOST EVERYWHERE IN
THE PROVINCES. AS PEOPLE TRAVELED (WHICH OCCURRED A LOT, BECAUSE THE ROMANS
HAD BUILT ROADS AND HAD SHIPS), WORD OF JESUS SPREAD. MANY JEWS, ESPECIALLY
THOSE IN THE GREEK ISLES, WERE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS, MORE SO THAN THE CONSERVATIVE
JEWS OF ISRAEL. CHRISTIANITY CAUSED GREAT JOY AND MUCH PANIC. MANY NON-JEWS
JOINED THE RELIGION. THE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANS, ALL FORMER JEWISH CONVERTS,
THOUGHT ONLY THEY COULD BE CHRISTIANS. THEN SOME OF THE ROMANS JOINED. WHEN
PETER BAPTIZED THE ROMAN CORNELIUS AND HIS HOUSEHOLD, OTHER CHRISTIANS WERE
SHOCKED. THE RELIGION MET HOSTILITY, AND MANY DIED DEFENDING IT. THESE PEOPLE
WERE MARTYRS. THE COURAGE THEY DEMONSTRATED IN MEETING DEATH IMPRESSED
OTHERS, CAUSING THE RELIGION TO GROW INSTEAD OF DISBAND.
THE JEWS WERE IN CRISIS. MANY OF THEIR MEMBERS CONVERTED TO CHRIST, WEAKENING
THEIR STRENGTH. CHRISTIANITY SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE EMPIRE. GENTILE CHRISTIANS
DECIDED THAT THE LAWS OF MOSES DID NOT BIND THEM. WHEN ROME BURNED TO THE
GROUND, NERO, AS WRITTEN EARLIER, PLACED THE BLAME ON THE CHRISTIANS. WHEN
THEY WERE PERSECUTED, IT SERVED TO MARTYR THEM AND STRENGTHEN THE RELIGION.
DESPITE PERSECUTION, CHRISTIANITY GREW AND GREW AND GREW. A NEW TESTAMENT
WAS WRITTEN, ENCAPSULATING THE WRITING AND LETTERS OF THE APOSTLES. THE WORD
“CATHOLIC” WAS APPLIED TO CHRISTIANITY, MEANING “UNIVERSAL.” THE CHURCH EVEN
GREW IN ROME ITSELF, DESPITE EFFORTS AT MEDDLING WITH IT BY VARIOUS EMPERORS. IN
THE FIFTH CENTURY, WHEN ATTILA THE HUN WAS AT WAR WITH ROME, IT WAS POPE LEO
WHO IT IS SAID MET ATTILA AT GATES OF ROME AND REACHED A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION
THAT SAVED ROME FROM BEING SACKED. THE SOLUTION APPARENTLY INVOLVED ATTILA
BEING PAID NOT TO ATTACK. THE EVENT HAD THE EFFECT OF LEGITIMIZING THE CHURCH.
HISTORY IS A FUNNY THING. MAJOR EVENTS OFTEN OCCUR IN THE FLASH OF AN EYE, OR
WITHIN A SHORT SPAN OF TIME. SUCH WAS THE EPIPHANY AND CONVERSION OF EMPEROR
CONSTANTINE, WHICH CHANGED CHRISTIANITY FOREVER. THE SIMPLICITY OF HISTORY
LENDS TO THE IDEA THAT IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, CONSTANTINE SAW HIS VISION OF THE
CROSS AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE WAS NOW A CHRISTIAN ONE.
BUT AS MENTIONED, THE RELIGION HAD GROWN ALL THROUGHOUT THE EMPIRE FOR
ALMOST 500 YEARS PRIOR TO HIS EPIPHANY. THE WRITING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE
WORKS OF AUGUSTINE, AND THE POLITICAL POWER OF POPE LEO, WHO HAD NEGOTIATED
WITH ATTILA, ALL SERVED TO MAKE THE CHRISTIAN, NEE CATHOLIC CHURCH, A
POWERFUL SOCIAL FORCE. JUST AS THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL WAS NOT AN ISOLATED
INCIDENT, COMING AFTER YEARS OF STRUGGLE, SO WAS THE WORLD “READY” FOR
CHRISTIANITY WHEN CONSTANTINE DECLARED THAT HE WAS A CHRISTIAN. THUS WAS THE
EMPIRE UNDER HIS COMMAND.
Constantine decided to build a new capital at Byzantium, an ancient Greek town at the
entrance to the Bosporous, 800 miles east of Rome. It was on a point of land jutting out
from Europe, at a point separating the Sea of Marmora on the west from a long, natural
harbor called the Golden Horn on the east. Constantine had attempted to invade
Byzantium during one of his earlier campaigns. He knew it could be easily defended.
Construction began on the western wall in 324. Six years later he dedicated the city "new
Rome," but it soon came to be known as Constantinople. It would endure for 1,123 years,
but not as he had envisioned. Constantine saw the new city as a center of Christianity, but
also of the arts, culture, tourism, trade and intellect. It would endure as a center for all of
those things, with the exception of Christianity. Constantinople would become a
multi-religious capital, and eventually a Muslim city.
Constantine died in 337. After his death attacks were waged against Constantinople. The
Visigoths crossed the Danube to escape the advancing Hun, but quarreled with the
empire’s officials. They set out to capture Constantinople, but eventually a treaty was
signed with them. It was in Constantinople that the first real problems with Christian
hierarchy were exposed. A Spaniard named Theodosius was named Eastern Emperor,
placed in charge of Constantinople. He forbade any religion in the city except
Christianity, and decreed that it be taught only as established Church doctrine, not as the
evangelical word. Those who did not accept the strict adherents of the Church teachings
were branded heretics. Now, the Church had real political power. One can only imagine
what Jesus would have said had He appeared at this time. He would have lectured
Theodosius and condemned the kind of power plays that His religion was now being
subjected to. With power come problems.
Theodosius was the last emperor to control the entire empire, which occurred when the
Western Emperor passed away in 392. When he died, barbarian invasions by the
Visigoths, Huns and Ostrogoths in the fifth century were the final blows that ended
Roman rule worldwide. Italy was overrun, and in Europe a Germanic group called the
Vandals swept down from the north, took over Gaul and Spain, and conquered Rome in
455. Then they moved on to Africa. When the Vandals took over Africa, they controlled
the sea lanes from Carthage, which hurt commerce in Constantinople. This caused a
division between east and west. Religious struggles ensued over Nestorianism and
Monophysitism. Religious crises erupted in Egypt and Syria, where the leaders sided with
Rome and the Church, but the mass of people were not Christians and demanded
independence. Thus, the great divide of culture between east and west had begun. It still
stands as a major difference separating the peoples of the world.
Constantinople remained a Christian city. Byzantium became an empire in the east. A
different kind of Christianity developed there than in other parts of the world, particularly
in the west. There’s would be an eastern influence, reflective of eastern culture,
ecumenical tradition, and ethnic heritage. A long struggle ensued between churches of the
east and the west. This weakened the Byzantine Empire. In the 11th Century, the empire
lost Asia Minor to the Turks of the Seljuk tribe. In the 12th Century, Thebes and Corinth
fell to Norman invaders. The silkworm trade dried up. The Crusaders passed through on
their way to Palestine and conquered parts of Turkish-held Asia Minor. Independent
kingdoms emerged in Antioch and Edessa. Italian ships subsequently carried trade, which
cost the Byzantines the tax levy.
Italian traders moved in to Constantinople and became rich at the expense of the local
community. This caused an uprising, which resulted in still more Crusaders, who were
sent by the Catholic Church in Rome. The Vatican branded the Orthodox Christians of
Byzantium as heretics. In 1204 Constantinople, the city built by Rome but eventually
controlled by the east, was swarmed and held by Christian soldiers fighting for Rome.
What goes around comes around.
Christian soldiers swarmed Constantinople, looting and killing in an orgy of violence that
would have sickened Jesus. Priceless treasures were destroyed. The victors attempted to
create a Latin empire with Constantinople as its center-city. The Crusaders were unable
to maintain control, however. After they withdrew the Byzantines divided themselves
into Epirus, Trebizond and Nicaea. After 50 years of struggle, they re-captured
Constantinople under the leadership of Michael Palaeologus. Over the next 200 years
Byzantium shrunk as a world power. When the Seljuk Turks collapsed, the Mongol
hordes entered. Then the Ottoman Turks attacked and on May 29, 1453, the last of the
Christians defenders prayed that Jesus would have mercy on them, before falling by the
swords of the Muslim hordes. Constantinople had spread Christianity throughout the east,
yet Roman Catholics had branded them heretics. In the end were unable to finance their
defense against the latest invaders.
The Byzantine period also dates the beginnings of Russian history. Prior to that,
Herodotus, the Greek explorer, found settlements on the Black Sea. He set up trade with
the Scythians, a nomadic tribe living on the plains that stretched thousands of miles to
mountainous Asia. The Scythians were pushed out by the Sarmatians, who were pushed
out by the Goths. They in turn were eliminated by the Huns. The Huns threatened as far
east as Constantinople and as far west as Rome. The Huns conquered Slavic tribes. Their
leader, Attila, was betrayed by his wife, a girl whose father had been killed during a Hun
invasion and who had been picked out of a slave existence to be Attila’s woman. His
death broke the Hun and the tribes went free. A shifting of populations occurred. The
Slavs are first seen in history on the Vistula River. It is believed that Slav means slave, as
in slaves of the Hun. But when the Huns broke up after Attila’s death, the Slavs shifted
into western regions of what is now Poland, Czechoslovakia and south, where they mixed
with Serbs, Croats, Bulgarians, and Slovenes. But the largest number of Slavs settled in
the forested areas of the east and became Russians.
In the middle of the seventh century, a nomad tribe known as Khazars controlled the area.
The Slavs were forced to pay tribute to them. Jewish tradition in Russia started because
many Jews had been expelled from Constantinople. The Khazars took them in, and in
time the Khazars converted to Judaism. Arab Mosels had overrun Persia, marched to
Russia and defeated the Khazars in 737. The Slavs no longer had the Khazars to trade
with. They began trade with the Vikings, who were in the north. They also became
friendly with the Varangians.
Wandering Asian tribes, European Slavs and Vikings founded villages and traded
through water routes on the Black Sea and on the Dnieper River. About 878, a large army
of Finns, Varangians and Slavs, and their leader, Oleg, held up the small son of Rurik,
named Igor. They announced, “This is the Prince of all the Russians, Rurik’s son.”
Oleg then sailed to Kiev, and set up trade with the lands to the south.
“This shall be the mother of all Russian cities,” he said.
Nobody really knows where the word Rus, or Russian, comes from. Perhaps it is from the
Finnish “Ruoysi,” meaning “those who rowed.” Current Russians, however, do not
believe this theory. Russia gained in economic strength through trade with
Constantinople. When Oleg died Igor had grown to become a warrior. He attacked
Constantinople in 944 with a fleet of 1,000 ships. The attack failed. Years later, though,
Igor’s wife, Olga, visited Constantinople and became a Christian. Olga’s son, Vladimir,
later went on a quest for religious knowledge. He was unimpressed with the Jews, who he
saw as wandering nomads. He felt that God must have punished them banished them
from Palestine for a reason. He studied the Christianity of Germany and Central Europe.
He found “no joy” in it, but like his mother, he found the true “presence of God” in the
Eastern Orthodox Christianity of Constantinople. This became the mode of religion in
Russia. Jews would always live in Russia, but Vladimir’s view of their plight as nomads
would prevail in viewing them as inferior citizens.
Once Russia became Christian, it gave them the imprimatur of legitimacy among other
countries. Marriages strengthened bonds with countries like Poland, France, Hungary,
Norway and the Byzantine Empire. Russia faced devastation after Constantinople fell to
the Crusaders in 1204. Mongol hordes swept across the plains, destroying Kiev and
plundering Russia into turmoil. It would not be the last time these hardy people would be
forced to come back after devastating loss.

                                    CHAPTER EIGHT

THE MIDDLE AGES

        Islam is a relatively new religion. Judaism almost seems to transcend the history
of Mankind. Hinduism, Confucianism and Buddhism seem to be part of the mystical
East. When one thinks of the East, one conceives of civilizations that go beyond ancient.
Christianity is pretty new, especially when one considers that the Roman Empire had
been going strong for centuries before Christ was born. The Greeks, with their wars and
philosophies, preceded Jesus by 300 to 400 years, too.
        But Islam did not come around until 571 A.D. Today, with all the problems in
Islam, what with the question of Palestinian freedom under the yoke of Israeli
administration, and the extremism of Muslim terrorists, this religion appears to some to
be archaic, out of date, part of a time so ancient as to be irrelevant if it was not so
dangerous. Islam is neither out of date, irrelevant or dangerous. There is a dangerous
strain to it, to be sure, but this is based on the misinterpretations of a relatively misguided
few. Islam is a religion with many beautiful concepts. Adherents of its faith are among
some of the kindest and finest people in the world. It is called the "religion of peace." The
ugly murderers who bring shame to this precept will not erase the moniker.
        MOHAMMED WAS BORN IN A HUMBLE HOUSEHOLD IN QURAYSH, IN MECCA, IN
WHAT IS NOW SAUDI ARABIA, IN 571 A.D. HE WAS SOON ORPHANED AND RAISED BY HIS
GRANDFATHER. HE BECAME A SHEPHERD AND TRAVELED TO SYRIA AND YEMEN. AT 25, HE
MARRIED A WEALTHY WIDOW. IN A CULTURE WHERE MEN TOOK MULTIPLE WIVES,
MOHAMMED NEVER HAD ANOTHER ONE. HE ALSO SPENT TIME LISTENING TO JEWS,
CHRISTIANS AND PAGANS. HE DETERMINED, AS THE JEWS (AND, DEPENDING ON THE
INTERPRETATION), THE CHRISTIANS DID, THAT THEIR WAS ONE TRUE GOD. HE CALLED HIM
ALLAH, AFTER ALLAH TAALA, THE MOST HIGH GOD OF THE KAABA.
       ALLAH PRAYED THAT GOD WOULD APPEAR TO HIM, AS HE HAD TO THE JEWS AND
CHRISTIANS. AN ANGEL APPEARED, AND URGED HIM TO SPEAK OUT. MOHAMMED BECAME
THE PROPHET OF ALLAH. HE CALLED THE RELIGION ISLAM, WHICH MEANS “SURRENDER” IN
ARABIC. FOLLOWERS ARE CALLED MOSLEMS, OR MUSLIMS.
       MOHAMMED’S MESSAGE WAS SIMILAR TO THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. THERE
IS ONE TRUE GOD, PEOPLE WHO OBEYED GOD’S LAWS WOULD GO TO HEAVEN, WHILE
THOSE WHO DID NOT WOULD GO TO HELL. BUT HE WAS MOCKED WHEN HE PREACHED TO
THE PEOPLE. IN PARTICULAR, THE OFFICIALS OF MECCA TRIED TO QUIET HIM BECAUSE IF
THIS ALLAH WERE FOUND TO BE A FALSE GOD, THEN TOURISM TO MECCA WOULD DRY UP.
MOHAMMED KEPT AT IT. IN 620 AT THE MECCA FAIR, HE MANAGED TO CONVERT A GROUP
OF PILGRIMS TO ISLAM. MOHAMMED ATTEMPTED TO GET THE JEWS TO CONVERT TO ISLAM.
THEY POINTED OUT ERRORS THAT HE MADE IN HIS INTERPRETATIONS OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT AND REFUSED TO CONVERT. MOHAMMED DID FIND CONVERTS AMONG THE
PAGANS, THE POOR AND THE DISPOSSESSED. IN ORDER TO FEED SOME OF HIS PEOPLE,
MOHAMMED LED A GROUP OF MEN ON AN ATTACK OF A RICH CARAVAN. HIS SCHEME WAS
KNOWN AHEAD OF TIME, HOWEVER, AND THE MOSLEMS WERE SURROUNDED. MOHAMMED
PROVED TO BE AN ADEPT MILITARY COMMANDER WHO LED A GROUP OF MEN WHO WERE
FILLED WITH FURY. IN THE BATTLE OF BADR, AS IT CAME TO BE CALLED, MOHAMMED HAD
WON A VICTORY. THE FACT THAT MOHAMMED LED A VIOLENT CHARGE IS THE FIRST
REASON SOME HAVE CALLED HIM A TERRORIST. HIS ACTIONS WERE NO MORE VIOLENT
THAN NUMEROUS JEWISH KINGS AND GENERALS WHO RESORTED TO FIGHTING IN ORDER TO
BRING FREEDOM TO THEIR PEOPLE. JESUS HAS NO RECORD OF SUCH VIOLENCE, ALTHOUGH
HE DID CREATE A RUCKUS IN THE TEMPLE WHEN HE WENT INTO A FURY OVER THE BUSINESS
THAT WAS BEING CONDUCTED IN THE HOLY PLACE.
       MOHAMMED DID ASSUME A MILITARY RANK, ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD BE POINTED
OUT THAT THE MOSLEMS WERE UNDER ATTACK. A MECCAN ARMY, LED BY A DEFECTOR
NAMED ABU SUFYAN, BADLY WOUNDED MOHAMMED. MOHAMMED DECIDED THAT THE
DEFECTION WAS BECAUSE HIS MEN DRANK WINE, SO HE FORBADE DRINKING AS A RULE OF
THE RELIGION. SUFYAN MOUNTED ANOTHER OFFENSIVE, BUT BY THIS TIME MOHAMMED
HAD JOINED FORCES WITH THE PERSIANS. THEY SUCCEEDED IN CREATING A DEFENSIVE
BARRICADE AT MEDINA. THE LOCAL JEWS AIDED THE ATTACK. AFTER ITS FAILURE,
MOHAMMED ORDERED THE SLAUGHTER OF 600 ABLE-BODIED JEWS. THE REST OF THE JEWS
WERE EXILED. STILL ANOTHER GROUP NOW HATED THE JEWS!
       MOHAMMED WAS UNABLE TO CONVINCE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN CLERICS OF HIS
VISIONS. HE TRIED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT HIS READINGS OF THE OLD AND NEW
TESTAMENTS CONTAINED ERRORS. THE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS THEREFORE DID NOT
RECOGNIZE HIM AS A LEGITIMATE RELIGIOUS VISIONARY. MOHAMMED DECIDED THAT
JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY WERE ENEMIES. HE DECIDED THAT MOSLEMS WOULD PRAY
ON FRIDAYS, CALLED BY A MAN STANDING ON THE TOP OF THE TALLEST BUILDING, AND
NOT A TRUMPET. MOSQUES WERE BUILDING TO EFFECTUATE THIS.
      THE MOSLEMS     WAGED WAR ON CARAVANS MOVING THROUGH THEIR TERRITORY,
ENRICHING THEMSELVES. EVENTUALLY MOHAMMED FORCED THE QURAYSH LEADERS TO
ACCEPT A PEACE TREATY. THE BEDOUINS JOINED HIS RANKS, AND ISLAM GREW. AN
UNEASY PEACE EXISTED IN MECCA, UNTIL A SKIRMISH BETWEEN ARMED MECCANS AND
MOSLEM BEDOUINS GAVE MOHAMMED THE EXCUSE TO BREAK THE PEACE WITH THE
QURAYSH. IN 630, DURING THE MONTH OF RAMADAN, HE LED A FORCE OF 10,000, ARMED
WITH SWORDS AND SPEARS. THEY OVERWHELMED MECCA, TAKING IT FOR THEMSELVES
AND PROCLAIMING IT THE HOLY CITY. HIS SUPPORTERS CALLED FOR MASS EXECUTIONS.
MOHAMMED KEPT THE KILLINGS TO A MINIMUM, PREFERRING INSTEAD TO CONSOLIDATE
POWER BY DRAWING HIS EX-ENEMIES IN. HE SENT ARMIES TO TAKE OVER TAIUF AND GAIN
CONTROL OF THE ARABIAN PENINSULA. CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH SETTLEMENTS WERE
SURROUNDED, BUT MOHHAMED SPARED THEM WHEN THEY PAID HIM OFF. MOHAMMED
WAS ADMIRED AS A WARRIOR AND POLITICIAN WHO HAD CONSOLIDATED THE VARYING
TRIBES IN A WAY NOT EVEN THE ROMAN EMPIRE HAD DONE.
        MOHAMMED CALLED FOR AN ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA EVERY MARCH. IN
632 HE FELL SICK AFTER HIS RETURN TO MEDINA AND DIED IN JUNE OF THAT YEAR.
MOHAMMED WAS A WARRIOR AND A POLITICIAN WHO PRACTICED VIOLENCE. THE ENEMIES
AND CRITICS OF ISLAM HAVE USED THIS TO IDENTIFY THE RELIGION AS A DESTRUCTIVE ONE.
THIS EXPLAINS WHY SO MUCH VIOLENCE ALWAYS HAS AND CONTINUES TO EMANATE FROM
ITS PRACTITIONERS. IN RECENT TIMES, CHRISTIAN PASTORS LIKE JERRY FALWELL AND PAT
ROBERTSON HAVE POINTED OUT THE FACTS OUTLINED HEREIN, REGARDING MOHAMMED’S
LEADING OF TROOPS INTO BATTLE. THEY HAVE GONE SO FAR AS TO CALL HIM A TERRORIST.
        WHILE JESUS SOMEHOW RESISTED ANY USE OF VIOLENCE TO PROMOTE HIS CAUSE,
HE IS THE GREAT EXCEPTION. VIOLENCE WAS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO AVOID DURING
MOHAMMED’S DAY. WARS, PLUNDER AND CONQUERING ARMIES TOOK WHAT THEY NEEDED
AS A MATTER OF ROUTINE. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER MOHAMMED WAS A DIVINE BEING,
AS HIS FOLLOWERS CLAIM, OR JUST A GREAT LEADER OF A MOVEMENT. EITHER WAY, ONCE
HE HAD ESTABLISHED PEACE, MOHAMMED LIVED AN ORDINARY LIFE, ESCHEWING THE
RICHES THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ACCORDED HIM AS A KING. HE PREACHED KINDNESS,
PARTICULARLY TOWARDS ORPHANS, THE POOR, THE WEAK, THE UNPROTECTED, AND
WOMEN. HE HAD ABOUT A DOZEN WIVES, INCLUDING A CHRISTIAN WOMAN NAMED MARY
WHO GAVE BIRTH TO A CHILD WHO DIED SHORTLY THEREAFTER. OF ALL HIS WOMEN ONLY
ONE BORE HIM CHILDREN. ONLY ONE OF THEM, FATIMA, OUTLIVED HIM. HE DICTATED HIS
THOUGHTS TO HIS SECRETARY, AND THIS WAS TRANSLATED INTO THE KORAN. IT ACTUALLY
CONTAINS MANY OF MOHAMMED’S INTERPRETATIONS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. DESPITE
BEING REBUFFED BY THE JEWS, MOHAMMED WAS GREATLY INFLUENCED BY THE HEBREWS.
HE ALSO MENTIONS THE “PROPHET JESUS” AMONG HIS STORIES AND CHARACTERS FROM
THE NEW TESTAMENT. MOHAMMED HIMSELF NEVER CALLED HIMSELF DIVINE. HE SIMPLY
SAW HIMSELF AS AN APOSTLE. AMONG HIS TEACHINGS WERE THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM,
WHICH INVOLVED LAWS REGARDING DIET, PRAYER, ALCOHOL, CHARITY AND PILGRIMAGE
TO MECCA.
        THE RELIGION DEALS HARSHLY WITH THEFT, BY SLICING OFF THE HAND OF THE
ROBBER. ANY DISRESPECT TOWARD THE RELIGION IS CAUSE FOR THE DEATH PENALTY WITH
THE PERSON SENTENCED TO ETERNITY IN HELL, WHICH THE KORAN PICTURES AS A PIT
FILLED WITH FLAMES. HEAVEN, OR PARADISE, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS PICTURED AS A
COOL MOUNTAINTOP. THE MOSLEM APPROACH TOWARDS PUNISHMENT AND THE CALL FOR
DEATH TO ANY WHO DISRESPECT THE RELIGION ARE SEEN AS THE GENESIS FOR AND
JUSTIFICATION OF VIOLENCE TOWARDS ANY “INFIDELS.” THESE ARE BASICALLY ANYBODY
WHO IS NOT A TRUE-BELIEVING MUSLIM. JEWS AND AMERICANS ARE EASILY IDENTIFIED AS
BEING INFIDELS. THE RELIGION CALLS FOR “NO MERCY” TO THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN
ALLAH. THE CONFLICT IN THIS VIEW IS THE INTERPRETATION OF ALLAH. SINCE MUSLIMS
BELIEVE IN “ONE GOD,” IT IS THEREFORE A REASONABLE EXPLANATION THAT THE MAJOR
RELIGIONS – JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY – BELIEVE IN THE SAME THING. THE JEWS
CERTAINLY BELIEVE IN “ONE GOD,” TOO. CHRISTIANS BELIEVE IN “ONE GOD,” BUT THEY
SEE THIS AS A TRI-PARTITE GOD THAT IS ENCOMPASSED AS ONE, COMPOSED OF THE
FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
       MUSLIM EXTREMISTS HAVE DECIDED THAT BELIEF IN ONE GOD IS NOT GOOD
ENOUGH; THE BELIEF MUST COME EQUIPPED WITH ALL THE TENETS OF THE KORAN. IF NOT,
DEATH MUST COME TO THOSE WHO FAIL TO OBSERVE THESE TENETS. MODERATES ARE
WILLING TO ACCEPT THE CONCEPT THAT THE “ONE GOD” IS A GOD OF ALL PEOPLE ON
EARTH. THE KORAN, HOWEVER, LEAVES LITTLE OUT FOR MODERATION. IT SAYS THAT THE
“PEOPLE OF THE BOOK” – JEWS AND CHRISTIANS – ARE TO BE GIVEN A CHANCE TO ACCEPT
ISLAM. IF THEY REFUSE THEY ARE TO BE BRANDED PAGANS, AND THEREFORE SUBJECT TO
JIHAD. MODERATE READERS OF THE KORAN HAVE SAID THAT JIHAD IS SOME KIND OF
INTERPRETATION OF ONE’S MIND, MEANT TO FREE THE SOUL. THERE IS LITTLE TO DISSUADE
THE GENERAL LANGUAGE THAT INDICATES JIHAD IS A CALL TO KILL JEWS, CHRISTIANS AND
EVERYBODY WHO IS NOT MUSLIM.
        I would like, at this point, to tell a personal story that concerns the Moslem
religion. In the late 1980s, I was in the United States Army. In my unit was a young man,
whose name I cannot recall, but he was a Muslim with a Middle Eastern surname. This
fellow was as American as I was. I do not know if his parents were from the Middle East,
but this guy was from Cerritos, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. He was into all the
things that any other young guy was into: Girls, music, sports, partying. He was a nice
guy and a good-looking kid with an engaging personality. He liked to laugh and joke
around and was popular. Then one day the subject of Salman Rushdie came up. Rushdie
was the Iranian writer who had recently written “The Satanic Diaries". The Ayatollah
Khomeini had issued a fatwa in which all Muslims were expected to kill Rushdie if they
found him. This young man, a member of the U.S. Army, very casually remarked that he
would kill Rushdie if he had the chance.
        I was stunned. He said it the way he might say he would go see a Dodger game if
he could get the tickets. I did not get into an argument with him, preferring to let it pass. I
do know he was not joking. I cannot say I really think he would have killed Rushdie if he
suddenly appeared in front of us, but it had a profound effect on me and my view of
Moslems.
IT WAS NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT I HAD HEARD SUCH INTOLERANCE. IN 1984, INDIRA
GANDHI WAS ASSASSINATED. SHE WAS AN INDIAN HINDU. I KNEW AN INDIAN WOMAN WHO
WAS MUSLIM. SHE WAS RELATIVELY ATTRACTIVE, HAD A GOOD PERSONALITY, AND
WORKED AS A CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE DISCOUNT BROKERAGE FIRM,
CHARLES SCHWAB & CO. SHE JUMPED UP AND DOWN, CLAPPING AND HOLLERING, WHEN
SHE HEARD OF INDIRA'S DEATH. IT WAS THE SAME REACTION A GEORGIA FOOTBALL FAN
MIGHT HAVE WHEN THE DAWGS SCORED A TOUCHDOWN. IT WAS DISGUSTING.
        THE MOSLEMS DEVELOPED INTO FIERCE DESERT WARRIORS, ABLE TO DEFEAT
LARGE, WELL-EQUIPPED EUROPEAN ARMIES BECAUSE THEY WERE USED TO THE HARDSHIPS
OF THE DESERT. THEY WERE OFTEN NOMADS WITH LITTLE OF THEIR OWN, ABLE TO ATTACK
AND TAKE RATHER THAN HOLD AND DEFEND. MOSLEM ARMIES SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE
MIDDLE EAST. EVENTUALLY, THE RELIGION HAD SPLITS AND VARYING SECTS. THE MOORS,
FOR INSTANCE, WERE MOSLEMS WHO INVADED AND CAPTURED SPAIN. WHILE THE VIOLENT
STRAINS OF ISLAM – THE CALL TO JIHAD, THE FREQUENT USE OF THE DEATH PENALTY,
VIOLENCE AGAINST THE BODIES OF LAW-BREAKERS, AND THE FIERCENESS OF ITS ARMIES –
HAVE NEVER GONE AWAY AND, IN FACT, HAVE GROWN, THERE ARE MANY SPLENDID
ASPECTS OF THE RELIGION. IT DOES CALL FOR A FAIR SHARE OF MORALITY AND
COMPASSION TOWARDS THE POOR. TOURISTS HAVE OFTEN REMARKED AT THE KINDNESS OF
THESE PEOPLE, WHO ARE KNOWN TO BE HOSPITABLE HOSTS. IT IS TOO SIMPLE TO JUST
DISREGARD ISLAM AS VIOLENT EXTREMISTS. THERE MUST BE SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
THAT THEY WERE AT TIMES FORCED TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES, AND THEY FOUGHT WELL.
IN THE CURRENT CONTEXT, ISLAM IS A RELIGION THAT NEEDS TO EVALUATE ITSELF, JUST AS
CHRISTIANITY WENT THROUGH A LONG, LONG PERIOD OF VIOLENCE THEMSELVES. THE
CHRISTIANS EVALUATED THEMSELVES AFTER THE CRUSADES AND THE SPANISH
INQUISITION, THROUGH VATICAN COUNCILS AND PROTESTANT REFORMATIONS THAT
FORCED THEM TO BE HONEST ABOUT WHO THEY WERE AND WHAT THEY STOOD FOR. THE
CHRISTIANS CERTAINLY DID MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. EVEN TODAY THEY WILL HAVE TO MAKE
MORE ADJUSTMENTS, SINCE IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY OBVIOUS THAT CATHOLIC
REQUIREMENTS OF CHASTITY AND BACHELORHOOD FOR PRIESTS HAS CREATED A BREEDING
GROUND FOR SEXUALLY DISTURBED PEOPLE.
        By 1099, Christianity was more than 1,000 years old. Islam was approximately
half a century old. Throughout the 11th Century, the divided Arab Empire became
weaker, while Christian lands to the north became strong. The Christians were alarmed at
the language of Islam, the jihadist call for their deaths, and the growing strength in
numbers and fighting ability demonstrated by its adherents. Decisions were being made,
and history has debated the events of the Crusades. Were they violent wars of aggression
committed by intolerant Christians? Were they justified acts of unilateral war, meant to
stop the Moslems before the Moslems could kill them? Or were they brought about by
violent wars wrought by Moslems? The answer, like all answers in history, is not one
answer, but rather the answer to many questions that events brought about.
        Christian armies snatched back Arab-controlled lands in northern France, Sicily
and southern Italy. The fact that the Arabs had ventured to Europe and enslaved entire
populations offers some evidence that the Crusades at least started from a defensive
posture. The Pope called on European rulers to unite in rolling back the Muslim invaders.
It would drag on for two centuries. In 1099, Frankish troops captured Jerusalem, the
original Christian city of Jesus. In 1187 Saladin re-captured it. By the time the Crusades
were over, the Moslems had repelled the Christians from all of the Middle East, except
for Cyprus.
        DURING THE MIDDLE OF THIS TERRIBLE DIVISION BETWEEN THE CHRISTIAN AND
MOSLEM WORLDS, A NEW ENEMY EMERGED WHO TERRIFIED ARAB AND EUROPEAN ALIKE.
HIS NAME WAS GENGHIS KHAN. THE MONGOLS OF GENGHIS WERE VERY MUCH LIKE THE
ARABS OF MOHAMMED – NOMADIC HORSEMEN, AND TOUGH FIGHTERS. THE MONGOLS HAD
LONG RAIDED CHINESE FARMLANDS ALONG THE NORTHERN FRONTIER WHERE THE GREAT
WALL STOOD. THE CHINESE PAID THEM OFF WITH BRIBES, UNTIL GENGHIS KHAN CAME
ALONG. USING CAVALRY TACTICS AND SHEER TERROR, GENGHIS CUT A SWATH THROUGH
ASIA, EASTERN ISLAMIC TERRITORIES, AND EASTERN EUROPE. AFTER CAPTURING THE
CHINESE CAPITAL OF PEKING, GENGHIS ADVANCED ON THE ISLAMIC KHWARIZMIAM
EMPIRE, CAUSING THE OCCUPANTS TO FLEE. GENGHIS DIED BUT HIS SONS CARRIED ON HIS
BLOODY RAMPAGES. BY 1258, MONGOL HORDES HAD ENLARGED CHINA, CAPTURED PARTS
OF RUSSIA, STREAMED INTO EUROPE AND MESOPOTAMIA, DESTROYED THE ABBASID
CALIPHATE, AND SACKED BAGHDAD.
       BUT THE MOSLEMS RE-GROUPED. TWO YEARS LATER A MAMELUKE JIHAD STOPPED
THE MONGOLS’ WESTWARD EXPANSION IN SYRIA. WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT WAS A
GREAT VICTORY FOR ISLAM. MOSLEMS, MONGOLS AND CHRISTIANS MIXED TOGETHER.
MARCO POLO VISITED THE CHINESE RULER, KUBLAI KHAN, AND THE MIDDLE EAST
ALMOST BECAME “OFFICIALLY” CHRISTIAN. GHAZAN, A MONGOL KHAN, BECAME A
MOSLEM AND PROCLAIMED ISLAM THE NEW RELIGION OF THE MONGOLS. AFTER ALL THE
FIGHTING AND BLOODSHED, THE KORAN TRIUMPHED.
        Unfortunately, the Mongol/Moslem world was not peaceful for long. Mongol
fighters spread out and conquered Afghanistan, Persia and Kurdistan, leaving severed
heads piled to the sky. Baghdad fell in 1393. Mesopotamia was overrun, and eventually
Moscow was occupied. Fighting spread across north India, and in 1400 Timur, a claimed
descendant of Genghis, sacked Aleppo in Syria. He left 20,000 severed heads, destroyed
Damascus, and returned to Baghdad to kill some more. He piled up an additional 120
mounds of heads there. In 1402, Timur invaded Asia Minor, crushed the Turks, then
returned to China where he finally was killed fighting in 1404.
        Think his soul ascended to Heaven? Some people just have to be stopped, and
some times war is the only way to stop them.
With Timur finally gone, the way was open for new rulers in the Arab world – the
Ottoman Turks. The Turks were related by blood to the Mongols. The Moslems
originally victimized them, when Arab armies overran their Central Asian homeland in
the eighth century. But the Turks could fight, and they were made a part of the Moslem
fighting force. They adopted the religion and became integrated into it. A Turk tribesman
named Seljuk led a large conversion to the Sunni creed of Islam in the 10th Century. The
Sunnis then went on a rampage of conquest themselves. The fighting crossed western
Asia and, in 1055 Baghdad, which seems to fall a lot, fell to them.
Christian Armenia fell, and in 1071, the Byzantines fell, too. Seljuk Turks took parts of
Asia Minor, and what is now modern Turkey was now within their control. The Seljuks
enjoyed maximum power from 1072 to 1092, but when they employed foreigners to fight
their battles, they grew soft and they lost to the Mongols at Kozedagh in 1243. But the
Mongols divided lands among themselves. Eventually Turkish emirs created independent
power structures. One of the emirs was named Othman. He declared holy war on his
Christian neighbors bordering in and around the Byzantine Empire. By 1400, the
Ottomans, named after Othman, had conquered Macedonia and Bulgaria, and swept the
Teljuks aside. Then the Ottomans were crushed by Timur at Ankara. Civil wars raged for
10 years, but Sultan Mohammed united the Ottomans again. Turkish armies under his
command marched on southeast Europe. Allies of Rumanians, Hungarians, Poles,
Germans and even the French met them and halted their advance in 1443. In 1448 the
Ottomans beat back a Christian attack in Serbia. With Constantinople by this time
virtually undefended, the Ottomans seized on this prize. On May 29, 1453, Turkish
gunners knocked down the city walls and went on a slaughter. Sultan Mohammed entered
the city, ordered the rampage to stop. He took possession of the Church of St. Sophia, and
with it, Constantinople. The last real stronghold of Christianity in the region was now
Moslem.
Now masters of Asia Minor, the Ottomans pushed east to the Persian Gulf, taking
Armenia and Iraq. In the 16th Century they added Persia (now Iran), Syria, Egypt and
western Arabia to their domain. Under Suleiman the Magnificent, who reigned from 1520
to 1566, the empire grew to include Morocco in North Africa, and most of Hungary. A
siege was laid on Vienna, Austria. Suleiman ruled from Budapest to Baghdad, from
Crimea on the Black Sea to the Egyptian Nile.
The Turks assaulted Vienna again in 1683, but could not quite capture the city,
withdrawing from Western Europe. Eventually they created alliances with the
Austro-Hungarians. In the 18thCentury, France, England and Austria began plans to grab
parts of the empire. In the 19th Century wars broke out. Various deals were struck, with
the Ottomans finding themselves on the wrong side of history. Thinking the
Austro-Hungarians to be the strongest military force in the world, because of their
alliance with an emerging unified Germany, the Ottomans cast their lot with them. When
World War I broke out, they found themselves dragged into the conflict. When the
Central Powers lost, their empire, already reduced to a shell of its old self, officially
ended in 1922. By that time, Constantinople’s name had been changed to Istanbul, but the
Turks did not even choose Istanbul as their capital, choosing instead Ankara.
Britain carved up the Ottoman Empire. It was too expensive to hold after World War II.
They relinquished it, including Palestine, to the dispossessed Jewish Holocaust survivors.
Today, the region is control by autonomous governments. To the extent that there is any
hegemony, the United States is the most influential overall player.
  Those who have not studied history look at the modern day Middle East and see a
Third World wasteland that has value only because of an accident of fate. The accident of
fate is that automobiles were invented, they needed oil, and the region has most of the oil.
A racially tinged bias has emerged, in which the Muslims are dismissed as “rag heads”
and “camel jockeys.” They are viewed as the violent progenitors of a religion that
modernity has passed by. The uninformed view Arabs as dusky and stupid. History has
favored the West, and the losers are in the Middle East. The Arabs threw their lot in with
the Soviets, and that gamble went badly. They are made to look backward and dumb in
comparison with the brilliant success of Jewish Israel. These concepts have not been
developed out of nowhere without reason. However, to dismiss the Arabs, the Persians
and the Moslems world as “rag heads” is not accurate. It does not do justice to their
contributions to the world. Mohammed used violence and there is a strong strain of
violence and intolerance within the tenets of Islam, but violence and intolerance are part
of the history of man. Singling the Moslems out for the violence and intolerance within
their ranks is not entirely fair. It is, in fact, hypocritical. Western politicians who reach
out to moderate elements within the Moslem world are choosing the only sane course.
Friendship and human understanding stems from the realization, as John Kennedy said,
that “we are all mortal.” This is the common bond between us.
The Middle East is a cradle of civilization. Great contributions to medicine, mathematics,
architecture, astronomy, literature and the decorative arts have been made. While Europe
tore itself up through constant fighting, Moslem scholars preserved the ancient world.
A few centuries after the Crusades, Europeans came back to the East. This time, they did
not come by horseback. They arrived in India by way of ships. Instead of plunder, they
sought trade. Instead of conquering the sub-continent, these Europeans wanted control of
the seas that surrounded it. A new kind of “technology” had taken over. The Europeans
had mastered it.
In 1498, just six years after Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, Vasco de
Gamaset set sail from Portugal. He went underneath Africa, and landed at the port of
Calicut, South India, in search of “Christians and spice.”
The development of naval fleets was a matter of necessity. Throughout the Middle Ages,
Europe had depended on the East for silk, precious stones, and spices, especially pepper.
The only way to get them to the “civilized countries” was to carry them through Moslem
territories. The shipments were subject to Moslem looters. The Turks held up shipments,
and after a while they realized it was more profitable to take bribes than to simply steal
what they came across. The Portuguese outsmarted the Moslems by building sea-worthy
ships that could evade Turk blockades and set up a sea route to India. They also wanted
to subvert the Eastern religions by bringing Christianity to India.
Portugal did well in their efforts, although they were a small country without the
resources to maintain control of India. Christianity was popular amongst the lower castes
in Hindu society. The tenets of the new religion made all humans equal in the eyes of
God, instead of inferior by religious fiat, as Hinduism proposed. Other European
countries arrived to make trade with India, and settlements were established. By 1707, the
British had secured Madras, Bombay and Calcutta as de facto colonized cities.

THE MYSTERIOUS EAST
       THE STORY OF INDIAN COLONIZATION, AND THE GROWTH OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE,
IS RESERVED FOR LATER CHAPTERS. STAYING WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE MIDDLE AGES,
WE NOW GO BACK IN TIME, AND FURTHER EAST, TO CHINA. THIS VAST EAST ASIAN LAND IS
NAMED AFTER THE FIRST FAMILY OF EMPERORS, THE CH’IN. THE CH’IN BROUGHT THE
COUNTRY TOGETHER UNDER ONE GOVERNMENT AND BUILT THE GREAT WALL TO KEEP OUT
NORTHERN BARBARIANS. IN 206 B.C., HOWEVER, THE CH’IN WERE OVERTHROWN AND
REPLACED BY THE IMPERIAL HAN FAMILY. THEY RULED FOR TWO CENTURIES AND THEN,
AFTER A BREAK IN THEIR RULE, RETURNED TO RULE AGAIN, UNTIL 221 A.D.
THE BUDDHIST RELIGION CAME TO CHINA FROM INDIA ROUGHLY 100 YEARS AFTER THE
DEATH OF CHRIST. AROUND 105 A.D., THE CHINESE INVENTED PAPER. ONE PROBLEM
REMAINED CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT EARLY CHINESE HISTORY, AND THAT WAS IN THE
AREA OF MONEY, TAXES AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION. A SYSTEM THAT WOULD CREATE
A STRONG CHINESE ECONOMY ELUDED THE COUNTRY, DESPITE INTELLECTUAL STRENGTH,
WORK ETHIC, AND NATURAL RESOURCES, PARTICULARLY CROP-GROWING.
PEASANT REBELLIONS ENSUED, AND IN PUTTING THE REBELLIONS DOWN, CHINESE
GENERALS GAINED ALL THE POWER IN THE COUNTRY. THE THREE STATES INTO WHICH
CHINA WERE SPLIT DIVIDED INTO EVEN MORE DIVISIONS. THIS TURMOIL BEGAN AROUND
220 A.D. THE SIX DYNASTIES ERA LASTED FROM 220 TO 589. DURING THIS TIME SIX
FAMILIES CONTROLLED THE CAPITAL, NANKING. NOMADS ROLLED ACROSS THE NORTH
CHINESE PLAIN. THE HUNS WERE JOINED BY THEIR RELATIVES, THE MONGOLS AND THE
TURKS. MANY CHINESE FLED THE INVADERS. AFTER SETTLING SOUTH OF THE YANGTZE
RIVER, THE POPULATION GREW AT AN INCREDIBLE PACE. THIS SIMPLE FACT OF POPULATION
GROWTH EVENTUALLY PROVED OVERWHELMING TO FOREIGN INVADERS.
TAOISM SPREAD AMONG THE UPPER CLASSES. THIS RELIGION BORROWED ITS PRACTICES
FROM BUDDHISM. CONFUCIANS TURNED TO TAOISM. TAOISM BORROWED FROM
BUDDHISM. BUDDHISM WAS THE ONE RELIGION THAT DEALT WITH SPIRITUAL MATTERS OF
LIFE AFTER DEATH. BUDDHISM EMERGED AS THE DOMINANT RELIGION. IT IS A MATTER
PERHAPS UNIQUE TO THE CHINESE MIND, AND TO CHINESE PHILOSOPHY, THAT MANY
CHINESE REGARDED THEMSELVES AS A TAOIST, A CONFUCIAN AND A BUDDHIST ALL AT
THE SAME TIME. EUROPEANS WOULD NEVER ACCEPT THE CONCEPT OF BEING “A LITTLE BIT
JEWISH AND A LITTLE BIT CHRISTIAN.” MOSLEMS ESSENTIALLY SENTENCED TO DEATH
ANYBODY WITH THE TEMERITY NOT TO BE A MUSLIM. THE DIVIDED CHINESE MIND WAS
VERY MUCH A PART OF THE NIXON-KISSINGER STRATEGY WHEN CHINA WAS OPENED UP TO
THE WEST IN 1972. IT WAS FELT THAT THE CHINESE WOULD BE OPEN TO BEING “A LITTLE
BIT CAPITALIST WHILE BEING COMMUNIST” TODAY THEY ARE MORE AND MORE
CAPITALIST.
IN 589, A WARLORD NAMED SUI WEN TI CONQUERED THE LAST DYNASTY IN THE SOUTH
AND BECAME EMPEROR OF CHINA. THE GREAT WALL, WHICH HAD FALLEN INTO DISREPAIR,
WAS BUILT BACK UP. ARMIES WERE SENT TO VIETNAM AND CENTRAL ASIA. SUI DIED
MYSTERIOUSLY, PROBABLY MURDERED BY HIS SON, YANG TI. HE WAS A TYRANT, AND THE
PEOPLE ROSE AGAINST HIM, KILLING HIM IN 618. LI YUAN WAS ENTHRONED, AND HE BEGAN
THE T’ANG DYANSTY, WHICH REIGNED UNTIL 907. A COURT SYSTEM WAS ENACTED WITH
AN ELABORATE CODE OF ETIQUETTE. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WERE PAID THE MOST
MONEY IN CHINA. GOVERNMENTAL SERVICE WAS CONSIDERED HONORABLE WORK, AND
THOSE WHO HELD THE JOBS WERE HONORED. THE ABILITY TO READ AND WRITE, WHICH
RESULTED FROM THE FACT THAT THE CHINESE DEVISED A SYSTEM OF PRINTING ON PAPER
USING UNIQUE LETTER-CHARACTERS, WAS THE GREATEST FACTOR IN A CANDIDATE’S
ABILITY TO WORK IN THESE JOBS. GREAT WRITERS, POETS AND PHILOSOPHERS EMERGED.
THE PROPENSITY OF THE WRITTEN WORD, HOWEVER, CAUSED MANY WHO COULD READ TO
HAVE GRANDIOSE IDEAS. ONE MAN, WHO HAD FAILED GOVERNMENT EXAMS, WAS
EDUCATED ENOUGH AND KNEW ENOUGH TO FOMENT A REVOLUTION IN 879. HE
SUCCEEDING IN SACKING CANTON, THEN CAPTURING CH’ANG-AN, FORCING THE EMPEROR
TO FLEE TO SZECHWAN. THIS WAS PUT DOWN BY GENERAL LI K’O-YUNG IN 884.
BARBARIANS THREATENED THE SUNG DYNASTY BETWEEN 980 AND 1279, KNOWN AS THE
FIVE DYNASTIES AND TEN KINGDOMS ERA. THE SUNG DYNASTY NEVER ACHIEVED THE
COHESION OF THE HAN OR T’ANG DYNASTIES, BUT LITERATURE AND THE STUDY OF
HISTORY CONTINUED TO FLOURISH. BEAUTIFUL ARTWORKS AND SILKS EMERGED FROM THIS
PERIOD. THE REPRESSION OF WOMEN ALSO INCREASED DURING THE SUNG DYNASTY.
CHINA HAD ALWAYS CONSIDERED WOMEN INFERIOR. BABY GIRLS WERE KILLED AT BIRTH,
AND WIVES WERE CONSIDERED MERE SLAVES TO THEIR HUSBANDS. THE PRACTICE OF FOOT
BINDING IN UPPER CLASS FAMILIES PRODUCED GIRLS WHO COULD NOT WALK DUE TO THIS
                                                         TH
CRIPPLING EFFECT. IT WAS STILL BEING PRACTICED IN THE 20    CENTURY.
IN 1135, HANGCHOW BECAME THE CAPITAL OF THE SOUTHERN SUNG, BUT OUT OF
MONGOLIA CAME GENGHIS KHAN. BEFORE GENGHIS DIED IN 1227, HE HAD CRUSHED THE
SHI HSIA AND, AFTER JOINING FORCES WITH SUNG, ENDED THE CHIN FACTION. CIVIL WARS
AND BACKSTABBING OCCURRED. AFTER MUCH IN FIGHTING AND VARIOUS BATTLES,
KUBLAI KHAN, A DESCENDANT OF GENGHIS, EMERGED AS RULER OF CHINA. HIS WAS A
MILITARY RULE, AND CREATED HATRED AND ANIMOSITY AMONG THE EDUCATED CHINESE
POPULACE, WHO VIEWED THESE MONGOLS AS LOATHSOME.
CHINA WAS ALSO SWARMED WITH VARIOUS FOREIGNERS, AMONG THEM CHRISTIANS AND
MOSLEM TRADERS. ONE OF THESE FOREIGNERS WAS MARCO POLO OF VENICE, WHO
ENTERED THE SERVICE OF KUBLAI KHAN IN 1275 AND STAYED IN WHAT EUROPEANS
CALLED “CATHAY” FOR 17 YEARS. WHEN HE RETURNED, HE OPENED THE EYES OF THE
WORLD TO THIS EXOTIC PLACE, WRITING WILD STORIES ABOUT “BLACK STONE” (COAL”
WHICH WERE BURNED FOR FUEL). “SNAKES” COULD BE BOILED AND EATEN. THEY WERE
ACTUALLY NOODLES. MARCO POLO HAD HELD HIS FEELINGS CLOSE TO THE VEST, THOUGH.
HE TOLD HIS PEOPLE THAT KUBLAI KHAN WAS DESPISED BY THE PEOPLE, WHO HE HAD
ENSLAVED THROUGH HARD LABOR AND MILITARY RULE. MARCO POLO CORRECTLY
PREDICTED THAT THE CHINESE CITIZENRY, BECAUSE THEY COULD READ AND THEREFORE
COMMUNICATE AMONGST THEMSELVES, WOULD END MONGOL REIGN. IN 1368 THE
SCHOLAR-OFFICIALS UNITED TO CHASE THEM OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
THIS BROUGHT IN THE HALLOWED MING DYNASTY OF THE OLD ORDER, WHICH LASTED
FROM 1368 TO 1644. PIRATES AND BARBARIANS THREATENED THE MING EMPEROR.
JAPANESE PIRATES RAIDED CHINESE JUNKS, AND JAPANESE EMISSARIES WERE FOUND TO BE
DOUBLE-DEALING IN THE “TRIBUTES” THEY PAID TO THE MING COURT. THE JAPANESE
LOOKED DOWN ON THE CHINESE, FIGURING THEY COULD LIE TO THEM AND GET AWAY WITH
IT BECAUSE THE CHINESE WERE INFERIOR. BECAUSE OF THEIR DISTRUST OF THE JAPANESE,
THE CHINESE EMPLOYED A NEW POLICY OF DISTRUST OF FOREIGNERS. POSSIBLY THEY HAD
LEARNED THAT MARCO POLO, AFTER WORKING IN THE “SERVICE” OF KUBLAI KHAN, HAD
THEN WRITTEN DISPARAGINGLY OF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT UPON HIS RETURN TO
ITALY. WHILE THE MINGS HAD NO LOVE FOR THE MONGOL KHAN REGIME, THEY DECIDED
THAT BEING OPEN TO FOREIGNERS WAS A POOR IDEA. WHEN PORTUGUESE MERCHANTS IN
SEARCH OF TRADE AND CHRISTIAN CONVERSION ARRIVED, THE CHINESE MASSACRED
THEM.
THE MING GOVERNMENT BEGAN TO WEAKEN BETWEEN 1552 AND 1560. SUBSEQUENT
PORTUGUESE WERE ALLOWED TO SETTLE IN MACAO. FROM THERE, JESUIT MISSIONARIES
SPREAD OUT, AT LAST REACHING PEKING WITH THEIR MESSAGE OF CHRIST. THE SCHOLARS
WHO CONTROLLED THE GOVERNMENT WERE SO IMPRESSED WITH THE MISSIONARIES THAT
THEY PUT THEM IN CHARGE OF THE BUREAU OF ASTRONOMY. CORN, SWEET POTATOES,
PEANUTS AND TOBACCO WERE INTRODUCED TO CHINESE FARMERS. FROM 1573 TO 1620,
THE EMPERORS LOST TOUCH WITH THE PEOPLE. STATE BUSINESS WENT INTO DISARRAY,
AND EVENTUALLY REBELLION OCCURRED. A MAN CALLED THE “DASHING GENERAL”
RAISED AN ARMY. HE CAPTURED PEKING IN 1644, CAUSING THE LAST MING EMPEROR TO
COMMIT SUICIDE. BUT THE “DASHING GENERAL” WAS MET BY TREACHERY AMONG
VARIOUS REBEL LEADERS WHO HAD HELPED SECURE HIS VICTORY. HE WAS FORCED TO
LEAVE AND LATER HUNTED DOWN AND KILLED. GENERAL WU SAN-KUEI WORKED WITH
THE SURVIVING MANCHU TO WIPE OUT THE LAST OF THE MINGS IN A 30-YEAR OPERATION.
NOW WE TURN TO THE JAPANESE, WHICH CONSISTS OF FOUR LARGE ISLANDS AND MANY
SMALLER ONES RISING OUT OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN TO THE EAST OF CHINA AND KOREA.
THEY LONG AGO NAMED THEIR LAND NIHON, OR NIPPON, “THE SOURCE OF THE SUN." THE
CHINESE, ON THE MAINLAND, NOTICED THAT THE SUN OFTEN APPEARED TO RISE FROM OUT
OF THE ISLANDS. THUS IT BECAME KNOWN AS THE “LAND OF THE RISING SUN.” JAPANESE
HISTORY GOES BACK TO 3,000 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST, TO PERIODS THAT ARCHEOLOGISTS
CALL THE TOMB CULTURE. IT BECAME A FORMAL NATION SOME 660 YEARS BEFORE
CHRIST, ALTHOUGH MUCH OF THIS PERIOD IS SHROUDED IN MYTH. THE GREEKS CREATED
MYTHOLOGIES, BUT THE JAPANESE SEEM TO HAVE REALLY BELIEVED THAT THEIR VARIOUS
SUN GODS AND GODDESSES WERE REAL PEOPLE WHO FORM THE HIERARCHY OF JAPANESE
ROYALTY. A SUN GODDESS NAMED AMATERASU AND A MISCHIEVOUS GOD NAMED
SUANO-O ROSE TOGETHER TO THE PLAIN OF HIGH HEAVEN, AND FROM THERE SPAWNED A
GROUP OF GODS AND GODDESSES WHO IN TURN SPAWNED FURTHER GRANDCHILDREN. ONE
OF THESE DESCENDANTS WAS JIMMU, OR “DIVINE WARRIOR.” HE RAISED AN ARMY OF
GODS AND SAILED UP THE INLAND SEA TO THE PLAIN AT THE OTHER END, ON HONSHU. IN
660 B.C. HE CONQUERED THE LOCAL GODS AND ESTABLISHED THE JAPANESE STATE IN THE
PART OF THE NARA PLAIN CALLED YAMATO. JIMMU’S DESCENDANTS HAVE RULED JAPAN
EVER SINCE.
VERY LITTLE IS KNOWN ABOUT JAPAN UNTIL 400 A.D., WHEN KOREAN SCRIBES WERE
BROUGHT IN AND BEGAN TO RECORD EVENTS. PEOPLE COULD SPEAK JAPANESE, BUT NOT
YET WRITE IT. THEIR RELIGION WAS SHINTO, BUT THIS WAS BASED ON THE MAN-GOD
CONCEPT. THEY GRADUALLY BORROWED BUDDHISM FROM THE CHINESE. SHINTO BECAME
A SPECIAL RELIGION RESERVED, FOR THE MOST PART, FOR HIGH ARISTOCRACY. FROM 587
TO 838 A.D., THE JAPANESE BRAVED HIGH WINDS TO SAIL TO CHINA AND LEARN THE ARTS
OF LITERATURE, MATHEMATICS, LANGUAGE, ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND ALL OTHER FORMS
OF SOCIETAL EVOLUTION. STUDENTS WERE SENT TO LEARN AND BRING BACK THE
KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY GAINED. THE RESULT WAS THE NARA GOVERNMENT, WHICH WAS
A SMALL-SCALE COPY OF THE T’ANG GOVERNMENT IN CHINA DURING THAT TIME.
BETWEEN THE NINTH AND 12TH CENTURIES, JAPAN DEVELOPED SLOWLY. OFFICIAL
KNOWLEDGE-GATHERING MISSIONS TO CHINA WERE ENDED, BECAUSE THE JAPANESE HAD
THEIR HANDS FULL IMPLEMENTING AND DIGESTING WHAT THEY HAD LEARNED UP TO THIS
POINT. THUS BEGAN A PERIOD KNOWN AS JAPANIFICATION. JAPAN WAS RIPE FOR TAKEOVER
FROM WITHIN OR WITHOUT, BUT THE CULTURE OF THE JAPANESE PEOPLE HAD DEVELOPED
TO THE POINT WHERE THEIR PEOPLE WERE RESPECTFUL AND NOT THE KIND OF FOLKS WHO
TENDED TO REBEL. THEIR ISOLATED ISLAND GEOGRAPHY ALSO MADE IT ALMOST
IMPOSSIBLE FOR INVADERS TO THREATEN THEM. EVEN IF SUCH AN INVASION WERE TO TAKE
PLACE, THE COUNTRY WAS SO MOUNTAINOUS THAT THE GOVERNMENT COULD PROBABLY
EVADE ATTACK. INVADERS WOULD HAVE DIFFICULTY NAVIGATING THE NATURAL TERRAIN
FOR FOOD AND RESOURCES.
CULTURE SPREAD IN JAPAN. WEALTHY PEOPLE MAINTAINED SCHOLARS IN THEIR EMPLOY
TO TEACH THEM HOW TO PATRONIZE THE ARTS. OF ALL THE KYOTO NOBLEMEN, THE
RICHEST WERE THE FUJIWARA FAMILY. FOR THREE CENTURIES MEMBERS OF THIS FAMILY
CONTROLLED JAPANESE GOVERNMENT. THE PERIOD 857 TO 1160 IS KNOWN AS THE
FUJIWARA PERIOD.
THE FUJIWARAS DID NOT BRIBE EMPERORS. HONOR AND LOYALTY, NOT CORRUPTION, WAS
RESPECTED IN JAPAN. THE FUJIWARAS GOT THEIR WAY BECAUSE THEY SUPPLIED BRIDES TO
THE EMPERORS. EVENTUALLY EMPEROR UDA TOOK EXCEPTION TO THE PRACTICE OF
“BRIDES FOR EMPERORS,” BECAUSE HE DID NOT WANT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO. A POWER
STRUGGLE BETWEEN UDA AND THE FUJIWARA FAMILY TOOK PLACE TOWARD THE END OF
       TH
THE 11    CENTURY. THE STRUGGLE LASTED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. THE RESULT WAS
THAT IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT LOST POWER.
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE AND POLITENESS HAD ENDED IN JAPAN. WHILE JAPANESE
ARISTOCRACY WAS DIVIDED, A SAMURAI CULTURE DEVELOPED IN WHICH BRAVERY WAS
COVETED ABOVE ALL. THE SAMURAI BEGAN AS PROTECTIVE GUARDS, HIRED BY THE
WEALTHY TO PROTECT THEIR ESTATES. IN TIME THEY DEVELOPED INTO A CULT ALL THEIR
OWN. LIKE THEIR COUNTERPARTS IN EUROPE, THE SAMURAI WORE COATS OF ARMOR, RODE
HORSEBACK, AND BECAME SKILLED WITH BOWS, ARROWS AND SWORDS. IN 1156, TWO
RIVAL ARMIES OF KNIGHTS CLASHED IN KYOTO. IT WAS A BLOODY CLASH, AND THE LOSING
SIDE WAS ALL EXECUTED. THESE KNIGHTS WERE NOT BUDDHISTS, AND WERE NOT
BURDENED BY THE MORAL QUANDARIES OF TAKING LIVES. MORE BLOODY BATTLES
ENSUED, ON THE KANTO PLAIN. IN 1192 A WARLORD NAMED YORIMOTO WAS NAMED
SEII-TAI-SHOGUN, “BARBARIAN-QUELLING GENERALISSIMO.” FOR THE NEXT SEVEN
CENTURIES, JAPAN WOULD HAVE TWO RULERS, AN EMPEROR AND A SHOGUN.
From 1203 to 1333, the emperor of Japan was supposedly running the country, but the
situation was complicated. The supposed ruler of Japan had lost control to a regent, who
had lost control to a retired emperor, whose power had been taken by a shogun, who lost
his power to a shikken.
THROUGH ALL OF THESE MACHINATIONS, THE HOJO FAMILY RULED JAPAN. IN 1266,
KUBLAI KHAN STARTED SENDING CHINESE AMBASSADORS TO JAPAN WITH DEMANDS THAT
THE EMPEROR PAY TRIBUTE. THE SHOGUNS REFUSED. IN 1274 KUBLAI SENT 25,000
MONGOL AND KOREAN TROOPS TO HAKATA BAY IN NORTH KYUSHU. THE JAPANESE, NOW
A WARRIOR NATION BECAUSE OF THE SHOGUNS, CUT THEM TO PIECES. THE CHINESE WERE
FORCED TO GET BACK IN THEIR SHIPS AND TAKE TO THE SEA IN THE MIDDLE OF A HOWLING
STORM.
KUBLAI SENT MORE CHINESE AMBASSADORS DEMANDING TRIBUTE. THE SHOGUNAL
REGENT HAD THEIR HEADS CHOPPED OFF. KUBLAI SENT 140,000 MONGOLS, CHINESE AND
KOREANS TO JAPAN IN 1281, POSSIBLY THE LARGEST ARMADA UNTIL D-DAY. THE
JAPANESE HAD BUILT A WALL AROUND HGAKATA BAY. THIS KEPT THE INVADERS PINNED
DOWN ON A NARROW STRIP OF BEACH. JAPANESE ARCHERS PICKED THEM OFF.
THE BATTLE WAGED FOR TWO MONTHS, UNTIL A TYPHOON DESTROYED MUCH OF THE
REMAINING MONGOL FLEET. THE SURVIVING FLEET ESCAPED TO CHINA. NEXT CAME
EMPEROR GO-DAIGO, WHO IN 1331 HAD A DISPUTE WITH HIS SON OVER WHO SHOULD
SUCCEED HIM. THE SHOGUNATE RULED AGAINST GO-DAIGO, SO GO-DAIGO BEGAN A
REBELLION. HE WAS CAPTURED AND EXILED, BUT A POWERFUL WARLORD BROUGHT HIM
BACK. IN 1333 THE KAMAKURA GENERAL SENT TO RE-CAPTURE HIM JOINED FORCES WITH
HIM INSTEAD. TOGETHER THEY TOOK KYOTO. ANOTHER TURNCOAT GENERAL JOINED IN,
AND THE HOJO FAMILY WAS EXTERMINATED.
THESE EVENTS BEGAN A PERIOD OF TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES OF UNREST, LASTING
FROM 1336 TO 1573. THE GENERAL WHO JOINED IN WITH THEM WAS ASHIKAGA TAKAIJI.
HE BECAME THE FOUNDER OF A NEW LINE OF SHOGUNS, THE ASHIKAGA SHOGUNS. THIS
SHOGUNATE LASTED FROM 1336 TO 1573, BUT THE OLD GENTEEL WAYS WERE NO MORE.
THEY WERE NOT EVEN-HANDED. AT FIRST CONSTANT FIGHTING BETWEEN SUPPORTERS AND
RIVAL EMPERORS MARKED THE REGIME. A BROKEN PROMISE BY ASHIKAGA WITH THE
YOSHINO EMPEROR ENDED THE GO-DAIGA’S HOPE FOR THE THRONE. JAPAN HAD ONE
EMPEROR NOW.
FROM 1392 TO 1467 THEY HELD RULE, BUT FROM 1467 TO 1573, DISASTER REIGNED UPON
THEM. A RUINOUS WAR BETWEEN WARLORDS STRIPPED THE ASHIKAGAS OF MUCH OF THEIR
POWER. AFTER ANOTHER CENTURY THE LAST ASHIKAGA WAS STRIPPED OF HIS TITLE, IN
1573. THE SHOGUNATES NO LONGER HELD POWER. THE POWER AND FACE OF JAPAN WAS
THAT OF ASSORTED WARLORDS, PIRATES, MERCHANTS,    BUDDHIST   MONKS, ARCHITECTS,
ACTORS, AND OTHERS.
PORTUGUESE TRADERS AND MISSIONARIES REACHED JAPAN IN THE 16TH CENTURY.
DESPITE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES, MANY JAPANESE CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY AFTER
MEETING THE EUROPEANS. THE SUCCESS OF CHRISTIANITY COMBINED WITH TRADE
CREATED JEALOUSY ON THE PART OF THE BUDDHISTS. THE WARLORDS WERE ANGERED AT
WHAT THEY SAW AS FOREIGN PROFIT AND EXPLOITATION OF JAPAN. THEY DECIDED TO CUT
JAPAN OFF FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD BY 1641.

AFTER ROME: IS WAR THE TRUE NATURE OF MAN?
       WE NOW MOVE BACK TO THE WEST IN OUR EXAMINATION OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
THE “BEGINNING OF HISTORY,” THAT IS, THE EFFORTS TO BREAK FROM THE ROMAN EMPIRE
AND CULTIVATE A HISTORY OF EUROPE APART FROM THAT EMPIRE. IT STARTS WITH THE
MOST SUCCESSFUL OPPONENTS OF THE ROMANS. THESE WERE THE VISIGOTHS, WHO WERE
GERMAN BARBARIANS. THE STUDY OF GERMANY HAS LED MANY TO CONCLUDE THAT
THERE IS A WARRING STRAIN THAT RUNS THROUGH GERMAN BLOOD. THIS HELPS
“EXPLAIN” GERMAN AGGRESSION THAT STARTED WORLD WARS I AND II. IF THIS WARRING
STRAIN IS REAL, THEN IT STARTS WITH THE VISIGOTHS. THE VISIGOTHS WERE NOT AS
CULTURED AS THE ROMANS. THEY DID NOT BUILD ROADS AND BUILDINGS, AND CREATE
ALLIANCES AND POLITICAL FACTIONS LIKE THE ROMANS. BUT FROM THE STANDPOINT OF
BRAVERY AND FIGHTING SKILL, EVEN THOUGH OUTNUMBERED, THEY WERE THE EQUAL OF
THE LEGION. IT HAS BEEN POINTED OUT THAT THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY CREATED A
SENSE OF PEACE AND LOVE THAT HELPED END THE ROMAN EMPIRE. THERE WAS STILL A
WILLINGNESS TO WAGE VIOLENT WAR. THE SAVAGERY OF THE VISIGOTHS CERTAINLY
PLAYED A KEY ROLE.
IN 378 A.D., THE VISIGOTHS MET THE ROMANS AT ADRIANOPLE AND KILLED 40,000 IN A
LIGHTNING “SNEAK ATTACK.” AMONG THE DEAD WERE THE GRAND MASTER OF THE
INFANTRY AND CAVALRY, THE COUNT OF THE PALACE, 35 COMMANDERS OF HORSE AND
FOOT CORPS, AND EMPEROR VALENS. IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END.
ROME CONTROLLED ITALY, SPAIN, GAUL (MODERN FRANCE), SWITZERLAND, BELGIUM,
LARGE SWATHS OF BRITAIN, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, THE BALKANS, GREECE, ASIA MINOR,
THE NEAR EAST, EGYPT, AND NORTH AFRICA. LEGIONS GUARDED THE COLONIES. ROMAN
JUSTICE PREVAILED IN THE COURTS. ROMAN CUSTOM WAS ADMIRED AND COPIED. A
SUCCESSION OF WEAK EMPERORS HAD NOT BROKEN THE EMPIRE. THE VISIGOTHS WERE
JUST ONE OF A NUMBER OF TRIBES, RECOGNIZED AS EARLY AS 50 B.C. BY JULIUS CAESAR,
TO BE DANGEROUS. THE STATED POLICY OF ROME IN THE YEARS HENCE HAD BEEN TO KEEP
THE TRIBES OF OSTROGOTHS, FRANKS, ALEMANNI, BURGUNDIANS, LOMBARDS, AND
VANDALS FROM EVER CROSSING THE RHINE OR THE DANUBE RIVERS. THE VARIOUS
BARBARIAN TRIBES MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABSORBED INTO THE EMPIRE IF NOT FOR A SAVAGE
NOMAD GROUP, THE HUN. THE HUN SWEPT WEST FROM THE ASIAN STEPPES, POURING
ACROSS CHINA, CENTRAL ASIA, RUSSIA AND INTO EUROPE. ATTILA WAS THEIR LEADER. IT
WAS THE HUN WHO SCARED THE VISIGOTHS THE MOST. TO ESCAPE THEM, THEY ASKED
EMPEROR VALENS IF THEY COULD SETTLE IN THE EMPIRE. HE TOLD THEM THEY COULD
COME IN THROUGH NORTHERN GREECE, BUT THEY HAD TO PROVIDE HOSTAGES AND
SURRENDER THEIR ARMS. BUT BRIBES OF ROMAN OFFICIALS LEFT THE VISIGOTHS WITH A
CACHE OF WEAPONS. WHEN THE ROMANS CHEATED THEM BY CHARGING HIGH FOOD
PROCESS, THE VISIGOTHS REBELLED.
THE VISIGOTHS UNDER ALARIC ATTACKED CONSTANTINOPLE, FAILED, BUT THEN
MARCHED ON ITALY. MEANWHILE, THE VANDALS, HAVING RAVAGED GAUL, ATTACKED
SPAIN. THE FRANKS, BURGUNDIANS AND ALEMANNI SPREAD THROUGHOUT GERMANY AND
GAUL. ROME WAS BEING ENCIRCLED. CHRISTIANITY, BY NOW THE OFFICIAL RELIGION OF
THE ROMANS FOR ABOUT A CENTURY, WAS QUESTIONED. MUCH HAND WRINGING AMONG
CHURCH OFFICIALS CONCERNED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THEY HAD COMMITTED SINS
THAT WERE NOW COMING BACK TO HAUNT THEM.
ALARIC SACKED ROME IN 410, BUT DIED A YEAR LATER. UNABLE TO OCCUPY THE CITY, A
DEAL WAS WORKED IN WHICH THE VISIGOTHS WERE GIVEN SOUTH CENTRAL GAUL.
EVENTUALLY THEY SPREAD TO SPAIN. IN 455, ROME WAS AGAIN ATTACKED AND BURNED,
THIS TIME BY THE VANDALS. THE VANDALS DESTROYED SO MANY PRICELESS WORKS OF
ART AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS THAT THE TERM “VANDALS” IS ASCRIBED TO THEM. FRONTIER
TERRITORIES WERE BROKEN UP. THE LOMBARDS HELD THE NORTHERN AREA OF ITALY, THE
VISIGOTHS SPAIN AND SOUTHERN GAUL, SALIEN FRANKS HAD CENTRAL AND NORTHERN
GAUL. TO THE EAST OF THEM THE RIPAURIAN FRANKS AND THE ALEMMANI CONTROLLED
THE TERRITORY. THE RHINE FELL TO THE BURGUNDIANS. NORTH AFRICA, THE LAND OF
GENERAL HANNIBAL, WAS IN VANDAL CONTROL.
SAVAGE PICTS, SCOTS AND SAXONS OVERRAN BRITAIN. THE BRITONS WERE UNABLE TO
DEFEND THEMSELVES. CENTRAL ROMAN CONTROL DISAPPEARED, AND WITH IT THE
ECONOMY. THE ROADS WERE IN DISREPAIR, COMMERCE AND TRADE WERE AT A
STANDSTILL, AND ENTIRE TOWNS AND PROVINCES WERE ABANDONED. FAMILIES WERE
MASSACRED, CROPS ROTTED, SCHOOLS SHUT DOWN, AND CHURCHES CEASED HOLDING
SERVICES. BRITONS ESCAPED TO THE MOUNTAINS OF WALES, OR BRITTANY.
BRIGANDS ROAMED THE COUNTRYSIDE THROUGHOUT THE EMPIRE. STARVATION ENSUED.
THE DARK AGES, TO LAST FOR 400 YEARS, WERE UPON EUROPE. AMID ALL OF THIS
CARNAGE, THE SALIAN FRANKS CROWNED A KING. CLOVIS RULED OVER PEOPLE WHO HAD
SETTLED IN CENTRAL AND NORTHERN GAUL. AFTER HIS CROWNING, CLOVIS SET OUT TO
CONQUER, THEN UNITE A COUNTRY THAT MADE UP THE BASIS OF MODERN FRANCE. HE
CHANGED THE RELIGION OF THESE PEOPLE FROM GERMAN PAGANISM TO CHRISTIANITY.
WHEN THAT HAPPENED HE GAINED THE SUPPORT OF THE CHRISTIAN POPULATIONS OF
WESTERN EUROPE AND THE CHURCH HIERARCHY.
CHRISTIANITY SAVED AND RE-FORMED EUROPE. BEAUTIFUL MONASTERIES WERE BUILT.
CHRISTIAN WRITINGS WERE TRANSLATED INTO VARIOUS LANGUAGES, COPIED BY HAND.
MOST KINGS WERE UNABLE TO READ OR WRITE. THE ONLY ONES WHO COULD READ AND
WRITE WERE SCHOLARLY MONKS OR PRIESTS. THEY BECAME IMPORTANT ADVISORS.
CHARLES MARTEL, KNOWN AS “THE HAMMER,” TRIED TO UNITE FRANKISH NOBLES UNDER
HIS LEADERSHIP, BUT HE WAS RESISTED. THE POPE SUPPORTED HIM, THOUGH, AND IN 752
HIS SON, PEPIN, AT SOISSON, WAS CROWNED. THE FIRST WESTERN KING ANOINTED BY A
POPE WAS THE TRUE FOUNDER OF THE CAROLINGIAN DYNASTY. HIS SON, CHARLEMAGNE
WOULD EMERGE AS THE GREATEST EUROPEAN LEADER SINCE JULIUS CAESAR.
CHARLEMAGNE WAS OF GERMAN ANCESTRY, AND HE HAD A GERMANS’ FIGHTING SPIRIT.
HE IGNITED 54 CAMPAIGNS AGAINST THE LOMBARDS, THE SAXONS, THE FRISIANS, THE
DANES, THE AVARS, THE SALVS, THE GASCONS, AND THE MOSLEMS OF SPAIN AND
SOUTHERN ITALY. HIS WARS EXTENDED AND DEFENDED FRENCH LAND, CREATING
FURTHER CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS.
CHARLEMAGNE’S ARMY FELL IN SPAIN, WHERE HE HAD HOPED TO PUSH THE SARACEN
MOSLEMS OUT. IN 778 HE LED TWO ARMIES OVER THE PYRENEES, BUT FAILED TO CAPTURE
SRAGOSSA. HIS REAR GUARD WAS DESTROYED BY BASQUES. EVENTUALLY,
CHARLEMAGNE MADE ANOTHER “SPANISH MARCH,” AND WAS ABLE TO ENCIRCLE AN
EMPIRE UNDER HIS CONTROL. HE WAS CROWNED BY POPE LEI III AND BECAME EMPEROR
OF WHAT WOULD COME TO BE KNOWN AS THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. THIS ESSENTIALLY
WAS THE NEW VATICAN-CONTROLLED CATHOLIC CHURCH. DESPITE HIS LONG MILITARY
TRACK RECORD, CHARLEMAGNE WAS A STRICT CHRISTIAN. HE DEVISED LAWS
THROUGHOUT HIS LANDS INTENDED TO INSTILL JUSTICE AND REDUCE CORRUPTION.
THE SYSTEM THAT DEVELOPED WAS ONE IN WHICH THE KING, WHO DIVIDED THEM UP
AMONG NOBLEMEN, CONTROLLED LAND. THE WORKERS OF THE LAND WERE CALLED SERFS.
THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE FREEMEN, BUT THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM FORCED THEM TO PAY
THE NOBLEMEN AND THEY RARELY ASCENDED ABOVE SERFDOM. THEY COULD BE CALLED
INTO MILITARY SERVICE AND FEW EVER ESCAPED THEIR BURDENS. THIS SYSTEM CAME TO
BE KNOWN AS FEUDALISM.
FEUDALISM HAD DEVASTATING ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES ON THE COUNTRY, AND THE
RESULT WAS IN FIGHTING AND A CIVIL WAR, WHICH RESULTED IN CHARLEMAGNE’S
DESCENDANTS DIVIDING THE NATION. LOTHAIR BECAME EMPEROR AFTER THE TREATY OF
VERDUN. THE THREE REGIONS THAT HAD BEEN DIVIDED INCLUDED THE EAST-FRANKISH
KINGDOM (GERMANY), THE WEST-FRANKISH KINGDOM (FRANCE), AND THE MIDDLE
KINGDOM (ROME, NORTHERN ITALY). THE TREATY OF VERDUN ENDED A UNIFIED EUROPE.
FROM 8       14 TO 1042, NORSE VIKINGS ATTACKED BRITAIN SO SAVAGELY THAT
STANDARD PRAYERS IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND CALLED FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THE
“NORTHMEN” ALL THE WAY INTO THE 20TH CENTURY. THE VIKINGS WERE FINALLY
DRIVEN OUT OF CATHOLIC IRELAND BY THE IRISH CHIEFTAIN BRIAN OF MUNSTER AT
DUBLIN. THE VIKINGS FINALLY BECAME A CHRISTIAN PEOPLE IN 1000 IN ICELAND. DANISH
VIKINGS TOOK OVER EASTERN ENGLAND AND A DANE SAT ON THE THRONE, BUT IN 871
KING ALFRED THE GREAT OF WESSEX, THE WEST-SAXON KINGDOM, UNITED HIS PEOPLE IN
STOPPING THE DANES AND PUSHING THEM OUT OF MOST OF BRITAIN. THEY SETTLED IN
EASTERN BRITAIN, AN AREA KNOWN FOR SOME TIME AS DANELAW. IN 940, KING
ATHELSTAN SUCCEEDED IN WINNING DANELAW BACK INTO BRITISH HANDS, BUT THE
DANES CAME BACK IN 980. FOR YEARS AFTER, THE DANES RAIDED THE BRITISH. IN 1016
THEY REGAINED THE THRONE, BUT THE BRITISH WOULD NOT GIVE IN. IN 1042 THEY WON
THE COUNTRY BACK AGAIN UNDER EDWARD THE CONFESSOR.
THE VIKINGS, TIRED OF BRITISH RESISTANCE, INVADED PARIS AND TRIED FOR 10 MONTHS
TO STARVE THE CITY. CHARLES THE FAT BOUGHT THE NORSEMEN OFF BY GIVING THEM
BURGUNDY, EARNING THE HATRED OF BURGUNDY. THE VIKINGS, WHO MUST LIKED THE
MILD TEMPERATURES, ATTRACTIVE WOMEN AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF WESTERN
EUROPE, REFUSED TO RETURN TO THEIR FROZEN HOMELAND. THEY SETTLED IN
NORMANDY. CHRISTIANITY TURNED THEM FROM SAVAGES INTO CITIZENS. WITHIN 100
YEARS, THE NORSEMEN WERE FRENCHMEN.
IN AN EFFORT TO SLAUGHTER NON-BELIEVERS, MOSLEMS FROM NORTH AFRICA, CRETE
AND SOUTHERN SPAIN POURED INTO FRANCE AND ITALY IN 1849. THEY WERE TURNED
BACK IN MOST OF THEIR EFFORTS, BUT MANAGED TO HOLD SICILY FOR TWO CENTURIES.
THE MOORS, AS THEY WERE KNOWN, WERE HUMANIZED IN SHAKESPEARE'S “OTHELLO”.
WARS, INTERNAL STRUGGLES, FEUDAL DISPUTES AND GREAT CONFLICTS CREATED THE
“CASTLE  AND MANOR” PERIOD OF 900 TO 1300. LORDS BUILT CASTLES TO KEEP
THEMSELVES SAFE FROM THE HORDES. HUNTING AND FARMING TECHNIQUES IMPROVED.
THE KNIGHTS AND NOBLES WERE CREATED OUT OF A NEW CODE OF CHIVALRY. BRAVE
SOLDIERS WHO FOUGHT TO KEEP SAFE THEIR PEOPLE FROM INVADERS WERE HONORED. THE
KNIGHTS PUT ON EXTRAVAGANT TOURNAMENTS, THE ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
COLLOSEUM GAMES, WHILE FAIRS WERE ESTABLISHED TO BRING THE PEOPLE TOGETHER
FOR TRADE AND AMUSEMENT.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD BECOME THE PERVASIVE, ALL-POWERFUL COMMON
DENOMINATOR OF GOVERNMENTS AND NATIONS. IN 1077 IN TUSCANY, HENRY IV,
EMPEROR OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, HAD TO BEG POPE GREGORY TO LIFT HIS
EX-COMMUNICATION OF HIM IN ORDER TO RESTORE HIS POWER. THE CHURCH HAD
STRIPPED THAT POWER BECAUSE HENRY DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THE POPE’S AUTHORITY
TO APPOINT HIS OWN BISHOPS.
HENRY’S BEGGING FOR FORGIVENESS LIFTED HIS EX-COMMUNICATION. HE THEN REVERTED
TO HIS USURPATION OF PAPAL AUTHORITY, WHICH HAD BEEN THE CENTRAL CONFLICT OF
FEUDAL GERMANY, DOMINATING THE POLITICS OF THE REGION FROM 936 TO 1250. THUS
NO LONGER BANNED FROM THE CHURCH, HENRY RETURNED TO ITALY AND SUPPORTED
DUKE RUDOLPH OF SERBIA AGAINST GREGORY. BUT DUKE RANDOLPH REFUSED TO TURN
AGAINST POPE GREGORY. GREGORY LED AN ARMY TO ROME, DRIVING GREGORY INTO
EXILE.
STRUGGLES BETWEEN GERMAN KINGS AND POPES CONTINUED FOR MANY YEARS. IN 1122,
A COMPROMISE WAS DRAWN UP. THE CONCORDAT GAVE THE CHURCH THE RIGHT TO NAME
ITS OWN BISHOPS AND ARCHBISHOPS. KINGS KEPT THE RIGHT TO INVEST THEM WITH THEIR
LANDS AND FIEFS. IN 1152, FREDERICK I OF THE HOHENSTAUFENS BECAME GERMAN
EMPEROR. HIS SON, HENRY, WAS MARRIED TO CONSTANCE, HEIRESS TO THE THRONE OF
THE OLD NORMAN KINGS. THIS ADDED ITALY AND SICILY TO HIS EMPIRE. GERMAN
MONARCHS CONTROLLED ROME AND THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE AFTER HIS DEATH, UNTIL
ITALY BROKE AWAY IN THE 13TH CENTURY.
IN FEUDAL FRANCE, CHARLEMAGNE’S EMPIRE BECAME WEAK AFTER HIS DEATH. AFTER
SOME YEARS BEGAN THE LINE OF CAPETIAN KINGS. THEY WORKED OUT A DEAL WITH THE
CHURCH WHICH KEPT THEIR SUPPORT OF FRENCH MONARCHY AGAINST FEUDAL LORDS FOR
HUNDREDS OF YEARS. TO THE EXTENT THAT FRANCE WAS A COUNTRY, THIS NOTION WAS
VAGUELY DEFINED. THE CHURCH AND THE VARIOUS EMPIRES THAT HAD RISEN IN THE
AFTERMATH OF THE BREAKUP OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE HAD CREATED CONTROLLED LANDS
MORE THAN INDIVIDUAL GOVERNMENTS CONTROLLING COUNTRIES. FOR INSTANCE, THE ILE
DE FRANCE WAS A SMALL, COMPACT AREA SURROUNDING PARIS. LAWLESS VASSALS
CONTROLLED IT UNTIL KING LOUIS VI BROUGHT THEM TO JUSTICE.
  IN 1066, WILLIAM, THE DUKE OF NORMANDY, CROSSED THE ENGLISH CHANNEL AND
CONQUERED ENGLAND, NAMING HIMSELF KING. IN 1151 THE GRANDSON OF AN
ENGLISHMAN NAMED HENRY BECAME DUKE OF NORMANDY, INHERITING THE FRENCH
DUCHIES OF ANJOU, MAINE AND TOURRAINE. HIS ESTATES WERE BIGGER THAN THE
EXISTING KINGDOM OF FRANCE. IN 1137, KING LOUIS VII MARRIED ELEANOR OF
AQUITAINE. THEY DIVORCED IN 1152 AND SHE MARRIED HENRY. THIS SHIFTED GREAT
POWER TO HENRY. A YEAR LATER HE WAS NAMED KING OF ENGLAND AND CALLED
HIMSELF HENRY II. HE NOW CONTROLLED ALMOST TWO-THIRDS OF FRANCE. VERY
COMPLICATED.
HENRY    FOUNDED A LINE OF ENGLISH KINGS KNOWN AS ANGEVIN KINGS, BUT FOR 300
MORE YEARS THE CAPETIAN LINE HELD THEIR POWER BASES. EVENTUALLY THE ANGEVINS
WERE PUSHED OUT OF FRANCE. IT WAS DURING THIS TIME THAT THE REAL FRENCH NATION
WAS CREATED. PHILLIP AUGUSTUS, THE SON OF LOUIS VII, TOOK THE THRONE AT THE AGE
OF 14 AND REIGNED FOR 44 YEARS.
RICHARD THE LION-HEARTED WAS THE FIRST OF HENRY’S SONS TO BECOME KING OF
ENGLAND. PHILLIP AND RICHARD JOINED THE CRUSADES, JOURNEYING TO THE HOLY LAND
IN THE EFFORT TO BRING CHRISTIANITY, ONCE AND FOR, TO THE MIDDLE EAST. PHILLIP
THEN RETURNED TO FRANCE AND FOUND HIMSELF EMBROILED IN INTERNECINE FAMILY
FEUDS. HE SURVIVED THEM AND ENLARGED HIS TERRITORIES. HE WELCOMED
CONSTRUCTION OF TOWNS AND MONUMENTS. PHILLIP’S GREATEST POPULARITY, WHICH HE
CULTIVATED, CAME FROM RURAL TOWNS THAT HE BUILT, MORE SO THAN PARIS ITSELF. HE
BUILT A 28-FOOT HIGH WALL AROUND THE CITY. HE BEGAN CONSTRUCTION OF THE
LOUVRE, A PALACE WHERE FRENCH KINGS WOULD LIVE FOR CENTURIES. BORDER AND
                                                                               TH
TERRITORY SQUABBLES ENSUED WITH THE ENGLISH. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 13
CENTURY, ONLY AQUITAINE, SOUTH OF LOIRE RIVER, REMAINED IN ENGLISH HANDS.
VARIOUS RELIGIOUS SECTS WERE ALSO PUT DOWN AS HERETICS IF THEY DIFFERED IN THEIR
VIEWS FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
PHILLIP’S GRANDSON, LOUIS IX, TOOK THE THRONE IN 1226. HE WAS THE ONLY MONARCH
OF THE MIDDLE AGES WHO PRACTICED CHRISTIANITY NOT JUST SYMBOLICALLY, BUT AS A
HUMBLE MAN. HE DID NOT SWEAR OR GAMBLE, ATE AND DRANK SIMPLE MEALS, AND
EXPRESSED GREAT CONCERN FOR HIS SUBJECTS. HIS LOVE OF PEACE DID NOT STOP HIM
FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE CRUSADES. IN 1248, HE WENT TO THE HOLY LAND BUT WAS
CAPTURED BY THE TURKS. HE WAS RETURNED FOR A “KING’S RANSOM.” HE MADE A
SECOND CRUSADE IN 1270, BUT DIED WHILE ON CAMPAIGN. THE CHURCH MADE HIM A
SAINT IN 1297.
ENGLISH HISTORY IS AT ONCE VIOLENT, BRILLIANT, STRANGE, AND WONDERFUL. IT IS
FILLED WITH AMAZING TURNS OF EVENTS THAT MAY HAVE THE READER SAYING THINGS
LIKE, “I NEVER KNEW THAT.” IT IS A COUNTRY THAT HAS EMERGED FROM CONQUEST, AND
ITS FIRST MAJOR PERIOD WAS 1066 TO 1265.
ON OCTOBER 14, 1066, A NEW ERA IN ENGLISH HISTORY BEGAN WITH THE BATTLE OF
HASTINGS. THE BATTLE WAS ONE OF AMBITION. DUKE WILLIAM OF NORMANDY WAS OUT
TO WIN A KINGDOM. HE WAS THE SON OF A VIKING PIRATE CHIEF, WHICH IS PART OF THE “I
NEVER KNEW THAT” PART OF THE WEIRD HISTORY OF EUROPE, AND OF ENGLAND
PARTICULARLY. THROUGH ARRANGED MARRIAGES, ACCIDENTS OF BIRTH, OR
RE-LOCATIONS, PEOPLE FROM ONE COUNTRY FOUND THEMSELVES KINGS OF OTHER
COUNTRIES. STRANGE DIALECTS AND ACCENTS PREVAILED. NAMES INDICATED ONE
NATIONALITY WHILE BELONGING TO PEOPLE OF ANOTHER.
WILLIAM INHERITED THE DUCHY OF NORMANDY IN 1035. HE SAW IN ENGLAND A LOOSELY
KNIT, RURAL LAND, STILL REELING FROM VIKING RAIDS. RIPE FOR THE PICKING.
ANGLO-SAXON CHIEFS HAD BEEN ABSORBED BY KING CANUTE. EDWARD THE CONFESSOR
WAS A WEAK RULER, SO HAROLD GOODWINSON SEIZED POWER. DUKE WILLIAM THEN
CROSSED THE CHANNEL WITH 5,000 MEN, LANDING ON PEVENSEY BEACH. HE FACED NO
NAVAL FORCE BECAUSE THE MEN WHO MADE UP THE ENGLISH NAVY WERE LANDOWNERS
WHO TIRED OF WAITING FOR THE BATTLE. THEY HAD GONE HOME FOR THE FALL HARVEST.
KING HAROLD’S MEN BLOCKED THE ROAD AND MET HIM SIX MILES FROM THE TOWN OF
HASTINGS. THEY FOUGHT A BATTLE THAT SAW MANY TWISTS AND TURNS. JUST BEFORE
NIGHT FELL, HE WAS KILLED AND THE NINE-HOUR FIGHT WAS OVER, WON BY THE NORMAN
INVADERS.
WILLIAM LED THE NORMANS TO LONDON. THE PEOPLE THERE SURRENDERED UPON HIS
ARRIVAL. MANY NOBLES EVEN WELCOMED HIM. ON CHRISTMAS DAY, 1066, HE WAS
CROWNED KING. UNDER HIS ROLE, THE FEUDAL SYSTEM PREVAILED, BUT HE MAINTAINED A
STRONG HAND. HE ALSO STRUCK A DEAL THAT WAS VERY IMPORTANT. HE GAINED
CONTROL OVER THE CHURCH, ABLE TO APPOINT BISHOPS AND ABBOTS. NOBLES AND COURT
MEMBERS IN WILLIAM’S COURT SPOKE FRENCH (“I DIDN’T KNOW THAT”), BUT THE
COUNTRYMEN SPOKE WHAT WAS CALLED ANGLO-SAXON. GRADUALLY, FRENCH AND
ANGLO-SAXON MERGED AND BECAME MIDDLE ENGLISH.
WILLIAM ORDERED THE “DOMESDAY BOOK”, A COMPILATION OF HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
IT CONTAINED AN INVALUABLE SOCIAL RECORD OF THE COUNTRIES' TREASURES. HE
CHANGED ENGLISH HISTORY, BUT IN 1087 AT THE AGE OF 64 HE WAS KILLED IN A
HORSE-RIDING ACCIDENT. HIS SON, WILLIAM THE RED, WAS A POOR RULER AND WAS
ASSASSINATED IN 1100. HIS BROTHER, HENRY I, TOOK OVER AND ORGANIZED THE
CHANCERY, AND THE EXCHEQUER (TREASURY DEPARTMENT). BETWEEN WILLIAM AND
HENRY, ENGLAND HAD DEVISED EFFECTIVE METHODS TO COLLECT TAXES, DETERMINE
WEALTH, AND MAINTAIN ACCURATE ACCOUNTING RECORDS. AFTER HENRY'S DEATH IN
1135, HOWEVER, THERE WAS A POWER VACUUM AND THE NOBLES BROUGHT IN A PERIOD OF
UNREST LASTING 19 YEARS.
IN 1154, HENRY PLANTAGENET OF ANJOU BECAME KING. HE WAS THE MAN WHO MARRIED
ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE AFTER HER DIVORCE FROM LOUIS VII OF FRANCE. EARLY IN HIS
REIGN, HE APPOINTED THOMAS BECKET, AN EDUCATED CHURCHMAN, AS HIS CHANCELLOR.
BECKETT WAS AN INDISPENSABLE MEMBER OF THE REALM. HE EARNED A PROMOTION TO
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND. HENRY HOPED TO
CONTROL THE CHURCH. BECKET, HIS CLOSE FRIEND – A HUNTING AND DRINKING BUDDY –
TOOK HIS CHURCH LOYALTIES SERIOUSLY, HOWEVER. AT THE HEART OF THE
DISAGREEMENT THAT DIVIDED THEM WAS THE RIGHT OF THE CHURCH TO PLACE
CLERGYMEN ON TRIAL IN ITS OWN COURTS, PUNISHMENT, AND PAPAL APPEALS.
A SIX-YEAR STRUGGLE FOR CONTROL FINALLY RESULTED IN BECKET FLEEING TO FRANCE.
HENRY THEN SENT WORD THAT THE POPE HAD ASKED THEM TO MAKE PEACE, AND BECKET
RETURNED. THE ARGUMENTS STARTED RIGHT UP AGAIN.
“WHAT COWARDS I HAVE ABOUT ME THAT NO ONE WILL DELIVER ME FROM THIS LOWBORN
PRIEST,” CRIED HENRY.
FOUR OF HENRY’S KNIGHTS THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS A CODED MESSAGE ORDERING
BECKET TO BE KILLED. THEY FOUND BECKET CELEBRATING MASS AT THE HIGH ALTAR IN
THE CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL. WITH THEIR SWORDS THEY MURDERED HIM. HENRY WAS
HORRIFIED BY THE NEWS. HIS WORDS HAD BEEN UTTERED IN PAIN AND FRUSTRATION, BUT
WERE NOT ORDERS FOR A “HIT.” THE CHURCH INTERVENED, PLACING THE DUCHY OF
NORMANDY UNDER INTERDICT, WHICH HAD THE VIRTUAL EFFECT OF PLACING ALL THE
PEOPLE THERE IN EXCOMMUNICATION. HENRY THEN HAD TO DO THE SAME THING THE
GERMAN KING HENRY HAD BEEN FORCED TO DO. HE JOURNEYED TO CANOSSA AND
BEGGED CHURCH FORGIVENESS AND THE LIFTING OF HIS EXCOMMUNICATION. THE
ENGLISH HENRY WENT BEFORE THE CHURCH, BORE HIS BACK, AND ALLOWED HIMSELF TO
BE FLOGGED BY A MONK BEFORE THE HIGH ALTAR. HE AGREED TO ALLOW THE CHURCH TO
PUT ON TRIAL AND PUNISH ITS CLERGY, AND THAT THE CLERGY WOULD HAVE RIGHT OF
PAPAL APPEAL.
BECKET WAS CANONIZED WITHIN TWO YEARS, HIS PLACE OF DEATH – THE CANTERBURY
CATHEDRAL – A PLACE OF PILGRIMAGE. KING HENRY VIII LATER HAD IT DESTROYED. THE
REST OF HENRY’S REIGN WAS TURBULENT AND SHROUDED BY SHAME. HIS SON, RICHARD
THE LION-HEARTED, ASCENDED TO THE THRONE. IN HIS 10-YEAR REIGN, HE WAS KNOWN AS
A COURAGEOUS BATTLEFIELD WARRIOR. DOMESTICALLY, THOUGH, ENGLAND SUFFERED
DURING HIS REIGN. RICHARD, AS MENTIONED EARLIER, WENT ON THE CRUSADE TO FREE
JERUSALEM FROM SALADIN. UPON HIS RETURN HE WAS CAPTURED BY LEOPOLD OF
AUSTRIA, WHO TURNED HIM OVER TO HENRY IV OF GERMANY, AN ALLY OF PHILLIP
AUGUSTUS OF FRANCE. TAXES HAD TO BE LEVIED ON THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND TO PAY THE
RANSOM DEMAND. AS SOON AS HE WAS RELEASED AND CAME BACK TO ENGLAND,
RICHARD BEGAN PLANS FOR WAR WITH FRANCE. HE LED ENGLAND IN SIEGE, BUT WAS
KILLED IN BATTLE.
RICHARD’S BROTHER, JOHN, TOOK OVER IN 1199. HE WAS NOT TO BE TRUSTED. EVENTS
OCCURRED DURING HIS REIGN, HOWEVER, THAT HAD THE EFFECT OF BEING A SILVER LINING
WITHIN A DARK CLOUD. MOST OF THE ENGLISH POSSESSIONS OF FRANCE WERE LOST,
EVENTS THAT HAD BEEN SET IN MOTION BY HIS NOW-DECEASED BROTHER. THESE EVENTS
SEEMED CALAMITOUS AT THE TIME. HOWEVER, IT HAD THE EFFECT OF GETTING THE
GOVERNMENT TO CONCENTRATE ON DEVELOPING THEIR DOMESTIC ECONOMY, INSTEAD OF
OVERSEEING LANDS ACROSS THE CHANNEL. THE RESULT WAS THAT THE ECONOMY GREW.
THE ENGLISH CHARACTER WAS SHAPED, TRANSFORMING THE POPULATION FROM SAXONS
OR NORMANS INTO ENGLISHMEN.
THE ENGLISH POPULATION, DISCONTENTED BY JOHN’S LEADERSHIP AND THE HEAVY TAX
BURDEN THAT STARTED WHEN THEY HAD TO RANSOM HIS OLDER BROTHER, DEMANDED
CIVIL LIBERTIES. THE NOBLES AND THE CHURCH BEGAN TO FORM A PLAN. EVENTUALLY
THEY PRESENTED KING JOHN WITH A PETITION CALLED THE MAGNA CARTA. ON JUNE 15,
1215, IT WAS AFFIXED BY HIS SEAL IN A MEADOW OUTSIDE LONDON CALLED RUNNYMEDE.
THE DOCUMENT CONTAINED 63 SEPARATE CHAPTERS, GRANTING CERTAIN RIGHTS TO THE
PEOPLE AND LIMITED ROYAL POWER.
“No free men shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed, or outlawed or banished, or in
any way destroyed…except by the legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny, or delay the right or justice,” was its most
important statement. The Magna Carta was of benefit to English nobility, and
foreshadowed an English constitution. King John acknowledged in signing it that the
King was subject to the law. Still, rebellion did follow. John had to put it down. He died
apparently after drinking too much cider. His son, Henry III, became King. Nobleman
Simon de Montfort called representatives together in 1265. The result was England’s first
parliament.
England’s Magna Carta and the formation of a political system were the result of several
things. The Democratic philosophies of the Greeks, which had great influence even on
the Roman Senate, had spread throughout Europe. The break-up of the Roman Empire
had given individual countries the desire for self-rule. But the Christian church was the
most influential factor. Again, the power of Christ would prove to be more powerful than
armies and kings.
An example of the power of the Church occurred in Chartres, France in 1134, when the
cathedral burned down. Bishop Theodoric rose large sums of money to re-build it. In so
doing he won the support of the people and nobles alike.
“…Kings, princes, mighty men of the world puffed up with honors and riches, men and
women of noble birth,” an eyewitness wrote, helped in the work and pulled wagons. The
building of the church at Chartres is said to have caused “peace,"
 in which "hatred is soothed, discord is driven away, debts are forgiven, unity is
restored.” This single incident, which was identical to similar incidents all over the
Christian world, tells the story of how this remarkable religion had more to do with the
formation of Democracy than any other event or force. When the cathedral at Chartres
burned down again 14 years later, the same process repeated itself. It remained a
masterpiece of Gothic architecture and monument to faith in the Middle Ages. Statues,
icons and great buildings depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary, the disciples, prophets,
angels, devils, kings and queens were erected.
At the heart of the power of the Catholic Church was the teaching that Adam had sinned
and been cast out of the Garden of Eden. All Mankind was tainted by original sin. Man
was helpless to save himself, but grace and salvation came with the death of Christ. The
Seven Sacraments bestowed grace on humans: Baptism, confirmation, penance, the
Eucharist, or Lord’s supper, extreme unction, and holy orders. Failure to obey “God’s
law” resulted in excommunication of individuals, or interdict of entire communities,
which condemned souls to hell.
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ACHIEVED A COMPLETELY INTERNATIONAL, OR UNIVERSAL,
POWER. IT OPERATED ON ITS OWN FINANCIAL SYSTEM AND LAWS, NOT SUBJECT TO THOSE
OF ANY SINGLE COUNTRY. ST. PETER HAD BEEN THE FIRST POPE. ROME WAS THE ACCEPTED
CENTER OF CATHOLICISM. BELOW THE POPE WERE CARDINALS, AND BELOW THEM
ARCHBISHOPS. THEY HEADED ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCES. PROVINCES WERE DIVIDED BY
DIOCESES, HEADED BY BISHOPS. THESE CLERGY MEMBERS WERE USUALLY THE MOST
EDUCATED MEMBERS OF COMMUNITIES. THIS MADE THEM POWERFUL POLITICAL FIGURES
AND INDISPENSABLE ADVISORS TO NOBLES, KINGS AND MILITARY LEADERS. THE GREAT
STRUGGLE OF THE MIDDLE AGES WAS BETWEEN POPES AND KINGS, AND THE RIGHTS TO
APPOINT BISHOPS.
THE BENEDICTINE ORDER WAS FOUNDED IN 529 AT MONTE CASSINO, ITALY. THIS
MONASTERY WAS STILL IN OPERATION WHEN THE NAZIS OCCUPIED IT DURING WORLD WAR
II, AND AMERICAN CATHOLIC FIGHTER PILOTS HAD TO BOMB THE PLACE IN ORDER TO
DRIVE THE GERMANS OUT. THE BENEDICTINES GAVE PURPOSE TO THE MONK MOVEMENT, A
SECT OF CATHOLICISM BASED ON INWARD DEVOTION AND MEDITATION NOT UNLIKE THE
HINDU’S. REFORM MOVEMENTS INVOLVING THE MONKS OCCURRED IN 910 IN CLUNY AND
AGAIN IN 1112, WHEN THE CISTERCIAN ORDER PREACHED THE SECOND CRUSADE.
                                TH
THE FRIARS  APPEARED IN THE 13     CENTURY, THEY RELIED ON CHARITY AND DID NOT
HAVE STRONG GOVERNMENT OR CENTRAL SUPPORT. THE FRANCISCANS WERE FOUNDED BY
ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, A GENTLE MONK WHOSE PEACEFUL ADMONITIONS ARE TO THIS DAY
USED AS EXAMPLES BY THOSE OPPOSED TO MILITARY ACTION. BORN IN 1182, THE SON OF A
SUCCESSFUL MERCHANT, FRANCIS HAILED FROM THE VILLAGE OF ASSISI, ITALY. HE WAS
MORE INTERESTED IN POETRY THAN MILITARY SKILLS. DURING A BATTLE, HE WAS
CAPTURED AND IMPRISONED, AND ALMOST DIED. WHEN HE WAS RELEASED, HE DECIDED TO
DEDICATE HIS LIFE TO GOD. HE HELPED THE POOR AND SICK, WHOM HE SAW WERE IGNORED
AND WHOSE NUMBERS GREW WHEN MEN ENGAGED IN WAR. HE EMULATED CHRIST IN
EVERY WAY THAT HE COULD, AND DEVELOPED A FOLLOWING NOT UNLIKE JESUS.
THE DOMINICANS ALSO BECAME A WIDELY KNOWN MENDICANT ORDER, FOUNDED BY THE
SPANISH MONK, ST. DOMINIC. THE DOMINICANS WERE DEVOTED TO BATTLING THE
CONCEPT OF HERESY. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ALLOWED FEW CRITICISMS DURING THE
MIDDLE AGES. THE CHURCH REACTION TO HERESY WAS TYPICAL OF THE KIND OF HUMAN
PROBLEMS THAT BEDEVILED CHRISTIANITY. JUST AS HUMANS HAVE POLLUTED THE PURITY
OF ISLAM AND OTHER RELIGIONS. INSTEAD OF SIMPLY PROMOTING THE GREAT MESSAGE OF
LOVE AND PEACE THAT JESUS HAD DONE – AND AS ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI DID – THE
CHURCH BECAME A POLITICAL STRUCTURE. IT WAS TOO POWERFUL AND TOO VINDICTIVE
OF THOSE THEY DEEMED TO HAVE STRAYED FROM THEIR VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY. THE
DOMINICANS WERE FORMED TO HELP THE CHURCH DEAL WITH HERETICS IN A MORE
HUMANE MANNER, INSISTING THAT THROUGH THE TEACHING AND EDUCATION OF LEARNED,
WELL-EDUCATED PREACHERS, THE BELIEFS OF THE CHURCH COULD BE EXPLAINED MORE
EASILY TO THE PEOPLE. THEREFORE, HERESY WOULD BE STOPPED.
IN THE 13TH CENTURY, HERETICS BECAME ORGANIZED, NAMELY THE WALDENSIANS AND
THE ALBIGENSIANS. THE WALDENSIANS TOOK THEIR IDEAS FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT.
THEY CRITICIZED THE MORALS OF THE ESTABLISHED CLERGY, SAYING THEY WERE TOO
INVOLVED IN GOVERNMENTS AND THE MILITARY, THUS SUBJECT TO CORRUPTION AND
POLITICS. THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THEY WERE THE FIRST PROTESTANTS WOULD
HAVE GREAT INFLUENCE IN FRANCE AND AMONG THE HUSSITES OF BOHEMIA. THEY URGED
A RETURN TO THE PURITY OF CHRIST, SAYING THE CHURCH NEEDED TO BE DEVOTED TO
HELPING THE POOR AND SAVING SOULS, NOT FORMING WORLDLY ALLIANCES. ONE SEES
THEIR INFLUENCE IN THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE DOCTRINE OF THE AMERICAN
FOUNDERS.
THE ALBIGENSIANS OF SOUTHERN FRANCE WERE FULL OF SOME VERY INTERESTING IDEAS,
                                                               TH
WHICH I HAPPEN TO BELIEVE HAVE GREAT RELEVANCE IN THE 20          CENTURY. THEY
BELIEVED THAT SATAN, AN "EVIL GOD," WAS IN CONFLICT WITH THE "GOOD GOD." WHILE
SOME DAY THE "GOOD GOD" WOULD BE VICTORIOUS, UNTIL THAT DAY THE WORLD WOULD
BE RULED BY SATAN. THEY ALSO SAID THAT THE CATHOLICS WERE IN LEAGUE WITH
SATAN. THE CHURCH AND FRANCE COMBINED TO WIPE THEM OUT. THEIR GHOSTS MAY
HAVE BEEN WHISPERING IN DOSTOEVSKY’S EAR WHEN HE WROTE ABOUT THE GRAND
INQUISITOR. HORRIBLE SUFFERING CAUSED BY TWO WORLD WARS, A HOLOCAUST,
COMMUNIST GULAGS, CAMBODIAN RE-EDUCATION CAMPS, RWANDAN GENOCIDE, AND
MUSLIM TERRORISM TEND TO TELL ME THAT THEY MAY HAVE BEEN ON TO SOMETHING.
THE CONCEPT OF CATHOLICS “IN LEAGUE” WITH SATAN HAS THE RING OF CONSPIRACY.
THIS HISTORIAN REJECTS SUCH AN OUT AND OUT CONCEPT. THE DEVIL DOES NOT WORK
THAT WAY. HE WEASELS HIS WAY IN. HE PAVES HIS WAY THROUGH “GOOD INTENTIONS.”
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BELIEVED IN CHRIST DURING THE MIDDLE AGES, AND DESIRED TO
SAVE SOULS. BEING COMPRISED OF HUMANS, THEY MADE MISTAKES. THEY WERE SUBJECT
TO CORRUPTION AND DECEPTION. IT WAS IN PUTTING DOWN HERESY THAT THE CHURCH DID
THE DEVIL’S WORK, UNWITTING AS IT MAY HAVE BEEN. IN 1229, THE COUNCIL OF TOULOSE
ESTABLISHED THE ECCLESIASTICAL INQUISITION. POPE GREGORY CREATED A COURT OF
INQUISITION. THE RESULT WAS THAT MANY ACCUSED OF HERESY FOUND THEMSELVES
BURNED AT THE STAKE. ONE FINDS IT VERY DIFFICULT INDEED TO CONCEIVE THAT THE
LORD JESUS CHRIST WOULD HAVE APPROVED OF TAKING HUMANS BEINGS, TYING THEM TO
A STAKE, PUTTING KINDLING UNDERNEATH THEM, AND LIGHTING FIRES THAT FIRST
TORTURED THEM WITH SEARING PAIN BEFORE CAUSING THEIR HORRIBLE DEATHS! JUST A
GUESS.
AS A RESULT OF THE BATTLE AGAINST HERESY, AND AS AN OFFSHOOT OF THE RISE OF
MONKS, SECTS AND ORDERS, INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING ROSE. THIS GAVE RISE TO THE
CREATION OF UNIVERSITIES. MEN NEEDED TO BE TRAINED IN LAW, ADMINISTRATION AND
CHURCH DOCTRINE. THOMAS AQUINAS WAS ONE OF THE FIRST GREAT PROFESSORS. THE
THEORIES OF GREEK THINKING WERE TAUGHT ALONG WITH ARITHMETIC, ASTRONOMY,
LATIN, GRAMMAR, MUSIC, LAW, AND MEDICINE. THE UNIVERSITY OF PARIS SPECIALIZED IN
THEOLOGY. THE UNIVERSITY OF BOLOGNA SPECIALIZED IN THE LAW. THE UNIVERSITY OF
SALAMANCA IN SPAIN WAS RENOWNED FOR THE STUDY OF MEDICINE. OTHER UNIVERSITIES
ROSE IN OXFORD, CAMBRIDGE, PRAGUE, LEIPZIG, AND HEIDELBERG.

THE CRUSADES AND THE POLITICAL MILITARIZATION OF CATHOLICISM
        A "great schism" did occur in Rome, where the Italian people demanded an Italian
Pope. For more than 40 years, two Popes reigned. The split lessened the power of the
Roman Catholic Church in Europe. A Counciliar Movement resulted, but failed to
reorganize and reform the Church.
The Catholic war against heresy was no more arrogant than the Crusades, which lasted
from 1096 to 1260. Reports had filtered in of new, strange religions in the Middle East.
The Church may not have considered these religions to be a threat, except that the Middle
East was considered the Holy Land, the birthplace of Jesus. Something had to be done.
The Church made the Moslems out to be savage barbarians. While some persecution of
Christians occurred, and the jihadist nature of their edicts to kill non-Muslims increased
this view, the fact is that they did not wage major interference with the Christians of the
Holy Land.
This book is written from the standpoint of showing that Manifest Destiny of civilized
peoples has been justified by history. The European explorers had the “right” to venture
to the New World. The American government had the “right” to expand to the West.
Certain conflicts were inevitable and unavoidable. I do not count the Spanish Inquisition
or the Crusades as “unavoidable.” These events are to be condemned. They also are to be
viewed with an understanding of the times, not simply through the 20/20 hindsight of the
historical lens.
POPE URBAN, A FRENCHMAN, MADE SPEECHES ESPOUSING GRAVE CONCERN OVER “AN
ACCURSED RACE, WHOLLY ALIENATED FROM GOD,” THAT HE SAID HAD “VIOLENTLY
INVADED” CHRISTIAN LANDS, COMMITTING RAPE, PILLAGE, PLUNDER, AND TORTURE. HE
DEMANDED THAT THE HOLY SHRINES OF JERUSALEM, NAZARETH, GAZA AND DAMASCUS
BE PROTECTED. WHEN THE ROMANS LEFT, THE HOLY LAND BECAME PART OF THE
BYZANTINE EMPIRE. IN 638 THE CALIPH OMAR HAD DEFEATED A BYZANTINE ARMY AND
GONE ON TO CONQUER ASIA MINOR. FOR FOUR CENTURIES, THEY DID NOT INTERFERE WITH
CHRISTIAN TRADITION OR EUROPEAN PILGRIMAGES TO THE HOLY LAND, UNTIL 1070,
WHEN THE TURKS TOOK JERUSALEM AND PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS BEGAN.
THIS WAS THE SITUATION THAT DROVE POPE URBAN TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE. HE URGED HIS
FOLLOWERS TO “LET HATRED, THEREFORE, DEPART FROM AMONG YOU; LET YOUR
QUARRELS END. ENTER UPON THE ROAD TO THE HOLY SEPULCHUR; WREST THAT LAND
FROM A WICKED RACE, AND SUBJECT IT TO YOURSELVES…” WITH THESE WORDS, THE POPE
WAS URGING CHRISTIANS TO UNITE AGAINST A COMMON ENEMY.
“IT IS THE WILL OF GOD!” CRIED THE PEOPLE IN RESPONSE TO THE MOST IMPORTANT
SPEECH OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
THE POPE WENT ON A CAMPAIGN TO BUILD SUPPORT. HE JOINED FORCES WITH ALEXIUS
COMNENUS, THE BYZANTINE EMPEROR OF CONSTANTINOPLE, WHO ASKED FOR HELP IN
TURNING BACK THE MOSLEMS. POLITICS PLAYED A ROLE IN THE POPE’S CRUSADE. HE WAS
IN A POWER STRUGGLE WITH THE NOBLES OF EUROPE. HE KNEW THAT IF HE BUILT UP A
COALITION, LED BY HIMSELF, HE COULD CONSOLIDATE HIS POSITION.
CRUSADERS, DRESSED WITH HEAVY HELMETS AND SUITS OF CHAIN MAIL FOR PROTECTION,
ADORNED WITH THE CHRISTIAN CROSS FOR INSIGNIA, WERE SENT 12,000 STRONG IN 1096,
ACROSS THE DANUBE AND THROUGH THE RHINE VALLEYS. ALONG THE WAY, THEY
PERSECUTED JEWS. BY THE TIME THE RAGGED MOBS REACHED CONSTANTINOPLE, THEY
WERE STARVING. THEY LOOTED AND PILLORIED THE CITY, TO THE HORROR OF COMNENUS,
WHO HAD ASKED FOR THEIR HELP. HE MANAGED TO RESTORE ORDER, AND THEN SENT THEM
BY SHIP TO ASIA MINOR. THE CRUSADERS WERE SUPPOSED TO WAIT FOR REINFORCEMENTS.
THEY BECAME RESTLESS AND MARCHED AGAINST THE TURKISH CAPITAL OF NICAEA,
WHERE THEY WERE DEFEATED.
FOUR MAIN ARMIES OF CRUSADERS CAME THE NEXT YEAR. THIS TIME THEY BROUGHT
MUCH OF THEIR CIVILIZATION WITH THEM, INCLUDING FAMILIES AND REAR GUARD
SUPPORT. A CLASH OF CULTURES ENSUED. THE ELEGANT BYZANTINES WERE SHOCKED BY
THE CRUDE MANNERS OF THE EUROPEANS. COMNENUS’ RULE WAS THREATENED. HE
FURNISHED THE CRUSADERS WITH BRIBES AND SUPPLIES TO ENLIST THEIR ALLEGIANCE.
THEN, A FORCE OF 30,000 CRUSADERS ADVANCED ON ASIA MINOR, TAKING NICAEA. THE
CRUSADES CONTINUED IN TO SYRIA. AT ANTIOCH THEY WON A SEVEN-MONTH BATTLE. BY
THE TIME THEY REACHED JERUSALEM IN 1099, THERE WERE ONLY 12,000 CRUSADERS
LEFT. THE BATTLE WAS AWFUL. SOLDIERS WADED THROUGH BLOOD UP TO THEIR ANKLES,
LOOTING THE CITY AND LEAVING PILES OF HEADS, HANDS AND FEET.
AGAIN, THE IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST MUST BE CONSIDERED. HE MUST HAVE CRIED, SEEING
THE TERRIBLE CARNAGE WROUGHT IN HIS NAME, JUST AS HE MUST HAVE DONE WHEN HE
SAW THE BURNINGS OF THE INQUISITION.
THE CRUSADERS DIVIDED THE TERRITORY INTO THE COUNTIES OF EDESSA AND TRIPOLI,
THE PRINCIPALITY OF ANTIOCH, AND THE KINGDOM OF JERUSALEM. IN 1144, SELJUK
TURKS CAPTURED EDESSA. KING LOUIS VIII OF FRANCE RESPONDED BY SENDING NEW
ARMIES. GERMAN FORCES WERE DESTROYED. THE FRENCH UNITS WERE UNSUCCESSFUL IN
LINKING UP WITH COALITION ALLIES, WHILE ENGLISH AND FLEMISH ARMIES NEVER EVEN
REACHED THE HOLY LAND.
IN 1174, SALADIN BECAME RULER OF EGYPT. HE FORMED A JIHADIST COALITION FROM
CAIRO TO BAGHDAD, WIPED OUT THE CHRISTIANS IN THE EAST, TOOK NAZARETH, THEN
PALESTINE AND, IN 1187, OVERTOOK THE CHRISTIAN DEFENDERS OF JERUSALEM.
SALADIN’S ACTIONS MAKE HIM A REVERED LEADER AND HERO IN MOSLEM CULTURE. IT
WAS A DESIRE TO BE LIKE HIM THAT HAS DRIVEN MANY MUSLIM MILITARY LEADERS EVER
SINCE. THE MEGALOMANIACAL SADDAM HUSSEIN SAW HIMSELF AS A “MODERN DAY
SALADIN.” SALADIN IS ALSO A FIGURE OF RESPECT IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD. HE DID NOT
SLAUGHTER THE CHRISTIANS OF JERUSALEM. DESPITE HIS GENEROSITY TO THE DEFENDERS
OF THE CITY, A THIRD CRUSADE WAS LAUNCHED, LED BY EMPEROR FREDERICK
BARBAROSSA OF GERMANY AND THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, KING PHILLIP AUGUSTUS OF
FRANCE, AND RICHARD THE LION-HEARTED OF ENGLAND. IT WAS CALLED THE “CRUSADE
OF KINGS.”
This one failed. Barbarossa drowned in Asia Minor and his troops turned back. Richard
and Phillip could not get over their life-long enmity. After some successes at Acre, Joppa
and Ascalon, Phillip returned home. Richard fought bravely but could not wrest
Jerusalem from Saladin. Saladin died, not having eliminated the Christians from the Holy
Land, but he managed to keep them in the minority.
The Popes refused to give up. Pope Innocent III called for another invasion, this time to
travel by sea instead of land. Venetian merchants entered a complicated political deal
involving the Byzantine Empire. They calling for the sacking of a Christian city in
Hungary that had nothing to do with the mission to liberate Jerusalem, then the sacking of
Constantinople. This became the locus for the saying that anything with many twists and
turns is “Byzantine.”
At Constantinople in April of 1204, the Venetians sacked the city in one of the worst riots
and plunder in history. The original idea of “Christian soldiers” was completely negated.
The warriors were nothing more than thieves and murderers. In the end, the Byzantine
Empire was divided with the Crusaders. The enormous riches of Constantinople were
sent to Venice.
The "children’s Crusade" took place in 1212, when children from France and Germany
had marched southward to the Mediterranean Sea, thinking it would open up for them
like the Red Sea had parted for Moses. This flight of fancy resulted in most of the kids
being sold into slavery.
Another Crusade occurred in 1218. It failed, too. In 1228, Frederick II, excommunicated
by Pope Gregory, attempted a “political Crusade.” He entered an agreement with Egypt,
who wanted to avoid war, and allowed Frederick to be crowned as king of Jerusalem.
In 1244, St. Louis of France went on Crusade. He was captured by the Turks and ransom
was paid to free him. 16 years later he tried again only to die at Carthage. By the end of
the 13th Century, the Holy Land was in Moslem hands, amid the “Byzantine politics”
that had been played out. The Crusades failed to turn the Middle East into a Christian
region. They did figure in weakening European feudalism, thus strengthening the
monarchies. It also opened up trade routes and developed culture with the East. This
created a new merchant class. Venice had made themselves rich by financing one of the
expeditions. Businesses flourished after the Crusades, with medieval fairs opening up to
display exotic arts and crafts. The universities began to churn out men of medicine.
Pharmacies and alchemists made improvements in the treatment of the sick.
One thing continued to be a recurring event of history. Men, kings, governments and
countries continued to go to war with each other, usually in search of riches and
conquest, sometimes to spread religion, most often based upon the belief that they were
in the right and therefore their “opponents” were not worthy. Despite the spread of
Christianity, respect for human life was modest at best. Both the Christians and the
Muslims perpetuated terrible atrocities. The Jews of the Middle Ages were too busy
being persecuted and made to live like nomads to do much persecuting of their own.
They had engaged in their share of wars prior to the Romans and the birth of Christ.

The Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc
      ONE MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT THAT THE CRUSADES WOULD HAVE ENDED AND
USHERED IN SOME KIND OF PEACEFUL PERIOD. INSTEAD, THE NEXT THING ON THE HORIZON
WAS THE HUNDRED YEARS' WAR. THIS WAS A LONG STRUGGLE BETWEEN ENGLAND AND
FRANCE, AND IT LASTED MORE THAN 100 YEARS. IT WAS A SERIES OF BATTLES AND UNEASY
PEACE LASTING FROM 1338 TO 1453. IT STARTED BECAUSE ENGLAND HELD THE DUCHY OF
AQUITAINE IN SOUTHWESTERN FRANCE. IN FLANDERS, THE ENGLISH HAD A STRONG
ECONOMIC INTEREST IN THE WOOL TRADE, AND THE ENGLISH WERE CONVINCED THE
FRENCH WOULD LAUNCH AN AMPHIBIOUS INVASION FROM FLEMISH PORTS. FRANCE AIDED
THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT.
IN 1326 THE COUNT OF FLANDERS ARRESTED ALL THE ENGLISH THERE, ON THE ORDERS OF
KING PHILIP VI OF FRANCE. EDWARD III OF ENGLAND STRUCK BACK. HE RECEIVED THE
SUPPORT OF THE FLEMISH WOOL TRADERS WHO HATED BEING UNDER PHILIP’S THUMB.
EDWARD TOOK THE TITLE OF KING OF FRANCE. IT WAS ONLY A TITLE. IN 1340, THE
FRENCH MET THE BRITISH LANDING AT SLUYS, BUT WERE WIPED OUT. ENGLAND
CONTROLLED THE SEAS FOR 30 YEARS. IN 1346 THE ENGLISH HIT NORMANDY AND
DEFEATED THE FRENCH AT CRECY, USING A NEW METHOD OF ATTACK, THE LONGBOW.
FRENCH KNIGHTS IN HEAVY ARMOR WERE NO MATCH. SIEGE AT CALAIS FOLLOWED, AND
BY 1347 IT WAS AN ENGLISH COLONY.
THE PLAGUE THEN HIT EUROPE. PEOPLE CALLED IT THE BLACK DEATH. IT DISRUPTED THE
WAR UNTIL 1356. FRANCE’S KING JOHN II WAS THEN CAPTURED AND BROUGHT TO
LONDON, BUT HE LIVED…LIKE A KING: GAMBLING, PARTYING AND SAMPLING BRITISH
WENCHES. ENGLISH RAIDS COMBINED WITH A FRENCH PEASANT UPRISING SET THE FRENCH
BACK EVEN FURTHER. JOHN FINALLY ARRANGED AN ENORMOUS RANSOM, SAID TO BE
WORTH THE EQUIVALENT OF $30 MILLION, TO RETURN TO FRANCE. A TREATY WAS SIGNED
AT BRETIGNY IN 1360. EDWARD GAVE UP THE THRONE BUT RETAINED A LARGE SWATH OF
LAND. CHARLES V OF FRANCE ORGANIZED A COMMAND THAT REGAINED MUCH OF THE
LAND FROM ENGLAND. IN 1415 HENRY V WAS KING OF ENGLAND AND FRANCE WAS TORN
BY CIVIL WAR. 12,000 MEN, INCLUDING 8,000 ARCHERS, HIT NORMANDY. THEY WERE MET
AT AGINCOURT. THE FRENCH HAD LEARNED NOTHING FROM EARLIER BATTLES WITH
ARCHERS. THEY WERE CUT APART. NORMANDY FELL TO THE ENGLISH. THE TREATY OF
TROYES WAS SIGNED IN 1420. AS PART OF THE DEAL, HENRY MARRIED CATHERINE, THE
DAUGHTER OF CHARLES VI. THE FRENCH WERE SO WEAK, HOWEVER, THAT THE ENGLISH
FELT NO COMPUNCTION ABOUT BREAKING THE TROYES AGREEMENT. THEY LAY SIEGE ON
ORLEANS ON THE LOIRE RIVER, 80 MILES SOUTH OF PARIS. ORLEANS FELL, LEAVING
NOTHING TO STOP THE ENGLISH FROM TAKING PARIS.
THEN GOD SPOKE TO A FARM GIRL IN VAUCAOULEURS NAMED JOAN. SHE COULD NOT READ
NOR WRITE. SHE HELPED HER PARENTS HERD SHEEP. SAINTS APPEARED TO HER AND TOLD
HER TO SEEK OUT KING CHARLES, TAKE HIM TO RHEIMS TO BE CROWNED (FRANCE HAD
NOT RECOGNIZED HIM AS KING BECAUSE THE KING MUST BE CONSECRATED IN THEIR
CATHEDRAL THERE). OH, AND ANOTHER THING. THE VOICES TOLD JOAN TO DRIVE THE
ENGLISH OUT.
THIS WENT ON FOR QUITE SOME TIME, UNTIL JOAN APPROACHED THE COMMANDER OF THE
VAUCOULEUR GARRISON. HE LAUGHED AT THE GIRL. SHE PERSISTED UNTIL SHE WAS GIVEN
AN ESCORT TO CHINON, WHERE CHARLES HELD COURT. THIS TRIP WAS A 300-MILE JAUNT
THROUGH HEAVILY ENGLISH-CONTROLLED TERRITORY. SHE WAS DRESSED IN SOLDIER’S
CLOTHES. CHARLES WAS IMPRESSED BY HER SINCERITY. AFTER SHE WAS PUT THROUGH
INTENSIVE RELIGIOUS INTERROGATION, IT WAS DECIDED TO SEND HER TO THE TROOPS TO
GIVE THEM SOME INSPIRATION. SHE JOINED THE ARMY AT ORLEANS.
NORMALLY SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN HOOTED OUT OF TOWN, BUT THE FRENCH WERE
DESPERATE. SHE WAS VIEWED AS A SAINT. IN 1429, SHE FEARLESSLY LED A BOLD FRENCH
CHARGE THAT COMPLETELY SURPRISED THE ENGLISH FORCES, CAPTURING ORLEAN AND
FORCING ENGLISH RETREAT. SHE LED MORE VICTORIES THAT CONSOLIDATED THE LOIRE
VALLEY BACK INTO FRENCH HANDS. THE COMMANDERS NOW WANTED TO FORTIFY PARIS.
BUT JOAN INSISTED THAT CHARLES BE BROUGHT TO RHEIMS FOR FORMAL CONSECRATION.
JOAN THEN INFORMED CHARLES THAT SHE WOULD DRIVE THE ENGLISH OUT OF FRANCE.
CHARLES WANTED TO NEGOTIATE A DEAL WITH THE ENGLISH, SAYING WAR WAS JUST TOO
COSTLY. HE BETRAYED HER, GIVING HER THE COMMAND OF FORCES, BUT WITH NONE OF
THE FLANKING SUPPORT SHE THOUGHT WOULD COME WITH IT. AT COMPIEGNE, HER FORCES
WERE SURROUNDED AND SHE WAS CAPTURED.
SHE HAD EMBARRASSED THE ENGLISH. THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE FACE WAS TO
DEMONSTRATE PUBLICLY THAT THEY FOUGHT ON THE SIDE OF CHRIST, WHILE FRANCE
FOUGHT ON THE SIDE OF SATAN. THEREFORE, JOAN HAD TO BE SHOWN TO BE A WITCH. SHE
WAS PLACED ON TRIAL AT ROUEN, BUT PUT UP A STRONG ARGUMENT. THE CHURCH
OFFICIALS SAID NOBODY EXCEPT PRIESTS COULD COMMUNICATE WITH GOD, AS SHE SAID
SHE HAD. THE OLD HERESY LAWS WERE APPLIED. FOR 10 WEEKS SHE WAS QUESTIONED.
SHE HELD TO HER STORY. THE DEAL OFFERED WAS THAT IF SHE CONFESSED, SHE WOULD BE
SPARED HER LIFE AND NOT EXCOMMUNICATED. THEY THREATENED HER WITH TORTURE OR
BURNING AT THE STAKE. SHE FINALLY SIGNED HER CONFESSION, BUT THE NEXT DAY
LOUDLY DISOWNED IT, SAYING IT WAS SIGNED OUT OF FEAR AND FATIGUE. ON MAY 30,
1431, SHE WAS BURNED AT THE STAKE WHILE CALLING OUT TO JESUS. ENGLISH SOLDIERS
WHO SAW THE SPECTACLE WERE CONVINCED THAT SHE WAS A SAINT AND THAT HER
EXECUTION DOOMED THEM IN THE EYES OF GOD. THEY WERE RIGHT.
IN 1456, THE CHURCH RE-EXAMINED THE TRIAL AND FOUND THAT SHE WAS NOT GUILTY OF
WITCHCRAFT OR HERESY. IN 1920, SHE WAS DECLARED A SAINT. SPURRED BY HER MEMORY
AND MARTYRDOM, THE FRENCH ROSE AGAIN AND RE-CAPTURED PARIS. IN 1449, WITH NEW
ARTILLERY, THEY DROVE THE ENGLISH BACK TO CALAIS. IN 1453 THE HUNDRED YEARS’
WAR ENDED. FRANCE BECAME UNIFIED LATE IN THE 15TH CENTURY. WHEN FRANCE WAS
ABLE TO DO THIS, IT BEGAN THE PROCESS OF NATIONALISM. PRIOR TO THE HUNDRED
YEARS’ WAR, THEIR PEOPLE DID NOT THINK OF THEMSELVES AS MEMBERS OF A NATION.
THE CHURCH DIVIDED PEOPLE, BY FEUDALISM, AND OF COURSE SO MANY DIFFERENT WARS,
BATTLES, CONFRONTATIONS AND CAMPAIGNS TOOK PLACE THAT ORDINARY PEOPLE WERE
SIMPLY SUBJECTS OF WHOEVER WAS IN POWER AT PARTICULAR TIMES. ARMIES
REPRESENTED KINGS, LORDS AND NOBLEMEN, NOT THE PEOPLE. JOAN OF ARC HELPED TO
INSPIRE ORDINARY FRENCHMEN TO BELIEVE IN FRANCE. IT WAS ONLY WHEN THE ENGLISH
SAW THE FRENCH RISING UP AS A UNIFIED PEOPLE THAT THEY WERE FRIGHTENED ENOUGH
TO FOLD THEIR TENTS.
NATIONALISM OCCURRED IN ENGLAND, TOO, AFTER THE WAR OF THE ROSES FROM 1455 TO
1485. THE NAME CAME FROM THE EMBLEMS OF THE TWO FAMILIES THAT FOUGHT TO RULE
ENGLAND. THE EMBLEM OF THE HOUSE OF YORK WAS A WHITE ROSE; THE EMBLEM OF THE
HOUSE OF LANCASTER WAS A RED ROSE. THE WAR WAS THE RESULT OF YEARS OF
INTERNECINE SQUABBLES, LAND FEUDS, AND A WEAK MONARCHY. THE YORKISTS WON A
BLOODY BATTLE AT ST. ALBANS IN 1455, BUT WERE UNABLE TO PUSH OUT HENRY VI. FIVE
YEARS LATER, HE WENT INTO EXILE. BATTLES WERE FOUGHT, AND DIFFERENT KINGS
ASCENDED AND FELL FROM THE THRONE. KING RICHARD III TOOK THE THRONE AMID
GREAT INTRIGUE, SUPPOSEDLY AFTER SMOTHERING THE TWO YOUNG BOYS WHO WERE IN
THE LINE OF SUCCESSION. SHAKESPEARE DEPICTED HIM AS WICKED, BUT LATER HISTORIANS
FOUND EVIDENCE THAT HE MAY NOT HAVE MURDERED THE CHILDREN. RICHARD LOST
CONTROL TO THE BARONS WHO OPPOSED HIM. HENRY TUDOR, THE EARL OF RICHMOND,
LED A REVOLT AGAINST HIM. RICHARD WAS KILLED. THE BATTLE OF BOSWORTH ENDED
THE WAR OF THE ROSES. THE PEOPLE WERE TIRED OF FIGHTING CAUSES FOR NOBLE
FAMILIES OR MERCHANTS. THEY STROVE TO GAIN INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNIVERSAL
CATHOLIC CHURCH. THE AFTERMATH OF THE WAR OF THE ROSES WAS A NEW SOCIETY
THAT WOULD CHANGE EUROPE AND CREATE A SENSE OF NATIONAL PRIDE IN ENGLAND,
FRANCE AND OTHER NATIONS.

                              CHAPTER NINE

                                 THE RENAISSANCE

        The Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment came about in the aftermath of
major events. Christianity; the fall of the Roman Empire; the Magna Carta and civil
liberties; nationalism; the end of the Crusades; the creation of trade routes and the
build-up of wealthy economies; the resolution of the Hundred Years’ War; the ending of
the Black Plague and the Dark Ages; and the creation of great universities; all these
events brought it about.
        The merchant-rulers of Venice had pulled a major coup in financing a Crusade,
which resulted in their obtaining great wealth. They helped to pull Italy back from the
ruins of their fallen empire. The new age did not just occur over night, and pointing to its
origins is complicated. It came about during a time of turmoil and after a period of war,
disease and suffering.
        ITALY HAD OF COURSE SEEN GREAT TURMOIL THROUGHOUT THEIR HISTORY, BUT
THE CHURCH WAS CENTERED THERE. THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE REALM OF
CHRISTENDOM WOULD USHER IN THE RENAISSANCE. IN 1300, A CONFLICT OCCURRED
BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND RULERS, WHO WERE BACKED BY MERCHANTS AND NOBLES.
UNREST IN ROME FORCED POPES TO LIVE IN AVIGNON. THEY REMAINED THERE FOR ABOUT
100 YEARS. WHEN THEY RETURNED, A NEW ST. PETER’S CHURCH WAS BUILT. BUSINESS
PEOPLE HELD ON THROUGH THE PLAGUE, AND EVENTUALLY KEPT THE BUSINESS OF
EUROPE RUNNING. WHEN THE PLAGUE ENDED, SCHOLARS EMERGED TO TEACH GREEK AND
ROMAN CONCEPTS THAT MAN IS NOT BORN NOBLE, BUT BECOMES NOBLE. THE “FIRST MAN
OF THE RENAISSANCE” WAS FRANCESCO PETRARCH, A SELF-MADE SCHOLAR WHO
PREACHED THAT THE GREAT LEARNING AND BEAUTY OF ROME AND GREECE WAS MORE
VALUABLE THAN MERCHANDISE. THE MEDICI FAMILY, THE RICHEST BANKERS IN EUROPE,
TURNED FLORENCE INTO ITALY’S CAPITAL OF ART, LEARNING AND FINANCE.
        THE ARTISTS WHO SERVED THE POPE AND CREATED THE NEW WORKS OF
ARCHITECTURAL AND ARTISTIC GREATNESS BECAME THE STARS OF THEIR DAY. THEY WERE
HONORED GUESTS OF KINGS. EACH COURT EMPLOYED MEN OF LEARNING. EDUCATION
REPLACED BIRTH, OR MILITARY SKILL, AS THE MARK OF A GENTLEMAN. COURTLY
BEHAVIOR BEGAN TO REPLACE THE BAD MANNERS OF EUROPEANS, MAKING THEM MORE
SIMILAR TO THE COURTLY BYZANTINES. FOR ALL OF THE NEW BEAUTY, THE OLD PASSIONS
AND WAYS STILL HAD THEIR PLACE; INTRIGUE, POISON, DAGGERS, DOUBLE-DEALINGS.
         GOVERNMENTS BECAME LESS WILLING TO USE LARGE MASSES OF THE POPULATION
AS CONSCRIPTED CANNON FODDER. MORE AND MORE OF THE POPULATION HAD ACHIEVED
EDUCATION. NOW THEY REPRESENTED IMPORTANT MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY.
THEREFORE, ARMIES WERE MORE AND MORE MERCENARY IN NATURE. IN ITALY, THESE
PEOPLE WERE KNOWN AS CONDOTTIERI. WAR NOW REQUIRED PROFESSIONALS, AND THAT IS
WHAT THEY WERE. THEY WERE HIRED BY GOVERNMENTS AND PRINCES TO PROTECT
TERRITORIES AND INTERESTS. THEY RANGED FROM NOBLE WARRIORS TO MURDEROUS
KILLERS.
         Businessmen became rich by dint of their hard work, creativity, and ability to
meet the needs of the buying public. They began to replace those who had simply been
born to important families. No where was this more so than in Florence, a city run by
commoners. Around 1330, the city’s merchants commissioned Giotto da Bondone, who
broke all the established “rules” of painting. He painted scenes that looked real and full of
life. He was the first great artist of the Renaissance era. Dozens of painters, sculptors,
goldsmiths, and architects were put to work. They followed Giotto’s example, depicting
life as it really is. Young Masaccio made paintings that went one step beyond the Greek
and Roman statues, showing the strength and action of life without portraying his
subjects as godlike. Andrea del Castagno and Paolo Uccello made pictures of buildings
that stood on their foundations instead of lying flat. Master sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti
spent 20 years working on two pairs of bronze doors for the baptistery of the cathedral.
The metal panels were covered with lifelike figures that set the standard for all who
followed in this craft. Donatello and Brunelleschi designed sculptures, domes and great
architecture.
         While capitalism grew, problems – the problems that Marx and his ilk would try
to “fix” – became evident. The rich got richer and the poor often remained poor. Those
who took advantage of educational opportunities and developed skills prospered. The
lazy, the stupid and the uninspired became more obvious and separate from those willing
to work and improve their lot. Those who lived in poverty were increasingly treated with
disdain. Beggars had always been tolerated as part of society. Now the general feeling
was that opportunity existed for them to pull themselves out of this kind of existence. To
fail to do so was now cause for criticism. As money became the driving force of society,
corruption and exploitation reared its ugly head. Renaissance scholars have pointed this
out, but the corruption and exploitation that resulted from the new capitalist class was no
more corrupt or exploitative than the dictators who had ordered their people into
conscription, slavery, forced taxation, or worse, for time immemorial.
         In Florence, riots and murders marked elections. Losing candidates found
themselves sent into exile. Street fights were common. Cosimo de Medici became a
populist. He was a wealthy merchant who developed communications with the common
people, who asked him to lead a campaign against the merchant-princes. Realizing the
power of a restive populace, he immediately was identified as an enemy of the state. He
was exiled, and his name grew in legend. For 10 years, the cause of giving the people
greater political say and more financial opportunity was strengthened by his absence.
When he returned, he was very powerful. His family would go on to control Florence for
300 years.
         Florentine politics were different from previous governments. It was a mixture of
business and public duty, all somehow masked to make it seem that it was not “rule” at
all. This is an observation, and may not be fair, but it seems to me that the political
structure of Florence under the Medici family reign is similar to that of La Casa Nostra.
The family ruled most often behind the scenes, controlling appointed political figures
while staying in the shadow. The key is that the city prospered. Cosimo Medici chose to
live plainly, rather than incur the envy of the public. Instead, he hired architects to put
their talents to work on churches and public buildings. This included the magnificent
Duomo, which rose above all of Florence. He also kept scribes busy, consistently
recording the progress of the city. The best professors educated the populace. The first
public library in Europe was opened. Different artistic styles were encouraged and
flourished.
When Cosimo died, a period of intrigue began. His son, Piero took over the government,
but he had rivals. His son, Lorenzo, married Clarice Orsini, whose ancestry was Roman.
Her uncle was a cardinal, her father a general. The marriage was one of political alliance.
When Lorenzo’s father died, he took over the government. In 1478 the Pazzi Conspiracy
was plotted against him. The plot was the work of the Riarios, power-hungry nephews of
Pope Sixtus IV. They obtained the help of Archbishop Salviati of Pisa, a lifelong foe of
Lorenzo.
AT AN EASTER PARTY, A HIRED ASSASSIN WOULD STAB LORENZO WHILE FRANCESCO PAZZI
AND HIS FRIEND BERNARDO BANDINI ATTACKED HIS BROTHER GUILIANO. THE PLAN WENT
AWRY, STARTING WHEN GIULIANO INJURED HIS KNEE AND DID NOT ATTEND THE PARTY.
THE KILLINGS WERE POSTPONED UNTIL EASTER SUNDAY. THE ASSASSIN, HOWEVER,
REFUSED TO PERFORM HIS TASK IN A CHURCH. THOMAS BECKET WOULD HAVE BEEN
SPARED, PERHAPS, IF THE KING’S MEN HAD BEEN SO INCLINED. TWO MONKS VOLUNTEERED
TO DO IT FOR HIM.
AT THE CHURCH, LORENZO ARRIVED, BUT AGAIN GIULIANO WAS ABSENT. LORENZO AND
BERNARDO WENT TO HIS HOUSE AND CONVINCED HIM THAT HIS INJURY SHOULD NOT
PREVENT HIM FROM ATTENDING EASTER SERVICES AT THE DUOMO. WHEN GIULIANO
BOWED HIS HEAD DURING THE APPOINTED MOMENT DURING MASS, BERNARDO STABBED
HIM IN THE BACK. FRANCESCO JUMPED TO FINISH HIM, BUT INJURED HIS LEG IN THE
PROCESS WHILE STABBING. THE TWO MONKS WERE SLOW. LORENZO ESCAPED WITH BUT A
CUT. A PHALANX OF SUPPORTERS FORMED AS HIS BODYGUARDS, LEADING HIM TO SAFETY.
JACOPO DE’ PAZZI, THINKING THE DEED HAD BEEN ACCOMPLISHED, RODE ABOUT THE CITY
ANNOUNCING THAT LIBERTY HAD BEEN RESTORED TO THE REPUBLIC. BUT WORD OF
LORENZO’S SAFETY ALREADY HAD REACHED THE CITIZENRY. THINGS STARTED TO GO BAD
FOR THE PAZZI’S. ARCHBISHOP SALVIATTI WAS PLACED UNDER ARREST. HE HAD ALLIES TO
PREVENT THIS, BUT THEY HAD ACCIDENTALLY LOCKED THEMSELVES IN A ROOM. AN ANGRY
CROWD FORMED IN THE SQUARE. SALVIATTI WAS HANGED. HIS HENCHMEN WERE TOSSED
OUT OF A WINDOW. FRANCESCO WAS DRAGGED TO THE SQUARE AND HANGED, TOO. 70 MEN
WERE EXECUTED OVER FOUR DAYS. EVENTUALLY, HUNDREDS DIED. NEWS REACHED ROME,
TO THE RIARIOS AND POPE SIXTUS. THEY ORDERED THE FLORENTINES TO SEND LORENZO
TO HIM. WHEN THEY DID NOT, THE POPE EXCOMMUNICATED THE ENTIRE CITY. HE ORDERED
THE CITY DESTROYED, AND FORBID ANY TRADING. KING FERRANTE OF NAPLES, A WARRING
CITY BY TRADITION, MARCHED HIS ARMY TO FLORENCE AND TRAMPLED OVER MEDICI’S
POORLY TRAINED DEFENDERS.
Lorenzo knew he could not hold out against the onslaught. A year later, he undertook a
daring plan, traveling to Naples and allowing himself to be taken prisoner. King Ferrrante
admired Lorenzo’s courage. A deal was struck not to attack Florence, despite the Pope’s
order. Pope Sixtus was not happy, but he had enough trouble. The Turks were attacking
Asia Minor. Lorenzo returned to Florence a hero. Having survived this treachery,
Florence continued to lead the transition from the Dark Ages and medieval ways into the
Golden Age (1469 to 1498).
The love of art, books, music, poetry and women that Lorenzo espoused were trademarks
of his city. Sports and hunting became pastimes. He became known as Lorenzo the
Magnificent, receiving ambassadors in princely splendor. The Old Market became a
center of commerce. The city boasted 50 public squares and 140 gardens. Dice and chess
were popularized. Italian men would sing, enchant and flirt with pretty passing girls.
Clothing was billowy, colorful and emblematic of the gaiety of its people. The problems
of capitalism did continue. Laborers and ragged men lived on the “wrong side” of town.
Beggars huddled in doorways.
Artists came from all over to train in Florence. The better ones were accepted as
apprentices of a master. These apprentices learned the skills of mixing colors, carving in
wood and stone, decorating, glazing pottery, jewelry making, and furniture upholstering.
It often took 20 years for the apprentice to be admitted to the artist's guild and allowed to
set up shop. The best artists, however, achieved guild status at a young age. One of them
was named Leonardo da Vinci.
He was a natural painter who studied under a master named Verrochio. Within a short
time, it was obvious that the student had surpassed the teacher. Leonardo openly
expressed a desire to “work miracles.” By this he meant to advance man to a higher level;
to give reason to their thoughts, expressions, movements. He was fascinated by nature,
and asked questions, like why hills formed ridges, why water flowed a certain way, what
the movement of the wind through grass and trees was. He became adept at light and
shadow. He quickly filled up 5,000 pages of notes and drawings. Once he felt he had an
understanding of nature, he became an inventor of machines. Da Vinci designed
drawbridges, mechanical diggers, and even a parachute. He designed a life-jacked filled
with air. He made designs of flying machines, and his theories of man-made flight were
said to be the basis of the Wright Brothers first airplane. His notebooks of flying
machines showed what looked very much like helicopters.
At first, though, his inventions were too far ahead of their time. People only paid
attention to his marvelous paintings. The problem was that painting was not his first love.
He would start a work without finishing it, tinkering instead with inventions. He was not
a well-rounded scholar, poor in Greek and Latin. The concept of the “Renaissance man”
during Lorenzo’s time was that a great artist had to be well rounded. Da Vinci felt
Lorenzo was too wrapped up in old books instead of seeing the future. Tired of waiting to
be commissioned by Lorenzo, Leonardo went to Milan instead.
Meanwhile, Lorenzo did settle upon a young artist who was more to his liking, named
Michelangelo. He sponsored the destitute Michelangelo, giving him a room in the Medici
palace. Lorenzo became a true Platonic, discussing in Socratic ways philosophy while
sipping wine on a pleasant hillside with his band of scholars, poets and intellectuals. It
was under Lorenzo that Marsilio Ficino had translated Plato's works into Latin. During
this time the Germans invented the printing press, and books now proliferated throughout
Europe. Some Latin scholars were aghast, saying that the printing oppress now made it
possible for the most “stupid thoughts” to be spread, willy-nilly, around the world. Oh
well.
Lorenzo was so pre-occupied with the arts that business began to suffer. Competition
emerged from traders in England and Flanders. A hue and cry began to emerge from the
lower classes, who were the first to feel the sting of economic downturn. A monk named
Savonarola led them. He was a medieval churchman who preached of sin, plague and
gloom. Lorenzo tried to mediate with Savonarola. Savonarola only predicted Lorenzo’s
suffering, for his “sins.” Savonarola was prescient. Lorenzo, who had gout anyway,
became sick and died a painful death. As he lay dying, Medici called Savonarola to his
bedside. Before he would bless Lorenzo, the friar made three demands. He had to repent
his sins, give up his riches, and turn over political power away from the Medici family.
Lorenzo agreed to the first two demands, but could not accede to the third. Savonarola let
him die, his sins unforgiven. According to legend, lightning struck the Duomo the day of
Lorenzo’s death. Piero Medici took his father’s place. In 1494, French troops marched in
Tuscany. Piero gave the troops a fortress and gold, and sent them to Naples instead of
plundering Florence. Seen as a weak leader who gave away the city, Piero was booted out
of power.
Savonarola then took over. He ordered all of the joyous fun, the books, the learning, and
the great achievements of Florence, to be banned as “vanities.” Much of the great
artwork and priceless treasures of Florence were burned by his edicts. Artists like
Botticelli, who specialized in depicting large-breasted nymphs, tried to paint preacherly
works. Artists and rich people went to live in monasteries. The Middle Ages seemed to
have descended once again. Then the Pope ordered Savonarola to stop his preaching. The
people began to complain, and one of Savonarola’s followers agreed to meet a Franciscan
monk in a trial by fire. If he walked through fire unharmed, Savonarola’s claims would
be deemed true. If he burned, he would be seen as false. Much argument ensued over the
rules of the trial. Then it rained, and it was decided the trial should not be held. The
crowd heaped scorn on Savonarola. He was arrested, hung and burned, but like Joan of
Arc, proclaimed faith in Christ to the end. Savonarola was an example of all that is both
good and bad about the Church. He tried to help the poor and bring about justice, but he
was an extremist, and most extremists are just…too extreme. Moderation, as they say, in
all things…whether it be sex, alcohol, or religion. A philosopher might say that in trying
to do good, he might have done evil. This is not the kind of thing that can be definitively
answered by mere mortals. Did the Florentinians hang and burn a true prophet of God?
Regardless of the actual answer to that question, the Renaissance did return to Florence.
Leonardo returned from Milan. He and Michelangelo were hired to paint huge murals.
Florentine citizens soon became fans of either da Vinci or Michelangelo. That two such
enormous talents lived and worked at the same time and the same place is the mark of the
Renaissance and Florence as its home. Then the Pope called Michelangelo to Rome. Da
Vinci’s experiments with plaster failed when the colors streaked, so he went to work on
the portrait of a merchant’s wife, Madonna Elisabetta. He called it “Mona Lisa”. Once
finished, he too journeyed to Rome. Merchants and patrons of the arts were now spread
to Rome, Venice and as far away as Paris. When the two great stars of the art world left,
the Golden Age of Florence left with them.
Milan, Italy was a dusty, smoky city known for its armor craftsman, who made the finest
protective military clothing in the world. The Crusaders picked up their chain mail there.
The politics of the city reflected the craftsmen. It was a warlike city, ruled by an iron fist.
If Florence was the Athens of its time, Milan was the Sparta. Tyrannical dukes ran Milan.
The rich Lombardy landscape attracted farmers and conquerors alike. Revolts did occur
among the populace, but they were put down. Pageants demonstrating military might
were put on to scare would-be revolutionaries. The main families of Milan were the
Viscontis and later the Sforzas.
The Viscontis, whose emblem was a viper, filled its treasury with gold. They gained full
power in 1277 when they persuaded the Holy Roman Empire to name Matteo Visconti as
Count of Milan. For 100 years, the family was embroiled in squabbles, conspiracies,
murders, and treachery. But the family also controlled Pavia, where Gian Galeazzi (a
Visconti) ruled. He tried to bring that area into the Renaissance through patronage of the
arts, and marrying his children into royalty by paying enormous dowries. The difference
between Milan and Pavia engendered a rivalry amongst the family.
Gian Galeazzi was said to be a coward. When he went on a pilgrimage, he hired German
bodyguards. When he passed Milan, he was afraid to enter the city. His brother, Bernabo,
a ruthless man, ruled Milan. He learned that his brother was on the outskirts of the city,
afraid to enter. He rode out to scorn Gian. Then the bodyguards surrounded Bernabo and
his sons, taking them prisoner. Gian had shown himself to be a true Visconti, after all. He
then took over Milan, and the populace, tired of the iron-fisted Bernabo, welcomed him.
The city grew prosperous and strong. Eventually, Gian dreamt of conquering all of Italy.
As they say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This statement rings
true throughout history. Only the Americans seem to have figured out a way to falsify it.
Gian’s plans were struck down by the plague. Disloyal generals and his children divided
his dukedom. Harshness returned to Milan. Filippo Maria, Gian’s son, was fat and ugly,
but ambitious. He tried to consolidate power and win back the dukedown through
military force, but knew that he lacked the charisma to inspire troops under his command.
Therefore, he was constantly afraid of plots underneath him. One general under his
command was Francesco Sforza, known as a tough condottiere.
Sforza’s father had been a commander, and Francesco had trained under him as a youth.
Francesco was a mercenary in search of political power. He immediately plotted to take
Filippo’s rich dukedom. He did this by courting his favor, then asked for Filippo’s
daughter’s hand in marriage, trying to work his way in that way. The Duke refused to
allow the marriage, so Sforza offered his services to Florence. None of the Duke’s
commanders matched Sforza’s skills, however, so he was forced to cut a deal. He
allowed the marriage to go through and hired Sforza to command the Milanese militia.
BUT WHEN FILIPPO DIED, THE MILANESE PEOPLE WANTED SELF-RULE. FRANCESCO BIDED
HIS TIME, KNOWING THAT THE PEOPLE WOULD NEED MILITARY RULE TO PROTECT THEM
FROM INVADERS. WHEN THE VENETIANS MARCHED INTO LOMBARDY, THAT IS WHAT
HAPPENED. THEY MADE HIM THE DUKE OF MILAN. FRANCESCO TURNED OUT TO BE A JUST
RULER. HOWEVER, HIS SON, GALEAZZO MARIA, WAS TAUGHT IN THE WAYS OF VISCONTI’S
– DOUBLE-DEALING AND INTRIGUE. WHEN HE INHERITED THE DUKEDOM, HE RETURNED TO
THE OLD WAYS. CITIZENS WERE TORTURED IN PUBLIC SQUARES, AND THE DUKE MADE A BIG
SHOW OF HIS POWER. IN 1476, THREE STUDENTS STABBED HIM TO DEATH IN A CHURCH.
A POWER STRUGGLE FOLLOWED THAT EVENT, WITH LODOVICO, KNOWN AS “IL MOOR”
(THE MOOR) TAKING OVER. HE IMPRISONED THE DECEASED DUKE’S MOTHER AND ORDERED
THE BEHEADING OF OLD SECCO SIMONETTA, THE DUCAL SECRETARY. ONCE HE HAD
CLEANED UP USING RUTHLESS METHODS, HOWEVER, HE TURNED OUT TO BE WISE AND
MERCIFUL. HE HELD FASHIONABLE BALLS, SPONSORED TRADE, IMPROVED FARMING, AND
TURNED INTO A SKILLED DIPLOMAT. HIS NEPHEW MARRIED ISABELLA OF ARAGON, WHO
RULED NAPLES. HE HIMSELF MARRIED BEATRICE D’ESTE, DAUGHTER OF THE DUKE OF
FERRARA. LODOVICO COMMISSIONED LEONARDO DA VINCI TO PAINT A PICTURE OF CHRIST
AND HIS APOSTLES AT THE LAST SUPPER.
THE RULING FAMILY OF MILAN THEN FOUND ITSELF QUARRELLING WITH FRANCE AND THE
REST OF ITALY. LODOVICO SIGNED A PACT WITH FRANCE, WHO HAD LONG CLAIMED
NAPLES AS PART OF FRANCE. THE ITALIANS FELT BETRAYED BY LODOVICO. IN 1494,
FRENCH TROOPS INVADED ITALY. THEY MARCHED UNOPPOSED PAST MILAN AND INVADED
NAPLES. BUT LODOVICO BETRAYED FRANCE WHEN HE FELT HE NO LONGER NEEDED THEIR
PROTECTION, AND FRANCE FLED. THEY RETURNED TWO YEARS LATER. THIS TIME THEY
TARGETED MILAN. LODOVICO HAD NO ALLIES, HIS PAST DOUBLE-DEALINGS LEAVING HIM
FRIENDLESS. HE HAD TO GIVE UP AND ESCAPED TO GERMANY. THE FRENCH RANSACKED
MILAN. LODOVICO RETURNED WITH A HIRED ARMY, BUT HE COULD NOT AFFORD TO PAY
THE MERCENARIES WHO TURNED ON HIM WHEN HE RAN OUT OF GOLD. HE DIED IN 1508, IN
THE CUSTODY OF THE FRENCH. THE WEAKENING OF ITALY LEFT IT OPEN TO THE INTERESTS
OF THE SPANISH AND GERMANS, TOO.
ANOTHER SPLENDID CITY OF RENAISSANCE ITALY WAS FERRARA, THE MOST MAGNIFICENT
COURT IN THE COUNTRY. THE D'ESTE FAMILY RULED THEM. THE CITY BELONGED TO THE
CATHOLIC CHURCH, ITS DUKE PAYING ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO THE POPE. FERRARA WAS A
CITY OF MONEY, ART, COLLECTED MANUSCRIPTS, AND GREAT BEAUTY. THE PALAZZO DE
DIAMANTE HAD OUTER WALLS COVERED WITH 12,000 DIAMOND-SHAPED PIECES OF
MARBLE. SCHIFANOIA WAS THE SUMMER PLACE OF THE DUKES BELRIGUARDO. POETRY
WAS THE FAVORITE FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT IN FERRARA. “ORLANDO FURIOSO” WAS A
FANCIFUL TAKE THAT WOULD BECOME ITALY’S ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK OF TALES. THE
AGE OF CHIVALRY, IT WAS SAID IN FERRARA, WAS DEAD. THIS MEANT THAT IN MODERN
ITALY, GOOD HORSE SKILLS, A NOBLE TITLE, AND PROPER MANNERS NO LONGER WON ONE
SUCCESS. BUT THE PEOPLE LIKED TO PRETEND IT WAS STILL SO, EVEN THOUGH REALITY BY
1400 WAS THAT MONEY, CONTACTS AND THE RIGHT KIND OF ADVICE WERE THE KEYS TO
SUCCESS.
DUKE NICCOLO III HELPED THE D’ESTE’S GAIN A FORTUNE. HE ALSO BROUGHT IN
EDUCATORS TO TEACH HIS CHILDREN AND OTHERS ABOUT THE ROMANS AND GREEKS. HE
OBTAINED THE SERVICES OF GUARINO DA VERONA, A NOTED PROFESSOR OF GREEK IN
CONSTANTINOPLE. STUDENTS FLOCKED TO FERRARA TO LEARN UNDER THIS MODERN DAY
SOCRATES. UNDER THIS TUTELAGE, NICCOLO’S SONS GREW UP WISE AND EDUCATED. ONE
OF HIS GRANDSONS, ALFONSO, WAS VERY INTERESTED IN MATTERS OF GOVERNMENT. HE
CHOSE AS HIS BRIDE LUCRETIA, THE CHARMING, GOLDEN-HAIRED DAUGHTER OF POPE
ALEXANDER VI. WHEN ALFONSO BECAME DUKE IN 1505, HE GAVE LUCRETIA IMPORTANT
GOVERNMENTAL DUTIES. HIS SPECIALTY WAS WARFARE, HERS THE ARTS. NICCOLO’S
GRANDDAUGHTERS WERE LOVELY REAL-LIFE FAIRY PRINCESSES.
ONE OF THE SISTERS, ISABELLA, WAS A TRUE NOBLEWOMAN WHO COULD WRITE POETRY,
ESSAYS IN LATIN, TALKED POLITICS WITH DIPLOMATS, AND PAINTING WITH ARTISTS. SHE
COULD SING, DANCE AND PLAY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. IN THOSE DAYS, GIRLS LIKE
ISABELLA, THE DAUGHTERS OF DUKES, WERE COMMITTED TO MARRIAGE AS EARLY AS SIX
YEARS OLD, AND MADE TO BE LADIES-IN-WAITING UNTIL THEY REACHED AGE 16. ISABELLA
WAS COMMITTED TO GIANFRANCESCO GONZAGA, THE SON OF THE MARQUIS OF MANTUA.
EVENTUALLY, SHE BECAME THE RULER OF MANTUA, AND ATTAINED THE TITLE LA PRIMA
DONNA DEL MONDO, THE "FIRST LADY OF THE WORLD."
In Mantua there was a “School for Princes." Vittorino da Feltre was the schoolmaster,
charged with teaching the best and brightest Latin and Greek, the poetry of Homer,
Petrarch, and Virgil, Demosthenes' speeches, plus religious training, among all the other
disciplines. These were the first men known as “Renaissance Men.” They were taught the
virtues of honesty, mind, body and spirit, under the Greek ideal. The leaders of Italy were
taught there for 20 years.
Not all the Renaissance Men were honest. Sigismundo Malatesta, who became the lord of
the state of Rimini in 1432, was an educated charmer. He had all the qualities of a
poet-warrior, but he came from a long line of Italian liars. In fact, the name Malatesta
was meant “evil head.” He cheated employers, seduced women, and portrayed himself,
inaccurately, as a religious man. As lord of Rimini, he taxed his people unmercifully (so
he was a Democrat!), and filled a cathedral with works of art that quickly made people
realize it was meant not to glorify God, but Malatesta. Eventually, the Pope
excommunicated Sigismundo. He said he was “the evil spirit of Italy, and the disgrace of
our time.”
Urbino was governed by a generous noble, Duke Federigo da Montefeltro, a product of
the “School for Princes.” He built a fabulous library in Urbino. His son, who inherited the
dukedom, continued his gentlemanly ways. Baldassare Castiglione, a military officer who
was injured and sent to the Duke’s palace to recover, ending up in the court there for 11
years. He wrote a book describing the beauty of da Montefeltro’s Urbino in “The Book of
the Courtier”. The book detailed what was said to be the mark of a true gentleman during
that era, and this included noble birth (but not required), skills in the art of war, expert
sporting skills, and a classic education. The book was the best seller of its day, translated
into French and English. It sold throughout Europe after its publication in 1528.
Unfortunately, this Italian Camelot went the way of most of the small city-states of Italy.
Unable to protect itself, and not part of a confederated country, it fell to invading armies.
Decisions had to be made on how to protect one’s political base. In the preceding years,
lying, double-dealing nobles had fared no better than exquisitely honest ones. Who could
provide the right kinds of policies that would create stability? It was during the search for
this kind of “answer” when Machiavelli entered the picture.
A dissection of his book, “The Prince”, has already been offered, but this chapter offers
more light on what motivated him to pen this book. Like everybody else in Renaissance
Italy, he had found himself adrift in the changing tides of politics. For 14 years he had
been an officer of the Republic of Florence, but when the Medici’s had returned with the
Spanish Army, he was a nobody.
Cesare Borgia took Machiavelli’s advisements to heart. Borgia was a gentleman of the da
Montefeltro style, but he was also said to have murdered his brother. His father had been
the Pope who consolidated Borgia states under Church control. By the age of 27, in 1502,
Borgia had taken control of a dozen cities. He was a successful condottiere, charging for
his military services then taking over politically when he was strong enough to do so. He
had earned the friendship of Urbino’s elite, then borrowed their cannon to help conquer
the city. He outwitted plots to murder him and had his would-be assassins strangled.
Borgia dreamt of a new Roman Empire, with himself as Caesar. When his father died, the
new Pope was a bitter family rival. Borgia asked for help from his allies, but offered
nothing in return. He had forgotten, or failed to make provisions, based on one of
Machiavelli’s principles, which was that a prince loses power when she tarts asking
instead of giving. Borgia was killed in battle.
IN 1492, LORENZO MEDICI HAD LEFT FLORENCE TO JOURNEY TO ROME, WHERE HE WAS
MADE A CARDINAL. HE WAS ONLY 18 WHEN HIS FAMILY’S POWER COLLAPSED. ROME HAD
KNOWN SO MUCH HISTORY THAT IT WAS NOW A CITY OF GREAT INTRIGUE. MEDICI WOULD
HAVE TO MAKE HIS WAY IN A CITY THAT FEATURED SCHOLARS, SCOUNDRELS, DIPLOMATS,
SPIES, MILLIONAIRES, FORTUNE HUNTERS, PRIESTS, AND PROFESSIONAL MURDERERS. ITALY
WAS A COUNTRY CONTROLLED BY FAMILIES, EACH EMPLOYING “ARMIES.” ONE CAN EASILY
SEE HOW THE MAFIA GREW OUT OF THIS SITUATION. ROME, IN THE YEARS AFTER THE
EMPIRE COLLAPSED, WAS THE COLD WAR BERLIN OF ITS TIME. THE RISE OF THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH AND THE NEW ARCHITECTURE OF THE RENAISSANCE REPLACED THE RUINS OF
ANCIENT ROME AND THE BURNED-OUT BUILDINGS THAT HAD BEEN DESTROYED IN FAMILY
BATTLES. THE POPE OPERATED OUT OF THE VATICAN PALACE, AND ST. PETER’S
CATHEDRAL WAS BUILT AS A SPLENDID MONUMENT.
THE POPES OF THE RENAISSANCE WERE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN THE MODERN POPES. THEY
WERE SCHOLARS, MEN OF THE WORLD, AND POLITICAL ANIMALS. TODAY, CHURCH POLITICS
AND INTRIGUE EXIST, BUT IT IS MUCH MORE ABOUT CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. POPES OF THE
MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE WERE PRODUCTS OF MILITARY COUPS, POLITICAL
AND BUSINESS DEALS. THEY HAD TO BE DIPLOMATS WHO COORDINATED A COALITION OF
CHURCHES, CITIES, STATES, GOVERNMENTS, ARMIES AND DISPARATE GROUPS THAT MAKE
DWIGHT EISENHOWER’S JOB DURING WORLD WAR II LOOK SIMPLE.
POPE NICHOLAS V WAS A SCHOLAR AND CHIEF LIBRARIAN OF COSIMO MEDICI’S CLAN.
PIUS II WAS A BRILLIANT AND AMBITIOUS MAN WHO CAME TO POWER IN 1458. PAUL II WAS
AN ELEGANT VENETIAN, BEJEWELED AND WELL TURNED IN THE FINEST CLOTHES. POPE
SIXTUS IV WAS A PLOTTER AND TYRANT. HE HAD CONSPIRED TO OVERTHROW LORENZO
THE MAGNIFICENT IN AN EFFORT TO CONTROL CENTRAL ITALY. THE PEOPLE OVERTHREW
HIM AND DEMANDED A PEACEFUL MAN, AND THUS WERE GIVEN THE APTLY NAMED POPE
INNOCENT III, WHO WAS THE ONE WHO MADE GIOVANNI MEDICI A CARDINAL. BY THE TIME
HE ARRIVED IN ROME, HOWEVER, POPE INNOCENT WAS DEAD AND REPLACED BY
ALEXANDER VI, WHO WAS SAID TO BE MOST UN-GODLY. EVEN MACHIAVELLI THOUGHT
HIM MORE DEVIOUS THAN MOST.
ALEXANDER ASCENDED TO THE PAPACY AND HELD IT MUCH LIKE A MODERN CAESAR,
THROWING WILD SPECTACLES. HIS SON WAS CESARE BORGIA, AND HE PINNED HIS HOPES
ON HIS SON LEADING ARMIES THAT WOULD MAKE HIM A REAL CAESAR. BUT THE BORGIA’S
WERE MURDEROUS AND THEIR WAYS BECAME KNOWN TO THEIR FRIENDS AND ALLIES.
THEIR POPULARITY DID NOT LAST. AS MORE AND MORE OF THEIR RIVALS WERE KILLED, IT
BECAME OBVIOUS WHO WAS BEHIND IT. THE POPE’S DAUGHTER, LUCRETIA BORGIA, IS
INFAMOUS FOR HER USE OF “SLOW POISON,” WHICH SHE MIXED IN THE FOOD AND DRINK OF
RIVALS WHO SHE SEDUCED INTO HER INNER CIRCLE USING SEX AS AN ENTICEMENT. THE
RIVALS WOULD APPEAR TO BE ALL RIGHT, THEN DIE A FEW DAYS LATER. HISTORY HAS
NEVER TRULY PROVED ALL THE STORIES ABOUT LUCRETIA, BUT NEITHER HAVE THEY BEEN
DISPROVED.
ALEXANDER AND CESARE CAME DOWN ILL AT THE SAME TIME. RUMORS ABOUNDED THAT
ONE OR BOTH OF THEM HAD MEANT TO POISON THE CARDINAL, THAT THE BUTLER HAD
ACCIDENTALLY SERVED THEM THE TAINTED WINE, OR THAT LUCRETIA HAD POISONED
THEM. THEY MAY VERY WELL HAVE COME DOWN WITH MALARIA, WHICH AFFLICTED ROME
THAT YEAR. EITHER WAY, THE POPE DIED 13 DAYS LATER. ROMANS CELEBRATED IN THE
STREETS, BEGINNING A LEGEND THAT A LITTLE DEVIL WAS SEEN SCAMPERING INTO THE
VATICAN TO COLLECT HIS SOUL. THE CATHOLICS HAD VEERED FAR FROM THE ORIGINAL
WORK OF JESUS. SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH INDEED WERE
DOING THE WORK, WITTINGLY OR UNWITTINGLY, OF SATAN.
CESARE BORGIA DIED IN BATTLE, AND AGAIN THE SEARCH WENT OUT FOR AN HONEST
POPE. CARDINAL JULIUS DELLA ROVERE WAS CHOSEN IN 1504. HE TURNED OUT TO BE
MORE OF A MILITARY MAN THAN A MAN OF GOD. AS AN ITALIAN HIS MAIN AGENDA WAS TO
DRIVE FOREIGN FORCES OUT OF ITALY. INSTEAD OF PAYING HEED TO CHRISTIAN CONCERNS
IN ROME, HE PUT ON A SUIT OF ARMOR AND LED A FORCE INTO THE FIELD TO DRIVE THE
FRENCH “BARBARIANS” OUT. HE BEGAN A 10-YEAR WAR, AND MANAGED TO FREE THE
PENINSULA OF THE FRENCH AND OTHER FOREIGN FORCES. THIS STRENGTHENED THE
CHURCH AND CREATED THE “FIVE POWERS” OF ITALY.
WHEN HE RETURNED FROM THE BATTLES, HE SET OUT TO BUILD UP ROME. HE WAS A MAJOR
FIGURE OF THE GOLDEN AGE. HE TORE DOWN THE CRUMBLING BASILICA OF ST. PETER,
AND CHOSE DONATO BRAMANTE TO CONSTRUCT A NEW ST. PETER’S. HE HIRED THE ARTIST
RAPHAEL TO PAINT OVER ALL THE MAIN ROOMS. THIS INCLUDED HIS MASTERPIECE, WHICH
DEPICTED PLATO AND ARISTOTLE, AMONG OTHER WORKS SHOWING SAINTS AND APOSTLES;
POETS AND MUSICIANS; AND LAWMAKERS. RAPHAEL CHANGED THE NATURE OF
RENAISSANCE ART, WHICH HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN SOMBER AND MADE BY ARTISTS WHO
SPENT MUCH TIME PONDERING AND LABORING OVER THEIR WORK. HE WAS A LIVELY
ARTIST WHO PAINTED SCENES THAT SHOWED LIFE AS A CELEBRATION.
MICHELANGELO WAS STILL WORKING. HE WAS IN CONTRAST TO RAPHAEL; MOODY, ILL
TEMPERED, BROODING. HIS STATUE OF THE DEAD CHRIST AND HIS MOTHER, THE “PIETA”,
MADE HIS NAME FOR HIM. HE THEN SCULPTED THE MAGNIFICENT “DAVID", THAT LED TO A
CALL FROM POPE JULIUS. THE FIRST PROJECT WAS A STATUE OF JULIUS HIMSELF, AND
AFTER THAT THE SISTINE CHAPEL.
IT WAS THOUGHT THAT RAPHAEL WAS THE MAN FOR THE SISTINE PROJECT. HE WAS THE
PAINTER, AND THE MURAL OF THE CEILING WAS A PAINTING. MICHELANGELO WAS A
SCULPTOR. BUT JULIUS INSISTED ON MICHELANGELO. THE ARTISTS COMPLAINED, STALLED
AND SAID HE WAS NOT IN THE PAINTING TRADE. THE POPE INSISTED. IT TOOK FOUR YEARS
AND THE WORK WAS AGONIZING AND SLOW. MICHELANGELO PAINTED 10,000 FEET OF
CEILING, MUCH OF IT ON HIS BACK. HE PAINTED 343 BODIES, 343 HEADS, NEARLY AN ACRE
OF BACKGROUND, AND LET NO ASSISTANTS TOUCH AN INCH OF IT.
THROUGHOUT THIS TIME, JULIUS WOULD DEMAND, “WHEN WILL IT BE FINISHED?”
“IT WILL BE FINISHED WHEN I SHALL HAVE DONE ALL THAT I BELIEVE IS REQUIRED TO
SATISFY ART,” WAS MICHELANGELO’S REPLY. IN OCTOBER, 1512, MICHELANGELO
PRONOUNCED THE WORK COMPLETE. THE PAINTING TOLD GOD’S STORY; OF ADAM
RECEIVING THE LIFE-GIVING TOUCH OF THE CREATOR, THEN OF NOAH AND MOSES, THE
PROPHETS, JEWISH MILITARY TRIUMPH, THE BIRTH OF CHRIST, THE PRINCE OF HEAVEN.
THE SISTINE WAS COMPLETED AS POPE JULIUS WAS COMPLETING HIS LAST SUCCESSFUL
MILITARY CAMPAIGN. IN 1513, HIS LIFE SEEMINGLY COMPLETE, HE DIED HAVING DONE
MUCH FOR ROME AND ITALY.
GIOVANNI DE MEDICI, 37, TOOK OVER AT THE VATICAN. HE BECAME POPE LEO X. THE
UNIVERSITY OF ROME BECAME A FIRST CLASS INSTITUTION OF LEARNING DURING HIS
REIGN. HE BROUGHT A COSMOPOLITAN AIR TO THE PAPACY. HE OVERSAW THE
COMPLETION OF THE NEW ST. PETER’S. MICHELANGELO WAS SO TIRED AND WORN OUT
FROM HIS SISTINE PROJECT THAT HE WAS HAPPY TO JUST FADE AWAY. RAPHAEL EMERGED
AS THE LEADING ARTIST OF THE LEO ERA, BUT THEN HE DIED SUDDENLY AT 37 IN 1520. HIS
FUNERAL WAS A MAJOR EVENT, AND DEMONSTRATED THE REVERENCE ROMANS FELT FOR
GREAT ART.
POPE LEO THEN PUT HIS MIND TO THE WORK OF BUILDING PEACE AFTER JULIUS’ WARRING
RULE. HE WAS A GOOD DIPLOMAT, AND HE HAD TO BE. THE WORLD WAS IN TURMOIL, THE
CONFLICTS INVOLVING THE SPANISH, FRENCH, THE NETHERLANDS, AND WARRING ITALIAN
CITY-STATES. HE WED HIS NEPHEW TO A FRENCH PRINCESS IN 1518, BUT THE COUPLE BOTH
DIED YOUNG, LEAVING A BABY NAMED CATHERINE. HE TURNED TO CHARLES V, HOLY
ROMAN EMPEROR AND LORD OF THE NETHERLANDS, TO QUIET A CHURCH SQUABBLE IN
GERMANY. A GERMAN MONK NAMED MARTIN LUTHER WAS TRYING TO INSTALL REFORMS.
LUTHER WAS FED UP WITH THE VATICAN – THE POLITICS, THE GREED, THE WARS AND
VIOLENCE. HE WAS TIRED OF THE CHURCH SYSTEM. IT ESSENTIALLY REWARDED RICH MEN
WITH THE “ACCESS” TO GOD. POOR PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE ACCESS BECAUSE THEY COULD
NOT AFFORD TO PAY – BRIBE – THE CHURCH WITH “INDULGENCES” THAT WERE REWARDED
WITH PARDONS FOR SIN, WHICH AMOUNTED TO LETTERS OF ADMISSION TO HEAVEN. THESE
LETTERS WERE LITERALLY PEDDLED BY CORRUPT CHURCHMEN. MEN WOULD SIMPLY
COMMIT SOME SIN OR ANOTHER AND THEN PURCHASE THE LETTER, “ASSURING” THEM OF
ACCEPTANCE TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIED. DESPITE DOUBTS THAT THE LETTERS WERE
WORTH THE PAPER THEY WERE PRINTED ON, LEDO ALLOWED THE PRACTICE TO GO ON. IT
WAS TOO PROSPEROUS TO THE CATHOLICS TO END THE PRACTICE.
LEO SIMPLY DID NOT WANT SOME MONK TELLING HIM HOW TO RUN HIS BUSINESS. LUTHER
WAS THREATENED WITH EXCOMMUNICATION, AND HIS CHURCH WAS TAKEN FROM HIM. HE
WAS THOUGHT TO BE JUST ANOTHER RADICAL LIKE SAVONAROLA. LEO ORDERED CHARLES
TO ATTACK THE NEW LUTHERANS, BUT CHARLES DID NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN A
RELIGIOUS DISPUTE. BEING CLOSER TO THE SCENE, CHARLES UNDERSTOOD THAT LUTHER
HAD A VERY POWERFUL HOLD ON HIS FOLLOWERS. VARIOUS MILITARY AND POLITICAL
MOVES ENSUED, INVOLVING A SPANISH-GERMAN FORCE THAT WAS SENT TO SUCCESSFULLY
FIGHT THE FRENCH, AND A GERMAN PROMISE TO CENSURE LUTHER. LEO DIED IN 1521, BUT
LUTHERANISM DID NOT DIE.
THE BEGINNING OF THE REFORMATION, OF PROTESTANTISM, DID MUCH TO EXPOSE THE
CORRUPTION OF THE OFFICIAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. IT ALSO CREATED A NEW EVANGELICAL
CHRISTIANITY. THE CONCEPT SAID THAT MAN COULD COMMUNICATE BY PRAYER WITH
CHRIST, DIRECTLY, SPIRITUALLY, AT ANY TIME OR ANY PLACE. IT HAD A UNIVERSAL
RESONANCE, AND ITS MESSAGE IS AS STRONG TODAY AS IT WAS IN THE 1520S.
POPE ADRIAN VI WAS FROM GERMANY. HE DIRECTED AN END TO THE CHURCH’S PRACTICE
OF ACTING LIKE A CORPORATION. MANY OF THE ARTISTS COMMISSIONED BY THE VATICAN
WERE PUT OUT OF WORK. IN 1527, ROME FELL TO AN ARMY OF GERMAN AND SPANISH
TROOPS, WHO SACKED THE CITY UNMERCIFULLY. MANY OF THE GERMANS CALLED
THEMSELVES LUTHERANS. THEIR VIOLENCE WAS INTENSE, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT
MERCENARIES BUT RATHER RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS WHO FELT THEY WERE FIGHTING A FALSE
RELIGION, CATHOLICISM. THE POPE AT THIS TIME WAS CLEMENT VII. HE SURRENDERED
THE CITY AND WAS TAKEN PRISONER. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE
SIGNIFICANCE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE CATHOLICISM IS THE ONE TRUE RELIGION. THE
INVADERS WERE STRUCK BY NATURAL ILLNESS, AND 10,000 OF THEM DIED OF SICKNESS.
NEXT CAME THE FRENCH, AGAIN, BUT DURING THEIR PENINSULA CAMPAIGN THEY, TOO,
WERE STRUCK BY ILLNESS – PLAGUE AND MALARIA – CAUSED APPARENTLY BY SWAMPY
CONDITIONS AND HEAT. EVENTUALLY, THE MEDICI’S ASCENDED AGAIN TO POWER IN
FLORENCE. MERCHANTS AGAIN TRIED TO CREATE POWER BASES. YEARS OF SCANDAL, WAR
AND UNCERTAINTY ROBBED THEM OF THEIR VITALITY AS A NATIONAL PEOPLE. ART
REFLECTED THE PERIOD. PAINTINGS NO LONGER TRIED TO CAPTURE TRUTH, BUT RATHER
TRIED TO DEPICT AN IMAGINARY WORLD IN WHICH THE REALITY OF LIFE COULD BE PUT
SOMEPLACE ELSE WHILE PEOPLE DREAMT.
MICHELANGELO STILL WAS AROUND. A LEGEND, HE HAD SURVIVED ALL THE TURMOIL AND
WAS MORE RENOWNED THAN EVER. ORDINARY POPES CAME AND WENT. HE FINALLY WAS
COMMISSIONED – AGAINST HIS WISHES, OF COURSE – TO CREATE THE ST. PETER’S BASILICA
ON THE BEHEST OF POPE PAUL III. HE ACTUALLY DIED BEFORE ITS COMPLETION, BUT THE
WORK CONTINUED AND WAS FINISHED IN 1588. IT WAS A SYMBOLIC END TO THE
RENAISSANCE.
VENICE HAD BEEN A CITY THAT TRIED TO STAY CLEAR OF THE WARS AND TURMOIL OF THE
RENAISSANCE, WHILE MAINTAINING THE GREAT ARTISTIC ADVANCEMENTS OF THE AGE. IT
WAS BUILT ON A NATURAL LAGOON, WHICH WAS CONSIDERED A DEFENSE FROM INVADERS.
ITS CANALS MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR ANY ARMIES TO COME IN AND TAKE OVER. VENICE HAD
BEEN A SEAPORT AND LAUNCHING PAD OF THE CRUSADES. THROUGH SHREWD MANEUVERS
ITS MERCHANTS HAD BENEFITED FROM THE RICHES PLUNDERED DURING THOSE HOLY
WARS. THEY BUILT MIGHTY SHIPS AND BENEFITED FROM TRADE ROUTES. THIS MARKED
VENICE FOR 800 YEARS. GENOA TWICE TRIED TO INVADE. THE LAGOON AND THE
VENETIAN MARINES STOPPED THEM COLD BOTH TIMES, ELIMINATING THE GENOVESE AS
RIVALS. BY 1400, VENICE “OWNED THE SEA,” BUT BY TRADE, NOT NAVAL SUCCESS. IN
1405, VENICE WENT ON A LAND CAMPAIGN TO CAPTURE RICHES THAT THEY COULD NOT
OBTAIN BY TRADE. THEY SUCCEEDED.
IN 1453 CONSTANTINOPLE WAS LOST TO THE TURKS, AND IN 10 YEARS THEY THREATENED
VENICE. WHILE VENICE DID NOT FALL, IT WAS A COSTLY CAMPAIGN TO KEEP THE TURKS
OUT. THE CITY CONTINUED TO BE KNOWN FOR ITS FINERIES, WHICH CAME TO THEM BOTH
VIA TRADE AND BY LOCAL CRAFTSMEN. THE ARISTOCRACY RAN THE CITY STERNLY.
DESPITE ITS IMPRESSIVE BEAUTY, IT WAS NOT A DEMOCRACY. ITS GOVERNMENT WAS
MUCH LIKE THE ROMAN SENATE. CITIZENS DEEMED ENEMIES OF VENICE WERE GIVEN NO
RIGHTS, AND OFTEN JUST DISAPPEARED INTO DUNGEONS.
ART IN VENICE HAD MORE OF AN EASTERN FLAVOR TO IT, BECAUSE OF ITS TIES TO THE
CRUSADES, THE PLUNDERS OF THE EAST, AND ITS DEALINGS WITH THE TURKS AND
CONSTANTINOPLE. ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THOUGH, IF ONE WERE WEALTHY, LIFE IN
VENICE WAS JOYOUS.
ITALIAN CUSTOMS SPREAD THROUGHOUT EUROPE DURING THE RENAISSANCE. THIS WAS
PARTLY DUE TO THE INFLUENCE OF FRANCIS I, KING OF FRANCE, WHO COLLECTED ALL
THINGS ITALIAN. ENGLAND, SPAIN AND GERMANY ALL REFLECTED ITALIAN ART AND
MANNER, TOO. THIS DID NOT STOP LOUIS XII OF FRANCE FROM TRYING TO CONQUER ITALY
IN 1499. HE LAID CLAIM TO MILAN, CAPTURING IT FROM THE SFORZA’S. LOUIS BROUGHT
MUCH CONFISCATED ITALIAN ART BACK TO PARIS, AND WANTED TO PILFER THE “LAST
SUPPER”. HIS ADVISORS TALKED HIM OUT OF IT. VARIOUS INVADERS ALL SEEMED TO FEEL
THE SAME. ONCE THEY TOOK THEIR TERRITORIES, THEY FELL IN LOVE WITH ALL THE ART.
FINALLY, FRANCIS I SIMPLY PAID LEONARDO DA VINCI A SALARY OF 7,000 PIECES OF GOLD
TO COME BACK TO FRANCE AND PAINT FOR THE FRENCH. DA VINCI WAS HAPPY TO DO SO.
HE BROUGHT THE “MONA LISA” WITH HIM FOR PLACEMENT IN THE ROYAL ART
COLLECTION. THE LOUVRE WAS BUILT ON THE BANKS OF THE SEINE RIVER, AND THE
CHATEAU CHAMBORD WAS REBUILT. THE POET FRANCOIS RABELAIS’ POETRY WAS
POPULARIZED.
THE LAST FRENCH CAMPAIGN IN ITALY, LED BY HENRI II, WAS A MISERABLE FAILURE IN
1557. HE WAS FORCED TO MAKE A PEACE THAT KEPT THE FRENCH ON THEIR SIDE OF THE
ALPS, BUT HE DID GET A BRIDE OUT OF IT, CATHERINE DE MEDICI. THE REIGN OF
CATHERINE AND HER THREE CHILDREN, AFTER HENRI’S DEATH, WAS FRAUGHT WITH
RELIGIOUS TURMOIL. THIS USHERED IN THE AGE OF THE BOURBONS, AND UNDER THIS
REGIME FRANCE BECAME UNITED. THUS BEGAN THE AGE OF REASON.
THE RENAISSANCE IN SPAIN AND THE NORTH WERE USHERED IN VIA TRADE THAT BROUGHT
THEM THE LUXURIES OF ASIA. BUSINESS DOMINATED THE SCENE. IN 1440, JOHANN
GUTTENBERG INVENTED THE PRINTING PRESS. PAINTINGS IN THE NORTH WERE SYMBOLIZED
BY THE WORK OF HUBERT AND JAN VAN EYCK. GRADUALLY, ARTISTIC TECHNIQUES OF
THE NORTHERN AND LOW COUNTRIES BLENDED WITH THE STYLES OF THE ITALIANS.
IN 1517, A DUTCH SCHOLAR, ERASMUS, BEGAN THE STUDY OF HUMANISM IN THE FORM OF
ARTISTRY. ERASMUS WAS SAID TO BE A GREAT INFLUENCE ON MARTIN LUTHER. IN SPAIN,
THE MOORS WERE DRIVEN OUT, BUT THE DARK AGES SEEMED TO DESCEND ONCE AGAIN
WHEN THEY REVERTED TO THE PRACTICE OF BURNING SO-CALLED HERETICS. SPAIN WAS
THE COUNTRY OF CERVANTES, WHOSE COMIC KNIGHT, DON QUIXOTE, CAPTURED THE
IMAGINATION WITH HIS WINDMILL-JOUSTING PURSUIT OF THE “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.” BUT
THE SPANIARDS WERE THE INQUISITORS. THEY TOOK THEIR CATHOLICISM VERY
SERIOUSLY. THE INQUISITIONS OF THE SPANISH CHURCHMEN ESSENTIALLY CONTRIBUTED
TO THE END OF THE RENAISSANCE. A PERIOD OF HARSHNESS AND RELIGIOUS ZEAL TOOK
OVER, MUCH OF IT BACKLASH AGAINST THE GROWING LUTHERANISM. AS SPAIN GREW IN
POWER AND CREATED THEIR ARMADA, THEY SPREAD THIS ZEAL FAR AND WIDE.
QUEEN ELIZABETH HAD TAKEN OVER ENGLAND AFTER MUCH TURMOIL, AND HER OWN
EARLY YEARS ON THE THRONE WERE FILLED WITH AS MUCH INTRIGUE AND
BEHIND-THE-SCENES DEALINGS AS THE MERCHANT SQUABBLES OF THE ITALIAN
CITY-STATES. WHEN SHE WOULD FINALLY ESTABLISH HER SECURE REIGN, IT USHERED IN
WHAT WOULD BE KNOWN AS THE ELIZABETHAN AGE, THE BRITISH RENAISSANCE. SHE WAS
25 WHEN SHE TOOK THE THRONE, PRESIDING OVER A COUNTRY TORN BY RELIGIOUS AND
CIVIL TROUBLES. POVERTY HAD TAKEN OVER THE COUNTRYSIDE. HER MILITARY WAS NOT
STRONG. THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND HAD SPLIT FROM ROME, AND BOTH SPAIN AND
FRANCE THREATENED ATTACK. ELIZABETH’S FATHER WAS THE TEMPESTUOUS KING
HENRY VIII. SHE WAS POPULAR WITH HER PEOPLE AND MADE HERSELF AVAILABLE TO
THEM. SHE SPOKE ITALIAN, AND THEREFORE WAS POPULAR WITH THE DIPLOMATS WHO
PAID VISITS TO HER COURT.
THE ART OF ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND WAS EMBODIED BY THE GREATEST PLAYWRIGHT
EVER, THE INCOMPARABLE WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. NOBLES AND COMMONS ALIKE
FLOCKED TO SEE HIS WORKS AT THE GLOBE THEATRE. SHAKESPEARE’S WORKS TOLD TALES
OF FRENCH BATTLEFIELDS, SPANISH COURTS AND ITALIAN LOVE AFFAIRS. HE BROUGHT
THE COUNTRY TOGETHER IN A WAY NOT SEEN SINCE THE GREEK TRAGEDIES. PLAYWRIGHTS
SUCH AS LYL, KYD, GREENE, PEELE, MARLOWE AND BEN JOHNSON SPUN FABULOUS
TALES, TOO. QUEEN ELIZABETH GAVE GREAT CREDIT TO THE ACTORS, LIFTING THEIR PLACE
IN SOCIETY FOR THE FIRST TIME. COMPOSERS SUCH AS CAMPION, JOHN DOWLAND,
WILLIAM BYRD AND ORLANDO GIBBONS WROTE GREAT MUSIC THAT WAS HEARD
THROUGHOUT EUROPE.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE RENAISSANCE WOULD REVERBERATE FOREVER. THOMAS
JEFFERSON’S MONTICELLO WAS DESIGNED IN THE RENAISSANCE STYLE. THE ART AND
ARCHITECTURE OF THE RENAISSANCE IS STILL A TREMENDOUS INFLUENCE.

                                 CHAPTER 10

                 THE FORMATION OF WESTERN EUROPE

       QUEEN ELIZABETH DIED ON MARCH 24, 1603. SHE USHERED IN A NEW AGE IN
ENGLAND AND EUROPE. THE CENTURY FOLLOWING HER REIGN, WHICH WAS STARTED BY
HER, MARKS THE GREAT CHANGE IN WESTERN EUROPE THAT FORMED THE MODERN AGE.
THIS MODERN AGE ULTIMATELY BECAME THE AGE OF AMERICA.
       THE UNITED STATES LEARNED FROM HISTORY. THIS BOOK DEMONSTRATES THAT IT
IS A HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS, MISUNDERSTANDINGS, CONSTANT WAR,
CONQUERING EMPIRES, STRONG, WEAK AND BAD LEADERS, AND A WIDE RANGE OF
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHIES. CHRISTIANITY BEGAN WITH A MAN OF GREAT PEACE. ONCE IT
BECAME A DOMINANT RELIGION, IT WAS PERVERTED BY AN INQUISITION AND THE
POLITICIZATION OF CATHOLICISM BY VENIAL POPES AND DICTATORS. A REFORMATION
TOOK PLACE IN WHICH CHRISTIAN LEADERS TOOK A HARD LOOK AT THIS RELIGION. THUS
BEGAN THE PROCESS OF COMING TO GRIPS WITH WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ORGANIZED
RELIGION. THE MIDDLE EAST WAS SHAPED FOREVER BY THE CRUSADES, CREATING A
FRICTION BETWEEN MOSLEMS AND EUROPEANS THAT IS AS REAL TODAY AS IT WAS DURING
THE TIME OF SALADIN.

THE TRANSFORMATION OF ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND INTO A MODERN POWER
       THE 17TH CENTURY WAS THE ERA OF MODERNIZATION IN ENGLAND. IT WAS THE
ERA IN WHICH THE BRITISH WOULD STRENGTHEN AND DEVELOP ANOTHER GREAT EMPIRE.
BRITAIN WOULD DEVELOP INTO THE DOMINANT NATION AND CULTURE IN THE WORLD. THE
LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF BRITAIN WOULD FORM WHAT EVENTUALLY BECAME THE U.S.
                     TH
      THE   EARLY 17    CENTURY BEGAN WITH THE ACCESSION OF KING JAMES, WHO
UNITED THE CROWNS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND. IN 1707, PARLIAMENT ACHIEVED A
MORE SOLID UNION BETWEEN THE TWO ENTITIES. THE KING JAMES BIBLE TRANSLATED THE
NEW TESTAMENT INTO A READABLE WORK THAT MADE RELIGION MORE UNDERSTANDABLE
FOR MILLIONS. IN 1714, GEORGE I TOOK OVER THE THRONE WITH THE ASCENT OF
PARLIAMENT. THE CENTURY BEGAN AT A TIME IN WHICH MEDICINE WAS CRUDE. PEOPLE
BELIEVED IN SUPERSTITIONS AND GHOSTS. OVER THE NEXT 100 YEARS GREAT STRIDES IN
REAL KNOWLEDGE WERE MADE.
       PARLIAMENT TOOK OVER CONTROL OF THE FINANCES OF BRITAIN, WHICH EARLY
STUART KINGS HAD THOUGHT TO BE THEIR SOLE DOMAIN. A LAISSEZ-FAIRE ECONOMIC
PRINCIPLE SUCCEEDED REGULATION IN MOST SPHERES. THIS BROUGHT ABOUT THE BANK OF
ENGLAND. THE 17TH CENTURY SAW ENGLAND GO FROM BEING A SECOND-RATE POWER TO
THE WORLD’S GREATEST POWER. COLONIZATION OF AMERICAN BEGAN DURING THIS
PERIOD. UNDER QUEEN ANNE, A LARGE EMPIRE SPREAD TO ASIA AND AFRICA. THE EAST
INDIA COMPANY WAS FORMED AND BECAME THE MOST POWERFUL CORPORATION ON
EARTH. MERCHANTS BECAME AS WEALTHY AND IMPORTANT AS NOBLEMEN. THE ENGLISH
DIET CHANGED FROM ROOT CROPS TO VEGETABLES, MEAT, POTATOES, TEA, COFFEE,
CHOCOLATE, SUGAR AND TOBACCO. PORT AND GIN DRINKING BECAME NATIONAL HABITS.
FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE CITIZENRY BEGAN THE REGULAR PRACTICE OF EATING THREE
MEALS A DAY – BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER. CLOTHING STYLES BECAME
MODERNIZED. POTTERY REPLACED PEWTER AND WOOD. FAMILIES BEGAN TO USE KNIVES
AND FORKS. SOME HOUSEHOLDS EVEN DEVELOPED A SYSTEM OF RUNNING HOT AND COLD
BATHWATER. THE PLAGUE WAS A CONSTANT WORRY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY,
AND WAS NON-EXISTENT BY THE END OF IT.
        In 1603, heretics were burnt at the stake and traitors were tortured. By 1714,
Protestant dissent was legally tolerated, and torture was illegal. Church courts lost their
power to civil courts. Under Charles I Archbishop Laud ruled the land. Under Anne it
was considered a sensation when a bishop was appointed to government office. Under the
early Stuarts Justices of the Peace were subject to the direction of Whitehall and had to
answer to a Star Chamber. Eventually country gentlemen and town oligarchies took over
local government functions. Judges could be dismissed by fiat in James' time. By 1701
they could be removed only by both Houses of Parliament.
        When James was King, it was felt that he ruled by Divine Right. It was argued
that all property was his. By the end of the century, property rights of individuals were
respected. Astrology, fairies and alchemy no longer held sway with the populace. Modern
science became triumphant. The laws of Newton were written. No longer did the people
believe that the Earth was literally at the center of a Universe in which God and the devil
intervened in all manner of human action.
        Historian Christopher Hill said that Richard Cromwell, who had been born under
Charles I, “had seen the end of the Middle Ages, the beginnings of the modern
world…Between his birth and his death the educated person’s conception of nature and
of man’s place in nature had been transformed.”
        Poets like Donne and Traherne wrote for the first time of metaphysical forces.
Language went from crude to refined, embodied by the works of Bunyan, Swift and
Defoe. Operatic performances and virtuoso violinists and singers thrilled public
audiences. The 17th Century set England on the path to parliamentary government,
economic advance, imperialist foreign policy, religious toleration and scientific progress.
       The struggle for constitutional government was the main question when King
James I took over. The question was whether the King ruled the people as God’s
representative, or whether he should submit to the control of national representatives. In
France, the Estates General met in 1614. Thereafter their King made laws without the
advice of any political body. Despotic powers were generally exercised on the Continent.
James I his and son, Charles I, would gladly have exercised the same control themselves.
       James I was the first of the Stuarts to take the throne. He was the son of Mary
Queen of Scots, and known in Scotland as James VI. His reign ushered in a political deal
consolidating England and Scotland. In practical terms, relations between the people of
the two countries did not get much better for many years to come, however. James was a
learned man, but his rule was not much more effective than the unschooled Henry IV of
France. Henry VIII had been heartless. His daughter, Elizabeth had been enlightened;
both understood how to make themselves popular among the people. James was not adept
at public relations. Shakespeare had written many of his plays prior to Elizabeth’s death,
but “Othello”, “King Lear” and “The Tempest” proved highly prescient of James’ rule.
Francis Bacon was a philosopher and statesman who did much to advance scientific
research based upon his study of Aristotelian logic.
         Charles I had married a French princess, Henrietta Maria, the daughter of Henry
IV. He proposed to aid the Huguenots in their efforts at La Rochelle. He decided he
needed a military victory to increase his power base, and hoped to prosecute a war with
Spain. He bucked Parliament and did it. The expedition and the aid to the Huguenots both
failed. Charles then proposed that the citizenry lend him money for his war efforts with
no guarantee that he would pay them back. Some gentlemen refused to make these
payments. They were arrested, therefore bringing to a head the question of royal vs. civil
authority. In 1628 the Petition of Right essentially outlawed similar actions by future
kings.
         Religious problems cropped up because Charles had married a Catholic princess.
A growing inclination to revert to Catholicism alarmed the English Protestants. The
Commons was resolved to maintain the Anglican sentiment. For 11 years beginning in
1629 no new Parliament was summoned while the differences were addressed. Further
civil trials were held regarding the King’s ability to tax the citizenry. Each case further
weakened despotic rule.
         IN 1633, CHARLES MADE WILLIAM LAUD THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. HE
SET FORTH A “MIDDLE COURSE” THAT LAY SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ROME AND CALVINISTIC
GENEVA. HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HUMANS SHOULD BE FREE TO MAKE CONSCIENTIOUS
CHOICES AS TO THE NATURE OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS. THE CONFLICT CAME WITHIN
OFFICIAL CHURCH CIRCLES. THE NEW PROTESTANTS STILL CLUNG TO CERTAIN PRACTICES
OF CATHOLICISM WHILE REJECTING THE MASS AND THE POPE AS THEIR TITULAR HEAD. THE
LOW CHURCH PARTY, KNOWN AS PURITANS, CONSIDERED SUCH PRACTICES AS
SUPERSTITION. THE PRESBYTERIANS JOINED FORCES WITH THE PURITANS IN DEMANDING A
MORE CALVINIST STYLE OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.
         VARIOUS SEPARATISTS EMERGED. SOME FELT THE NEED TO FLEE THE COUNTRY.
SOME WENT TO HOLLAND. THEY ESTABLISHED A COMMUNITY AT LEIDEN, THEN
DISPATCHED A SHIP CALLED THE MAYFLOWER TO THE NEW WORLD IN 1620. IN 1640,
CHARLES FOUND HIMSELF AT WAR WITH SCOTLAND OVER CHURCH ISSUES. ENGLISH
FORCES FELT LITTLE COMPUNCTION TO FIGHT THE SCOTS OVER ISSUES THEY HAD NO
PALPABLE DISAGREEMENT WITH. THE RESULT OF THE CONFLICT WAS THE FORMATION OF
THE LONG-OVERDUE SESSION OF PARLIAMENT.
         THE HOUSE OF COMMONS WAS OFFENDED BY CHARLES' IMPOSITIONS. THE LONG
PARLIAMENT FOUND THE KING’S RELIGIOUS MINISTERS GUILTY OF TREASON, RESULTING IN
EXECUTIONS. CIVIL WAR ENSUED. THE CAVALIERS (ARISTOCRACY, PAPISTS AND MEMBERS
OF THE COMMONS FEARFUL OF PRESBYTERIANISM) SUPPORTED CHARLES. PARLIAMENTS’
SUPPORTERS WERE CALLED ROUNDHEADS. OLIVER CROMWELL REPRESENTED THEM. HIS
MEN WERE FORTHRIGHT AND FOUGHT WELL AGAINST FORCES THE KING JOINED WITH
NORTHERN AND IRISH FORCES. IN THE BATTLE OF MARSTON MOOR IN 1644, THE KING WAS
DEFEATED. CHARLES WAS FOUND TO BE CONSPIRING WITH FOREIGN FORCES IN FRANCE TO
FIGHT. EVENTUALLY HE WAS TURNED OVER BY HIS SCOTTISH PROTECTORS TO
PARLIAMENT. GREAT TURMOIL TOOK PLACES BETWEEN ALL THE RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL
FACTIONS OF ENGLAND. EVENTUALLY, CHARLES WAS BEHEADED AT WHITEHALL IN 1649.
       THE HOUSE OF COMMONS WAS NOW CALLED HE “RUMP PARLIAMENT.” THEY
PROCLAIMED ENGLAND A COMMONWEALTH. CROMWELL TOOK OVER AS THE REAL RULER
OF ENGLAND. THERE WAS STILL THE MATTER OF CHARLES II, THE SON OF THE EXECUTED
KING AND HEIR TO THE THRONE. HE FACED MUCH DIFFICULTY. THE NOBLES AND
CATHOLICS IN IRELAND PROCLAIMED CHARLES II AS KING. ORMOND, A PROTESTANT
LEADER, FORMED AN ARMY OF IRISH CATHOLICS AND ENGLISH ROYALIST PROTESTANTS
WITH THE HOPE OF OVERTHROWING THE COMMONWEALTH. CROMWELL SET FORTH AN
ARMY TO IRELAND. AFTER TAKING DROGHEDA, HE SLAUGHTERED 2,000 “BARBAROUS
WRETCHES.” MUCH CRUELTY MARKED THE CAMPAIGN. IN 1652 IRELAND SURRENDERED.
       CHARLES II WENT TO SCOTLAND. CROMWELL SUBDUED THEIR ARMY, TOO. HE
ALSO WAS INVOLVED IN A WAR WITH THE DUTCH, FOUGHT OVER COMMERCIAL INTERESTS
INVOLVING TRADE ROUTES. ALLIANCES ENSUED AND CROMWELL MANAGED TO COME OUT
OF HIS SKIRMISHES WITH HIS POWER INTACT. ENGLAND GAINED DUNKIRK AND THE WEST
INDIES. AFTER SOME CONSTERNATION, FOREIGN MONARCHS CAME TO REALIZE CROMWELL
WAS INDEED THE LEGITIMATE LEADER OF A NATION. HE DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES IN 1658.
       HIS SON, RICHARD, SUCCEEDED HIM BUT LOST CONTROL OF THE COUNTRY TO THE
MILITARY. THEY FORMED AN ALIGNMENT WITH CHARLES II, WHICH MARKED THE PURITAN
REVOLUTION AND RESTORATION OF THE STUARTS. VARIOUS RELIGIOUS SECTS WERE
ESTABLISHED IN RESPONSE TO CHARLES' ASCENDANCY. HE MANAGED TO WORK WITH THE
PARLIAMENT AND CREATE AN AIR OF MODERATION IN ENGLAND. THE CONFLICTS WITH
HOLLAND CONTINUED. CHARLES SEIZED MORE OF THE WEST INDIES AND MANHATTAN
ISLAND, POPULATED BY PURITAN PILGRIMS AND NOW MADE INTO COLONIES IN THE NEW
WORLD IN 1667. THIS DEAL WAS MADE WITH THE HELP OF THE FRENCH, WHO SECURED
ENGLISH ALLIANCE. EVENTUALLY, HOWEVER, ENGLAND AND HOLLAND MADE UP THEIR
DIFFERENCES AND FORMED AN ALLIANCE AGAINST LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE.
       CHARLES II DIED IN 1685. HIS BROTHER, JAMES II, A ROMAN CATHOLIC,
SUCCEEDED HIM. HIS WIFE, MARY OF MODENA, WAS ALSO CATHOLIC. JAMES ATTEMPTED
TO BRING ENGLAND BACK INTO CATHOLIC CONTROL. THE ANGLICANS CREATED
REBELLION AT THIS PROSPECT. THE DUKE OF MONMOUTH EMERGED AS A PROTESTANT
CLAIMING TO BE THE LEGITIMATE SUCCESSOR TO CHARLES II. HE HAD THE BACKING OF THE
DISSENTERS, BUT HE WAS CAPTURED AND EXECUTED. MORE THAN 300 WERE HUNG AS
CONSPIRATORS, AND OVER 800 SOLD INTO VIRTUAL SLAVERY IN THE WEST INDIES. LORD
JEFFREYS ORCHESTRATED THESE ACTS, AND HE WAS MADE LORD CHANCELLOR. HE
OPENLY ESPOUSED CATHOLICISM. THE DISSENTERS GAVE HIM NO SUPPORT.
       THE KING WAS GETTING OLD, AND HIS DAUGHTER WAS A PROTESTANT. MARY,
JAMES’ DAUGHTER BY HIS FIRST WIFE, HAD MARRIED WILLIAM, PRINCE OF ORANGE, THE
HEAD OF UNITED NETHERLANDS. A SON WAS BORN TO HIS SECOND, CATHOLIC WIFE.
MESSENGERS WERE DISPATCHED TO WILLIAM AND MARY, INVITING THEM TO COME TO
ENGLAND AND RULE.
       WILLIAM ARRIVED IN 1688 AND RECEIVED SUPPORT FROM ENGLISH PROTESTANTS.
JAMES OPPOSED WILLIAM, BUT HIS ARMY WOULD NOT BACK HIM UP AND HIS COURTIERS
DESERTED HIM. HE ABDICATED AND WENT TO FRANCE. THE “GLORIOUS REVOLUTION” DID
CROWN WILLIAM AND MARY, BUT PASSED A BILL OF RIGHTS THAT PLACED AUTHORITY
WITH PARLIAMENT IN 1689. THIS BILL OF RIGHTS BECAME THE MODEL FOR THE AMERICAN
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, THE BILL OF RIGHTS IN VARYING STATE CONSTITUTIONS,
AND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IN THE FIRST 10 AMENDMENTS. THE TOLERATION ACT
FOLLOWED, GRANTING THE RIGHT OF PUBLIC WORSHIP TO DISSENTERS. LIBERTY OF THE
PRESS WAS EMBOLDENED.

FRANCE STRUGGLES UNDER THE CATHOLIC MONARCHY
         UNDER LOUIS XIV, FRANCE HAD GREAT INFLUENCE IN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS. AFTER
THE WARS OF RELIGION WERE CONCLUDED, HENRY IV HAD ESTABLISHED A ROYAL
AUTHORITY. RICHELIEU HAD SOLIDIFIED THE MONARCHY BY DEPRIVING THE HUGUENOTS
OF PRIVILEGES GRANTED THEM BY HENRY IV. CARDINAL MAZARIN DIED IN 1661, LEAVING
THE MONARCHY TO LOUIS. FRANCE HAD COME OUT OF THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR WITH
ENLARGED TERRITORY AND INCREASED IMPORTANCE.
         LOUIS’ COURT AT VERSAILLES WAS KNOWN AS THE MODEL OF PRINCELY SPLENDOR.
HE ALSO FELT THE SAME WAY JAMES I HAD FELT; THAT THE THRONE WAS HIS BY DIVINE
RIGHT. FRENCH PEOPLE WERE SIMPLY NOT AS ADVANCED AS THE ENGLISH WHEN IT CAME
TO THE CONCEPT OF SELF-RULE. THE FRENCH WERE MORE LIKELY TO ACCEPT THE NOTION
THAT IF THE KING WAS JUST, IT WAS BECAUSE THEY HAD EARNED THE GOODWILL OF GOD.
IF THE KING WAS CRUEL, THEY HAD SOMEHOW SINNED AND WERE BEING PAID IN KIND.
THEY RELIED ON A POWERFUL KING.
         LOUIS XIV WAS ALL-POWERFUL, BUT HE DID ACCEPT THE ADVICE OF COURTIERS.
HE DID NOT ALLOW A DOMINANT ADVISOR SUCH AS RICHELIEU. THE FINANCIER COLBERT
DISCOVERED STEALING AND WASTE AMONG LOUIS’ COURT. HE WAS ABLE TO REFORM THE
BOOKKEEPING METHODS. NEW INDUSTRIES WERE ESTABLISHED IN FRANCE, AND MEDIEVAL
GUILDS WERE REORGANIZED. ART AND LITERATURE OF THE ERA WAS MAGNIFICENT, AS
PORTRAYED BY MOLIERE, CORNEILLE, RACINE AND MADAME DE SEVIGNE. THE FRENCH
ACADEMY WAS ENCOURAGED. A MAGAZINE, THE JOURNAL DES SAVANTS, PROMOTED
SCIENCE. AN ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY WAS BUILT IN PARIS. 16,000 VOLUMES
GRACED THE ROYAL LIBRARY.
         Unfortunately, Louis XIV made a number of questionable attacks on his
neighbors. He decided to re-capture various lands that had been lost in battles going back
to the time of Gaul and the Roman Empire, involving among other places Alcase, the
traditional "bone of contention." He attacked the Spanish Netherlands and threatened the
entire Spanish monarchy. Eventually, a Triple Alliance composed of Holland, England
and Sweden was organized to make France sign a peace treaty with Spain. Louis
eventually broke up the Alliance through an arrangement with England. He seized the
duchy of Lorraine. 100,000 Frenchmen crossed the Rhine in 1672 to conquer southern
Holland. William of Orange opened the dikes and flooded the country, checking the
French before Amsterdam could be taken. England deserted Louis and made peace with
Holland. The result was that France pulled out, retaining only Franche-Comte. Louis
established courts to settle disputes between Germany and France over territories, but
vestiges of the old feudal entanglements played out in to the treaties of Westphalia. Then
the Turks attacked Vienna.
Religion was dealt with in a brusque manner. Out of 15 million Frenchmen, there were
about 1 million Huguenots. They were very successful in acts of enterprise. The Catholic
Church still practiced a suppression of heresy. Protestants were subjected to serious
persecution. Children were authorized to renounce Protestantism at the age of seven.
Offered a sweet or a toy to say “Ave Maria” (Hail, Mary), they might be taken from their
parents and raised by Catholic families. Protestant families were pitilessly broken up. In
1865, the Edict of Nantes was revoked, outlawing Protestantism. The result was that
many Protestants of great skill, including Huguenots who made up some of the best
business minds in France, fled the nation. This caused a “brain drain” that had a major
negative impact on the nation. The revocation of the Edict caused disturbances with
international repercussions. This occupied Louis’ government for a number of years.
The King of Spain, Charles II, had no children or brothers. When he got sick, Europe was
abuzz with rumors of his realm upon his death. Louis had married one of his sisters, and
Emperor Leopold I another. The two of them wanted to divide Spanish possessions
between the Bourbons and the Hapsburgs. Charles II left this mortal coil in 1700, leaving
his 22 crowns to Louis’ younger grandson, Philip, on the condition that France and Spain
not be united.
Should Philip accept the hazardous honor, he would be King of Spain. Louis’ family
would control all of southwestern Europe, from Holland to Sicily, as well as much of
North and South America. It would be the establishment of a mighty empire. William of
Orange did not want to see this kind of French sphere of influence. He formed a new
Grand Alliance in 1701, consisting of England, Holland and Emperor Leopold. The
English general, the Duke of Marlborough, and an Austrian commander, Eugene of
Savoy, carried out the long War of the Spanish Succession. The war was wide-ranging.
There were even skirmishes between French troops and English colonists in America.
This became known as Queen Anne’s War. The entire operation lasted about 10 years,
and went against the French. Peace was arranged in 1713.
The Treaty of Utrecht had the most influential on Europe since Westphalia. Much of the
Spanish holdings were split up between combatants. The Bourbon Philip V retained
Spain and its colonies, the condition being that Spanish and French crowns could not
rule. The Spanish Netherlands went to Austria, forming a barrier between Holland and
France. Holland was given control of fortresses to secure itself. The Spanish possessions
of Naples and Milan became part of the growing Austrian Empire. Austria would retain
control of Italy until 1866. England took Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Hudson
Bay region from France This was a major part of important English influence in North
America that would create ill feelings on the part of the French. When the American
Revolution came about some 60 years later, the French remembered and helped us
against the British.
England also gained the island of Majorca and the fortress at Gibraltar. The various
treaties of this period of history created well-defined international laws, which mark
Louis XIV’s reign. The rights of ambassadors and vessels traveling in international
waters were addressed. This followed up a treatise on international law published by
Grotius in 1625, following the horrific Thirty Years’ War. After centuries of war, men of
law were beginning to emerge who had some new, amazing idea – can you believe it? –
in which nations could solve their differences without fighting. The ideas purported by
Grotius' “War and Peace” (not the Leo Tolstoy version, although that would have its
influence) and Pufendorf’s “On the Law of Nature and Nations” (1672) laid down rules
of settling conflict that are still in use today.

THE FAILURE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, THE "REIGN OF TERROR," AND THE
NAPOLEONIC WARS
       LOUIS XIV OUTLIVED HIS SON AND GRANDSON, LEAVING A DEMORALIZED
KINGDOM TO HIS FIVE-YEAR OLD GREAT-GRANDSON. THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END
FOR THE FRENCH MONARCHY. LOUIS XV (1715-1774) HEADED A NATION WHOSE
NATIONAL TREASURY WAS VIRTUALLY BANKRUPT. HIS ARMY WAS OF NO FORCE. THE
ENGLISH DOMINATED THE REST OF THE 18TH CENTURY, UNTIL THEY LOST THE
REVOLUTIONARY WAR IN AMERICA. EVEN THAT WAS JUST A BLIP ON THE RADAR SCREEN
OF THEIR GROWING EMPIRE.
OVER TIME, CRITICISM OF THE FRENCH MONARCHY GREW TO UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS.
THE REIGN OF LOUIS XV DISCREDITED THE OLD REGIME. FISCAL MISMANAGEMENT
MARKED THE CENTURY IN FRANCE. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, CLOSELY
ASSOCIATED WITH THE KING, PRACTICED TERRIBLE BIGOTRY AND INTOLERANCE.
EVENTUALLY, AN INTELLECTUAL CLASS EMERGED IN FRANCE, CHARACTERIZED BY
VOLTAIRE, MONTESQUIEU, DIDEROT, ROUSSEAU, AND MABLY. THEY MADE ACIDIC
COMMENTARY ON THE GROWING RESENTMENT OF THE MASSES, A HUNGRY CLASS WHOSE
HATRED OF THE NOBILITY GREW AND GREW. THE MOVEMENT IN FRANCE ALSO GREW
BECAUSE A MIDDLE CLASS DEVELOPED IN FRANCE, AND THEY WANTED GOVERNMENTAL
POWER. IN SOME WAYS, THE RENAISSANCE PUSHED THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. THE WORLD
HAD BECOME A PLACE IN WHICH MEN OF LEARNING HAD BECOME INDISPENSABLE TO THE
ENGINES OF COMMERCE. KINGS HAD TO RELY ON AN INCREASINGLY EDUCATED POPULACE
TO HANDLE BANKING, THE SCHOOL SYSTEM, TRANSPORTATION, AND ALL THE OTHER
NECESSITIES OF SOCIETY. THESE PEOPLE WERE INDEPENDENT THINKERS, AS ARE MOST
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BROKEN OUT OF THE YOKE OF IGNORANCE. IN FRANCE, THEY
RECOGNIZED WHAT WAS HAPPENING, AND WANTED A SAY.
EVERYTHING CAME TO A HEAD DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS OF 1787-88, RESULTING IN
THE OPPOSITION OF THE PARLEMENT OF PARIS TO ROYAL POLICY, LOUIS XVI’S WEAKNESS.
FRANCE HAD FOUGHT ANOTHER WAR, WITH ENGLAND, FROM 1778 TO 1783. THIS HAD NOT
GONE ANY BETTER THAN EARLIER ONES. BANKRUPTCY ENSUED, OWING TO THE REFUSAL OF
THE PRIVILEGED CLASSES TO GIVE UP THEIR TAX EXEMPTIONS. THE KING DID NOT TAKE A
STAND. THEN THE KING TRIED TO LEVY TAXES ON THE EVER-POORER POPULACE. HE
FINALLY CALLED A MEETING OF THE STATES-GENERAL OF THE REALM ON MAY 1, 1789.
GRIEVANCES WERE PREPARED, AND THE MIDDLE CLASS DEMANDED MAJOR TAX REFORM.
THE STATES-GENERAL ASSEMBLED ON MAY 5, 1789 AT VERSAILLES. THE THIRD ESTATE,
THE BOURGEOISIE, HAD NUMERICAL SUPERIORITY WITH 621 DEPUTIES, MOSTLY LAWYERS.
THEY COORDINATED THE NOBLES, THE CLERGY AND THE THIRD ESTATE AT THE NATIONAL
ASSEMBLY, DESPITE OPPOSITION FROM THE KING’S COURT. THE KING AGREED TO SOME
DEMANDS. SUMMER WAS APPROACHING AND WITH IT THE HEAT. POVERTY AND HUNGER
OVERTOOK PARIS. RUMORS OF A COUP D’ETAT CAUSED RIOTS. THE OLD CITY PRISON, THE
BASTILLE, WAS STORMED ON JULY 14. THROUGHOUT JULY AND AUGUST ATTACKS ON
CHATEAUX’ OCCURRED. IN OCTOBER, A CROWD OF WOMEN MARCHED ON THE PALACE OF
VERSAILLES AND FORCED THE KING TO RETURN WITH THEM TO PARIS.
During the next year and a half, the National Assembly reorganized the French nation. A
Constitution was drafted in 1791, establishing a limited monarchy in which the King lost
legislative powers. Church lands were seized. The bourgeoisie did not make a good
relationship with the Church. The King attempted to flee the country but was stopped. He
opposed the new Assembly. The Jacobins and the Girondists represented the Left and
right wings of the revolutionary party. The Girondists emerged as the power group and
entered into a war with Austria, designed for political purposes to discredit the King.
Prussia was allied with Austria. It ruined the monarchy, as expected, but was of no help
to the country. Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were the subject of mob hatred.
The people blamed the royals for the prospect of foreign invasion. Radicals took control
of municipal government. The Prussians then proclaimed that they were invading France
to restore the monarchy. This created an explosion among the populace. The palace was
stormed, and the King fled. A republic was proclaimed, and a massacre ensued. Several
thousand royalists were held in jails.
The actual invasion was checked at Dumouriez at Valmy. Elections were held, but the
Constitution drawn up in 1793 was never put in place. The revolution, inspired by the
success of the Americans a few years before, and by the influence of Franco-philes like
Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, had failed. The great works of Voltaire and the rest
had quickly been forgotten. These men of conscience go down in history as forgotten
figures, instead of the great minds of American history, whose ideas were put in place. It
was most unfortunate, and also rather ironic. French assistance of the American revolt,
plus their own war with England, had played a major role in reducing their treasury to the
point where the hunger crises brought about the cycle of hatred, hence the uprising.
Counter-revolutions rose up. Virtual anarchy reigned. A group calling itself The
Mountain brought about the King’s execution on January 21, 1793. A coalition of Great
Britain, Spain, Holland, and Sardinia joined with Austria and Prussia to commence war,
hoping to restore the monarchy. The French military hero Dumouriez, no longer favored
by the revolutionists, fled the country. The Catholics revolted. Everybody was in revolt
against everybody. In the countryside, local rebellions clouded the picture further. Lyons,
for example, defied Paris. There was no real government in Paris anymore. A Committee
for Public Safety was formed. This became the most influential branch of official France.
Radicals controlled it. Its mission was to rigorously exterminate all enemies of the
revolution. Thus began the "reign of terror."
The United States had the Philadelphia Summer of 1787, which created the Constitution.
France had the "reign of terror." The subsequent history of these two countries can be
summed up and explained by this simple disparity.
Rump trials pronounced everybody guilty. They faced immediate death by virtue of a
new head-chopping machine, the guillotine. The Americans created the Supreme Court.
The French created the guillotine.
Military men were used to help, and therefore military men became the controllers of
France. Robespierre was arrested and executed in 1794, which might be comparable to
the Americans turning on Thomas Jefferson and killing him. This was the last straw.
Various attempts to create Republican legislative bodies were attempted. Eventually the
"reign of terror" ended. A bicameral body called the Council of the Ancients and the
Council of the Five Hundred was created. This body managed to survive for four years. It
was an entirely corrupt organization. One of its members was Napoleon Bonaparte.
America gave the world George Washington. France's contribution is Napoleon.
France faced military opposition from European allied forces. Remarkably, despite the
pressures on the home front, they fought well and induced Prussia to make peace after the
conflicts of 1794-95. Spain, Holland and Tuscany soon followed. Napoleon had risen
almost out of nowhere, by virtue of his brilliant military mind. In his Italian campaign,
beginning in 1797, he forced Austria to sue for peace. Great Britain remained an enemy.
Napoleon then went to Egypt in 1798 to threaten British security in India. The expedition
failed. The failure, however, was somehow kept quiet. When Napoleon arrived in France
in 1799, he was hailed as a great conqueror. He quickly overthrew the Directory on
November 10, becoming virtual dictator, and officially ending the French Revolution.
Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1769 in Ajacio, Corsica. His mother was of Italian
descent, as were many Corsicans. The people of this island are known for their fiery
personalities. Napoleon would be presented to the French as a man of the people. His
men called him "the little corporal" because he mixed amongst them. This would aid in
his public acceptance. But Napoleon was not a product of the huddled masses. His father
was the royal assessor of Ajacio, and through his position attained educational favors for
his children. Napoleon attended the College of Atun, then entered the military school of
Brienne, where he studied from 1779 to 1784. He was a “foreign boy” from Corsica,
which hindered his social progress, but he did well with his studies and was awarded with
an appointment to the Ecole Militaire. He was a mathematical whiz, and graduated at age
16.
Napoleon was an artillery lieutenant, and in the five years prior to the revolution he
studied the works of great philosophers and generals, namely Julius Caesar. At first,
Napoleon did not associate himself with the reform movement, reconciling himself as a
Corsican. He waited in the wings.
Bu 1793, with the Revolution in full force, he was a captain. He earned high marks in
helping expel a British expeditionary force. He joined the Jacobins, casting himself on
the side of Republican France. He gave up any patriotic association with Corsican
Independence, which had marked his father’s early career. He was made a brigadier
general in preparation for the Italian invasion, but he was rebuffed by Censure because he
had reconstructed a fortress destroyed by the revolutionaries in Marseilles. Augustin
Robespierre secured his release. He was also friends with Maximillian Robespierre.
When the two brothers were executed, Napoleon was arrested again. His name was
removed from the list of French officers, but a military conspiracy was discovered to
restore the monarchy. The Convention entrusted Napoleon, the Corsican, who had
strategic knowledge of Paul Barras, commander of the “army of the interior,” to defend
against the effort. Napoleon crushed the insurrection in 1795.
He then took over the Italian Campaign. He immediately achieved a series of brilliant
victories against Austria and Piedmont, which contrasted with French losses on the
Rhine. He conquered northern Italy and some satellite republics, then showed great
diplomatic skills in the aftermath of fighting. Austria ceded Belgian provinces to France
in 1797, and to the French, occupation of the western bank of the Rhine from Basel to
Andernach, thanks to Napoleon.
Napoleon talked the Directors into authorizing his Egyptian campaign, hoping to disrupt
English colonial control in that region of the world. He took the island of Malta, then
captured Alexandria in 1798. He had not secured the seas of the Mediterranean. British
Admiral Horatio Nelson cut off his naval forces at the harbor of Aboukir, east of
Alexandria, which was the telling blow that made his campaign a failure. Napoleon did
proceed to Syria and won battles against Turkish forces. He did not have communication
with France, and lack of knowledge of the overall picture restricted him. He left his army
and returned to France in 1799.
There he found a reeling government that had been rocked by attempted coup d’etats,
thus nullifying their Constitution. Napoleon and his brother Lucien orchestrated another
coup. He then declared himself First Consul of France.
He immediately made it clear that he was the undisputed emperor, and made a number of
military moves that directed central control of the country to himself. He put down
attempts to bring back the monarchy, then directed his attention to the crisis of the
Second Coalition. Various treaties and disengagements followed involving Czar Paul I of
Russia and other European powers, recognition of new territories, the arbitrary use of sea
power, and the Louisiana Territory. The Treaty of Amiens in 1802 between Great Britain
and France was signed, but the two old rivals were geared up for each other like never
before. The treaty would not last.
Napoleon immediately set his designs on the Low Countries and surrounding nations. In
1803 war began again. At home, Napoleon reconciled with the Catholic Church, creating
a system of effective reforms that helped France recover from the ravages of the 10 years
between 1789 and 1799. He then sold Louisiana to the U.S., and created the Napoleonic
Code in 1803. Napoleon actually made himself, officially, Emperor of the French, in
1804. With that, freedom of speech and dissent became greatly reduced.
The Third Coalition of Great Britain, Austria, Russia and Sweden was formed, but
Napoleon allied with Spain, defeating the coalition, all except Great Britain. He defeated
Austrian and Russian forces at Austerlitz in 1805, thus gaining territory in northern Italy.
He created the Confederation of the Rhine, which drew Prussia against him, but they
were destroyed in 1806. Napoleon overran Prussia and took over Berlin. Then he pursued
the Russians, forcing Czar Alexander into a treaty in 1807.
This increased Napoleon’s political influence in Eastern Europe. Jerome Bonaparte
became ruler of the Kingdom of Westphalia. Poland was under his sphere of influence,
and Prussia was now a third class power. Next came the Iberian Peninsula. The French
occupied Portugal. Joseph Napoleon was installed as King of Spain. British trade was
closed from Gibraltar to Russia. By 1808 Napoleon had reached the zenith of his power.
One chink remained in his armor: Admiral Nelson. The British had the greatest navy in
the world, and he had led them to victory over the French at Trafalgar in 1805. This gave
the English a beachhead of hope that they could resist the Napoleonic Empire.
From 1808 to 1812 Napoleon controlled more geography than had Charlemagne –
Northwestern Italy, Belgium, Holland, the North Sea, the Danish coast, Illyria, Corsica,
Spain, Switzerland, most of the Italian peninsula, the Confederation of the Rhine, the
Grand Duchy of Warsaw, Prussia, Austria, Russia, and alliance with Denmark. Satellites,
alliances or direct occupation marked the French Empire. The Napoleonic Code ruled all
of these regions. In the Low Countries, he regulated commerce but ceded farming control
to the peasants, adding to his “man of the people” reputation. This created loyalty from
the peasant class.
Two things began to break up hi empire. First, central control was unwieldy and could
not be sustained through self-sufficient economies. Second, Great Britain could not be
put off as a threat, through treaty or other threat. Napoleon was in control of too many
sovereign states that bucked his conquest and were biding their time until the right
situation could be created.
It started with a war on the Iberian Peninsula. Napoleon tried to fight the Spanish using
young conscripts, because his veteran forces were spread too thin. It lasted five years and
was inconclusive. He had to draw his veterans to the Iberian conflict, and replaced them
with mercenaries. The French throughout this period had employed a huge mercenary
force. Now he had to use them more and more, relying on their loyalty, which was not to
his favor. The mercenaries were with Napoleon the conqueror, but had no political
affiliation with him should he fail. In 1809 he embarked on the War of the Fifth
Coalition, attempting to subjugate the Austrians. They had been inspired by British
success in Portugal and Spain. The Austrians massed into the Tirol and Italy, causing
Napoleon to take personal command. He was successful, and forced Archduke Charles
into retirement at Eckmuhl. By this time, Napoleon’s wars of conquests were no longer
the kinds of political campaigns that had, for the most part, marked European warfare in
post-Roman history. Battles were fought by professional militaries, with casualties, or
collateral damage to civilians, kept to a relative minimum. Even foreign control over
territories was met by a kind of acceptance by populations. These countries changed
power often. Certain places like Alsace-Lorraine, Normandy and the like had come to
take these occupations in stride. Now Napoleon had risen beyond the usual power-hungry
kings. Masses of people had grown to hate Napoleon. He was beaten at Aspern and
Essling, but recovered in a two-day struggle of great blood at Wagram. The Treaty of
Vienna in 1809 forced Austria into a hated alliance with him.
In 1812, the War of the Sixth Coalition took place when he took after Russia. He broke
his Treaty of Tilsit, on shaky ground since 1807. Napoleon had not let the Czar take
Constantinople. Napoleon had 600,000 men, but only one-third were Frenchmen. This
put him in a vulnerable position, whereby the Russian Winter would have a devastating
effect on men fighting without real loyalty. The Russians retreated and retreated, drawing
Napoleon further in. Finally at Smolensk, after facing scourge, rain, tempest and famine,
the Grand Army engaged the Russians. Good weather was still at hand, but it was now
September when Napoleon decided to press for Moscow without supply lines. 80,000
died at Borodino, but Napoleon prevailed and made it to the capital by September 15.
Moscow was abandoned and he occupied the Kremlin. Then the Russians attacked from
their hiding places, encircling the French invaders and setting fires to the city. His men
scattered to the countryside. Napoleon fought off the Russians, mistakenly thinking he
had them beaten and ready to capitulate. The Russians were just waiting for the Winter.
By October the weather was already bad. Napoleon knew he had waited too long and
been drawn into a quagmire. He retreated, but the Russians had a plan, which was to
block him in the south, forcing his men to retrace their steps. Suffering from cold,
disease, holding off waves of Cossacks, they retreated and suffered brutal losses. At
Berezina, French engineers saved them from complete annihilation by constructing crude
trestle bridges during a thaw. Equipment and horses were lost. Discipline was replaced by
anarchy. 250,000 died in Russia. 100,000 were prisoners. 150,000 were wounded or
deserted. Napoleon abandoned his men and made for Paris, leaving his stragglers to
pathetically reach Novno on December 16.
Word of one of the worst military disasters in history reached Napoleon's enemies,
encouraging them greatly. Prussia wanted revenge and to regain power. They entered a
pact with Russia, which by virtue of this victory was emerging as a power after years in
darkness. One could say that their victory over Napoleon changed history. It emboldened
the Russians into become a militarily adventurous people and country. Napoleon was not
through. He defeated the Prussians in Silesia in 1813. He was still a military genius with
a strong cavalry and a valorous cadre. But he could not crush his opposition. He left his
enemies with the will to fight. Austria joined the coalition and Napoleon was beaten in
the Battle of the Nations at Dresden. He was forced to retire across the Rhine. The Grand
Coalition offered him a treaty of boundaries on the Rhine, the Alps and the Pyrenees, but
Napoleon refused. Three allied armies invaded France. Napoleon fought brilliantly,
winning many battles, but he had to retreat, abandoned by his marshals. He retired to the
island of Elba, and Louis XVIII was restored to the throne.
Napoleon plotted from Elba and made an amphibious landing at Cannes in 1815. He went
to Paris, where Louis fled upon hearing the news. Napoleon rallied an army, and went
after the coalition. They met at Waterloo, Belgium on June 18, 1815. Napoleon might
have won the battle against the English general, Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of
Wellington (usually known as Wellington or Lord Wellington). His Prussian allies were
beaten and forced into retreat. Napoleon was on the verge of a victory that might have
given him 10 more years of Empire. Then, before night fell, the Prussians returned.
Wellington had counted on this strategy, believing in the honor of the Prussian
commander. He had drawn Napoleon in. Getting too far in, as he had in Russia, was
Napoleon’s military Achilles heel. The Prussians attacked his flank and the battle was
lost. This time, everybody made sure Napoleon would not be heard from again. He was
exciled to St. Helena in the mid-Atlantic, where he was a prisoner of war. He died six
years later at the age of 52, lonely and embittered.
What did the Napoleonic Wars mean? Where do we start? France never recovered. They
became a country of revolution again. The nation fell prey to radicalism, anarchism and
liberalism. They were entirely unprepared for the unified Germans who attacked them in
1870, 1914 and 1940. Saved by twice by England and particularly by the U.S., France is
now a second-rate country with little power or influence. They are left only to magnify
past victories and pretend their many defeats did not happen. They are forced to re-write
history as best they can, in order to put forth the myth that they were not beset by traitors,
racists and collaborators. They are wrought with jealousy, having been left behind by
history.
Great Britain recovered from the loss of the U.S. colonies and entered into their fabulous
Victorian Age. Their empire grew to the point where the Sun never set on it. They were
victorious in two world wars and, even though the empire ended and their economic
power was reduced, they allied with the U.S. They landed on the right side of history by
design. Now they are a model for Churchillian Democracy with a military and friends to
back it up.
Prussia emerged as a survivor, and built on their alliances to become a country of
statesmen, which led to the unification of Germany. Unfortunately, their military success
promulgated the strain of war that some say runs through their blood. They of course took
it too far and lost two world wars, placing themselves roughly with France, on the wrong
side of history.
AUSTRIA EMERGED AS A VERY POWERFUL COUNTRY. THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE
                    TH
DEVELOPED IN THE 19    CENTURY INTO A CENTER OF CULTURE AND EVENTUALLY INTO
WHAT (MISTAKENLY) WAS BELIEVED TO BE THE DOMINANT MILITARY POWER IN THE
WORLD. WORLD WAR I PROVED THIS TO BE FALSE.
THE MIDDLE EAST WAS SHOWN TO BE A STICKY PLACE FOR WHITE SOLDIERS TO BE, AS
EXHIBITED BY NAPOLEON’S EGYPTIAN CAMPAIGN. HE HAD ANNOUNCED THAT THE FRENCH
WERE NOT THERE AS CONQUERORS. EVENTS FORCED HIM OUT OF THIS REGION, AND THE
OTTOMAN EMPIRE WENT ON TO CONTROL IT FOR ANOTHER 120 YEARS. WHITE SOLDIERS
JUST TOOK THEIR PLACE, AND IT IS STILL A STICKY PLACE FOR THEM TO BE.
SPAIN FOUND ITSELF A PAWN OF GEO-POLITICS, AND CONTINUED TO BE UNTIL WORLD WAR
II. SINCE THEN, THEY HAVE BEEN LESS THAN THAT.
THE UNITED STATES? THEY MANAGED TO STAY OUT OF THE CONFLICT, FREE TO BUILD A
NATION ON THEIR OWN TERMS, WHICH DID NOT COME WITHOUT BUMPS IN THE ROAD. BUT
THEY HAD BEEN ALLIED WITH FRANCE AND COULD HAVE BEEN DRAWN IN. THE FACT THAT
THEY REMAINED IN ISOLATION WAS THE RIGHT MOVE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
NAPOLEON’S EFFECT ON HISTORY CAN BE DISCERNED IN SOME CASES, LESS SO IN OTHERS.
EUROPE ERUPTED IN REVOLUTIONS IN THE MID-19TH CENTURY. THESE EVENTS WERE
DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE BREAK-UP OF NAPOLEONIC FRANCE. THE REVOLUTIONS WERE
THE PRE-CURSOR OF MARXIST THOUGHT, WHICH IN TURN LED TO THE RUSSIAN
REVOLUTION, AND COMMUNISM. IF THE TIME TRAVELER COULD GO BACK AND TRY TO
CHANGE HISTORY FOR THE BETTER, HE WOULD FIRST TRY TO MAKE THE FRENCH
REVOLUTION GO SMOOTHLY.
IF THE FRENCH COULD HAVE PULLED OFF A TRANSITION IN GOVERNMENT THAT HAD BEEN A
DECENT SHADOW OF THE AMERICAN VERSION, HISTORY WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZINGLY
BETTER OFF. FIRST, NAPOLEON WOULD NOT HAVE EMERGED AS THE “SAVIOR” THAT
FRANCE MADE HIM OUT TO BE. THEY CUT HIM OUT OF PRISON AND PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF
THE ITALIAN CAMPAIGN. INSTEAD OF SPENDING ALL THEIR TIME AND MONEY ON
PROSECUTING WARS, FRANCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN RE-BUILDING A GREAT NATION. HAD
THEY DONE THIS, THEY COULD HAVE LEGITIMIZED THE POOR AND SUFFERING OF FRANCE
BY GIVING THEM DEMOCRACY. INSTEAD THEY OPENED THE FLOODGATES FOR A "REIGN OF
TERROR" THAT WAS JUST DRESS REHEARSAL FOR V.I. LENIN, JOE STALIN AND FELIKS
DZERZHINSKY. IF FRANCE HAD AVOIDED NAPOLEON AND FOLLOWED THE PATH OF
MODERNIZATION AND FREEDOM, THE VIRTUES OF CAPITALISM COULD HAVE SPREAD
THROUGHOUT EUROPE. INSTEAD, FRACTIOUS MASS MOVEMENTS OF DISPOSSESSED MOBS
            TH
CREATED 19     CENTURY REVOLUTIONS AND THE RUSSIAN ONE, AS WELL.
A COUNTRY THAT HAD BASED ITS NEW SELF ON THE IDEAS OF BEN FRANKLIN AND THOMAS
JEFFERSON HAD LOST ITS BIG CHANCE. ONCE NAPOLEON TOOK OVER, THEY WERE DOOMED
HISTORICALLY. WHEN HE LEFT FRANCE, THE COUNTRY AND EUROPE WAS INFECTED BY
NEAR-INOPERABLE CANCER. THE ONLY WAY TO AVOID MARX WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THE
FRENCH REVOLUTION TO HAVE WORKED. MARX WAS PART OF A SICKNESS THAT JUST GREW
UNTIL IT TOOK OVER EVERYTHING. THE FACT THAT THE U.S. FINALLY ENDED IT IS
ADMIRABLE. COMMUNISM, HOWEVER, WAS TOO HORRIBLE AND TOO HUGE TO BE SEEN AS
ANYTHING OTHER THAN A PLAGUE, SPREADING AND SPREADING AND SPREADING. IT WAS
CONTAINED PERHAPS, BUT IT EXPLODED IN THE DEATHS OF SO MANY MILLIONS AS TO BE A
VIRTUAL APOCALYPSE.
THE TRICKIER QUESTION ABOUT THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEON IS THE ISSUE OF
NAZI GERMANY. IT IS NOT AN EASY CORRELATION TO SAY THAT BECAUSE PRUSSIA JOINED
WITH ENGLAND TO STOP HIM AT WATERLOO, PRUSSIA WAS EMBOLDENED TO BECOME A
MILITARY MACHINE. THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE DID BECOME A MILITARY POWER,
IN ALLIANCE WITH BISMARCK’S UNIFIED GERMANY. THIS WAS MORE OF THE RESULT OF
EUROPEAN ALLIANCES AND MILITARY CAMPAIGN MENTALITY THAT EMANATES FROM THE
ROMAN EMPIRE. IN OTHER WORDS, NAPOLEON IS A PRODUCT OF THE ROMAN LEGION, AND
SO IS HITLER. HITLER IS NOT A PRODUCT OF NAPOLEON.
TO THE EXTENT THAT GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES ARE A PART OF
NAPOLEON'S HISTORY, THERE IS A SUBTLE BUT DIRECT CHAIN OF EVENTS THAT CAN BE
ARGUED. GREAT BRITAIN EMERGED AS THE DOMINANT WORLD POWER AFTER NAPOLEON.
EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE NOT AN ALLY OF THE UNITED STATES AT THE TIME, OUR
COMMON LANGUAGE, THE COMMONALITY OF DEMOCRACY, AND THE SHEER INTELLIGENCE
OF OUR COMBINED PEOPLE’S MADE US UNIQUE. GREAT BRITAIN AND THE U.S. REMAINED
INDEPENDENT OF THE MOB REVOLUTIONS OF EUROPE. IN TIME THIS DEVELOPED INTO AN
INSEPARABLE PARTNERSHIP. FURTHERMORE, THE LESSONS OF NAPOLEON TAUGHT US
WHAT HAD TO BE DONE WHEN THE KAISER, HITLER AND THE SOVIETS PLAYED THEIR
NAPOLEONIC CARDS. THANK GOD WE HAD EMERGED AS STRONG AND RELIABLE ENOUGH
SO THAT OUR INSEPARABLE PARTNERSHIP HELD THE BETTER CARDS WHEN IT COUNTED.
The failure of France led to events that played themselves out, primarily in one important
year (1848). Social revolutions marked the years just before and after that. France had
gone back to the monarchy after Napoleon. This makes all the death, the destruction, and
the "reign of terror," little more than gratuitous violence. They gained nothing. France
just went back to a king, just like they had done. The fact that this nation eventually
became Democratic owes nothing to their horrible mistakes. Modern Democracy in
France owes itself to the tides of capitalism, trade, the Industrial Revolution, and the need
to stay closely aligned to successful nations like England and America.

Dress rehearsal for Communism: 19th Century social revolutions
        In 1848, King Louis Philippe was on the French throne, waiting to die. His death
was predicted to signal another revolution. Conspiracies to kill the king were afloat,
supposedly in the works for seven years. Germany was in revolutionary form, too.
Giuseppe Garibaldi was in South American exile, said to be waiting for the Italian
revolution that would bring him back to power. In Austria, their monarchy hung on
Viscount Metternich. They waited for news of the king’s death. In the end, Philippe hung
on for two more years. The revolutions his death were supposed to kindle in the rest of
Europe had fizzled out. The uprisings failed, this time. Revolutionary spirit would burn,
in Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”, and in Eastern Europe. Had World War I never
happened, Marx’s revolution would likely have fizzled just as the 1848 uprisings did.
Never underestimate the power and effect of war, especially major war, on social
upheaval. The fact that no major wars catapulted the movements of the 19th Century
makes this a historical period for discussion among historians. Most people, however,
read this and ask, “There were revolutions in 1848?”
Philippe did get ousted, so he had to die in England. Paris was in a state of consternation,
enough so that they would let a Bonaparte take over again. What a country! That a nation
with this kind of history has the Gaul, to substitute/use a French word based on what their
little “nation” used to be called, to lecture Democracies in the modern age is breathtaking.
Germany's university students disassembled, as did Italian and Hungarian patriots. There
was bloodshed, though. In this case, there is little consensus on what it was all about.
Was it Marxism before Marx? That is too simple an analysis. King Louis Philippe had
been a "law and order" monarch, which made sense considering recent French history.
Both Germany and Italy were still divided into smaller states. Therefore, their revolutions
did not have locus on a national government. Even Prussia was not yet ready for the
nationalism that would come to Germany a few years later. Revolution broke out in
Naples, under a Bourbon throne, resulting in a new constitution there. Neapolitan politics,
however, had become a matter of little interest to anybody outside the region.
Discontent reigned throughout the Austrian holdings ruled by the Hapsburgs – Austria,
Hungary, Bohemia, northern Italy, and a swath of Poland. Vienna was ruled by an
unmodern regime. Liberals throughout the world kept their eyes on Poland, northern Italy
and Ireland. The Treaty of Vienna, signed in 1815, had placed restrictions on European
countries that not only stifled governments, but also made a repeat of a major 1789-style
revolution very difficult to coalesce.
Great changes in industry had created an exploited working class. A potato famine was
occurring in Ireland. The Treaty of Vienna not only put a stranglehold on governments,
but created difficulties for business, which in turn were felt by the workers. A lot of
resentment brewed. The question among this new, modern class was what rights to afford
the proletariat emerging from the factories and the mills. Masses of people were doing
the work for larger companies; sweaty, dirty, dangerous, work that replaced many
individual forms of employment. Machines were being developed that could do the work
of 100 people, marginalizing the lives of the workers. Questions of whether these people
should be given the vote were offered. This is not so hard to imagine since Europe is a
continent based, in part, on the works of Plato. Plato, for all his talk about equality,
endorsed a system that allowed slavery as natural and reduced the vote to a relatively
select group of Athenians.
The men in high position worried that the people would use votes to make precarious the
systems that allowed them to make a living in the first place. The Germans considered a
class of potential voters, called selbstandig, who were felt to be independent enough to be
given such a vote. They argued that what made men free was economic independence,
not the polling place. The proletariat was, to governments, a fearsome mob to fear.
Nationalism was a stirring force in 1848. Germany and Italy were still not ready, but the
idea of powerful, autocratic states did not offer fear. It would have had people been able
to glimpse the future. France even debated the idea of carrying still more military
campaigns, as if they had not learned their lesson. This time it was to "help oppressed
peoples" of other nationalities. Austrian politicians knew only that they ruled people of
different races and religion. They did not understand the nationalism that lay at the heart
of their complaints.
IN 1848, SOME GROUPS WERE CALLING THEMSELVES “CONSERVATIVE SOCIALISTS.” THIS
SOUNDS LIKE A PRESIDENTIAL TICKET OF JESSE JACKSON AND BARRY GOLDWATER.
SUFFICE IT TO SAY, THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT THEY WANTED. REAL DEMOCRACY WAS SO
NEW THEN THAT THERE WAS NO REAL TEMPLATE. IF THIS IS WHAT THE FRENCH HAD IN
MIND WHEN THEY BEGAN THEIR GREAT FAILURE, IT MUST HAVE BEEN A SCARY CONCEPT
FOR ANYBODY CONTEMPLATING SUCH AN “EXPERIMENT” IN 1848. OF COURSE, THE
ENGLISH WERE WELL ON THEIR WAY. THE TIDES OF HISTORY WERE BY THEN
DEMONSTRATING THAT THE ENGLISH WERE, AND THERE IS JUST NO BETTER WAY TO PUT IT,
QUITE SIMPLY ADVANCED, LIKE A STRAIGHT-A STUDENT IN A CLASS OF D STUDENTS, IN THE
EUROPE OF THE MID-19TH CENTURY.
Democracy represented a foreign concept, but psychological and economic obstacles
presented themselves, too. It was more of a foreign concept than the idea of Democracy
in Eastern Europe after the fall of Berlin Wall. It was more like Democracy in Iraq after
the fall of Saddam. What brewed in the working class was a notion. Call it utopian. The
intellectual class would be generous about social reorganization. What makes this so
unrealistic, in looking back, is that lines of demarcation were thoroughly drawn among
social classes. Even in England, for all of its success, the lower classes had very, very
little in common with their upper counterparts. Any reader of Dickens could attest to this.
The “socialists” of this era were decidedly white collar; they were the liberals of their era,
and history tells us that they were of a class of individuals who probably had never gone
so far as to shake hands with a factory worker. They were the first of this group of
elitists. We find them today on college campuses, the salons of the East and West Coasts,
in Hollywood and within literature circles. They have simply decided that they are so
damn superior, so intellectually able, that they have to make the decisions for that mass
of great unwashed who do not how to do this on their own. It was the affirmative action
of 1848.
The social revolutions they espoused were not coming from Marx. They were of a
political nature. They shared an allegiance with the modern Left in that they felt they had
prescriptions for the common good, but only if they had power. In 1848, and in the years
after that, some of these socialists discovered that they actually feared the people they
were trying to benefit. Marxism "worked," eventually, when the workers found this out.
ROMANTIC NATIONALISM INVOLVED THE REVIVAL OF LONG-DEAD TRADITIONS AND
STRESSED MILITARY GLORY, EVEN IN NATIONS LIKE FRANCE THAT HAD ACHIEVED THEIR
NATIONHOOD. BALKAN NATIONALISM HAD NO MAIN CHARACTER. IT WAS CHARACTERIZED
BY RIVALRY. THE GERMAN CHARACTER WAS TAKING SHAPE IN A WAY THAT TOLD ITS
LEADERS THAT PATRIOTISM WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN CIVIL LIBERTY. HUNGARIANS
AND IRISHMEN WANTED ONLY FREEDOM FROM OPPRESSORS, NOT REAL POWER. POWER WAS
EMPIRE BUILDING. THE SLAVIC PEOPLES TURNED FROM CULTURAL CHANGE TO POLITICAL
AMBITION. THE QUESTION AMONG MANY WAS WHETHER LOYALTY WAS OWED TO HIS CLASS
OR TO A NATION, A VERY TRICKY CONCEPT INDEED. AMERICANS OBSERVED THIS HISTORY
OF EUROPE IN THE MAKING, AND MADE A BIG POINT OF TRYING TO LEARN FROM IT.
RICHARD RUSH WAS THE MINISTER TO PARIS, AND HE RECOGNIZED THE SECOND REPUBLIC.
WILLIAM STILES TOLD PRINCE SCHWARZENBERG THAT THE AUSTRIAN NAVY COULD SINK
AN AMERICAN FRIGATE, BUT THEY COULD NOT CATCH HER. ANDREW JACKSON DONELSON
REQUITED HIMSELF VERY WELL AS HEAD OF THE BERLIN LEGATION. GIUSEPPE MAZZINI
ESCAPED FROM ITALY USING A PASSPORT ISSUED TO HIM BY THE AMERICAN CONSULATE.
BUT THE AMERICANS WERE SO INNOCENT. THEY CHEERED “PEOPLE’S VICTORIES” OVER
VICIOUS GOVERNMENTS, BUT FAILED TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF CLASS
DISTINCTIONS IN EUROPE. ALL THEY COULD COMPARE ANYTHING TO WAS THE U.S. THERE
WERE NO REAL LOWER CLASSES HERE, LIKE THE HUDDLED MASSES OF EUROPE. THEY
SCORNED THE CAPITALS OF THE OLD COUNTRY AS PLACES OF DEGRADATION.
ALEXANDER HERZEN WAS A SOCIALIST FROM RUSSIA WHO CAME TO WESTERN EUROPE IN
1847. WHEN HE SAW DEATH AND DESTRUCTION AMID A PARISIAN REBELLION, HE VOICED
PATHOS LIKE THAT OF TOLSTOY OR DOSTOEVSKY, INSTEAD OF THE EASY DISMISSALS OF
THE AMERICANS, WHO JUST PLACED THEMSELVES ABOVE THE WHOLE MESS. A RUSSIAN
COULD UNDERSTAND THE SOUL OF STRUGGLE. THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION HAD NOT BEEN
LIKE ANY OTHER. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HERZEN AND THE CONTEMPORARY
AMERICAN DIPLOMATS TELL A STORY THAT RESONATES TO THIS DAY. IT IS THE STORY OF A
PEOPLE (AMERICANS) WHO ARE UNLIKE ANY OTHER. UNDERSTANDING THEM, AND BEING
UNDERSTOOD BY THEM, IS TO THIS DAY A TRICK NOT UNLIKE THE MYSTERIOUS
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN.
“WE ARE A PREDESTINED GENERATION,” THE GREAT FRENCH WRITER VICTOR HUGO (“LES
MISERABLES”) WROTE. “WE HAVE BIGGER AND MORE FRIGHTENING TASKS THAN OUR
ANCESTORS. HE HAVE NOT TIME TO HATE EACH OTHER.”
DOES HUGO SOUND LIKE AN AMERICAN?
THE THIRD REPUBLIC WAS USHERED INTO FRANCE AFTER THE EVENTS OF 1848 BY
ADOLPHE THIERS. BISMARCK UNIFIED GERMANY, AND CAVOUR THE SAME IN ITALY. DEAK
WON AUTONOMY FOR HUNGARY WITHIN A DUAL MONARCHY. SERFDOM ENDED BY DECREE
OF THE RUSSIAN CZAR. THE PEOPLE’S CHARTER IN GREAT BRITAIN FREED THE
MANUFACTURING CLASS. BUT REVOLUTION AS CLASS STRUGGLE FAILED, FOR THE TIME
BEING. THE BIGGEST REASON FOR THIS WAS BECAUSE GROUPS WITHIN THE MOVEMENTS
DIFFERED WITH EACH OTHER. THE IMPORTANCE OF A COHERENT UNIT STRIVING FOR A MAIN
AIM WAS MADE OBVIOUS, TO BE LEARNED EVENTUALLY BY THE COMMUNISTS, THE NAZIS
AND THE WESTERN LIBERALS. FORCES WERE TYPIFIED BY LOUIS BLANC, HEINRICH VON
GAGERN, ROBERT BLUM, LAMARTINE, THE READING CLUB AND THE AULA IN VIENNA;
BETWEEN DEAK AND KUSSUTH, CAVOUR AND MASSINI. IN COUNTRIES LIKE ITALY AND
HUNGARY, THE STRUGGLE AGAINST A FOREIGN OPPRESSOR WAS SCREENED BY A CONFLICT
AMONG CLASSES. CAVOUR THOUGHT THAT AS CLASS DISTINCTIONS WERE WIPED AWAY,
MODERN SOCIETIES WOULD STRENGTHEN. VIOLENCE FROM THE UNDERCLASS'S IN THE
YEARS FOLLOWING 1848 INDICATED THAT THIS WAS NOT AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAD YET
COME. EVENTUALLY HOPE OF COMPROMISE WAS REPLACED WITH MOBILIZATION OF THE
VIOLENCE.
“THE BRUTALITY WHICH IS PRESENT IN HIGHER CIRCLES FILTERS DOWN, AND THIS
BRUTALITY WHICH ABOVE LIVES ONLY IN THOUGHTS, BELOW TAKES THE FORM OF ACTION,”
SAID KARL VOGT, THE BIOLOGIST IN THE FRANKFURT ASSEMBLY. “I HAVE HEARD
HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF TIMES EXPRESSIONS LIKE `THE WHOLE BUNCH OUGHT TO BE
KNOCKED OUT WITH GRAPE SHOT,’ `THE AGITATORS DESERVE TO BE HANGED ALL
TOGETHER.’…SUCH EXPRESSIONS ARE MOSTLY USED BY PEOPLE WHO ARE FANATICS OF
ORDER AND WHO MAKE IT THEIR BUSINESS TO PREACH ORDER AND PEACE.” THIS
STATEMENT WAS MADE PRIOR TO THE MOST AGGRESSIVE POLICE VIOLENCE. AS THE
HISTORIAN PRISCILLA ROBERTSON WROTE, “A MODERN PSYCHOLOGIST MIGHT SPECULATE,
WHERE VOGT COULD NOT, THAT UNCONSCIOUS AS WELL AS CONSCIOUS HATREDS WERE
BOUND TO PERVADE ANY SOCIETY HELD TOGETHER WITH SUCH RIGID AND ARBITRARY
                                 TH
BONDS AS EUROPE IN THE MIND-19      CENTURY. THE MASS OF THE PEOPLE WERE KEPT
DOWN NOT ONLY BY LAWS BUT BY CUSTOMS, BY STUDIED ARROGANCE, BY PIOUS
SANCTIONS.”
MS. ROBERTSON SEEMS TO BE REFERRING TO THE MODERN MOVEMENTS OF NATIONALISM,
COMMUNISM, SOCIALISM; THE NEW PHENOMENON OF PEOPLE’S REVOLUTIONS. ASIDE FROM
JEWISH EXODUS AND POSSIBLY CHRISTIANITY, AND A VERY FEW OTHER EXAMPLES, THIS
WAS A NEW FORM OF POLITICS. IT REPLACED EMPIRE BUILDING, POWER BUILDING, THE
RELIGIOUS COALITIONS, AND THE QUEST FOR WEALTH, TERRITORY AND SECURITY THAT
                                                TH
MARKED HISTORY. WHAT SHE SAYS IS THAT IN THE 19    (AND 20TH CENTURIES), EUROPE
                              TH
MADE THE BIG LEAP FROM THE 12    CENTURY TO THE NEW AGE. SUCH FORCES COULD NOT
BE LET LOOSE WITHOUT, AS LENIN SUPPOSEDLY ONCE SAID, “BREAKING A FEW EGGS.” IT IS
OUT OF THIS MASS OF MOVEMENTS THAT GREAT HEROISM CONFLICTS WITH GREAT
VILLAINY, AND SEPARATING THE CHARACTERS MAKES FOR MEN OF GIANT STATURE, GOOD
AND BAD.
The nations of the modern Middle East should study Europe of the 19th Century. It is
there that they may find real parallels to their current predicaments. Some have, and the
result is not what many Western “liberals”, i.e., Democracy advocates, would like to see.
The leaders of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other “friendly” Arab states may in fact
have learned some of the lessons of Europe. When the upper classes dared to give more
equality, the process brought to the surface their greatest fears. So let’s say it: The Middle
East is a place where history could repeat itself, and that history is Communism. Not the
kind of atheistic Communism of Russia. However, the autocracies of the Middle East
resemble the Czars. If the dispossessed lower classes of the Arab world break free of that
yoke, history will repeat until it rhymes. The U.S. never had to face these kinds of
hatreds. Assimilation has taken care of those seething feelings. But in the Middle East,
the same class distinctions roil within the underclass's that stirred the proletariat.
So what lesson is to be understood? It is the lesson of social upheaval brought about by
war. Communism could come back, in the Middle East, if a war were to ravage the
region and get out of hand, like World War I did. This is not to say that Israel and the
United States should not have a military presence there, and should not make war when
circumstances dictate it. What it does say is that these wars had better be won by the right
people. The peace had better be won, too. It is worthy to point out that there are no V.I.
Lenin’s in the Middle East, although the C.I.A. may have a list of such “types.” But it is
also worth noting that many political parties in the region are or were drawn on the
Marxist-Stalinist model, including but not limited to the Ba'ath Party of Saddam Hussein
and Moamar Qhadafi in Iraq and Libya, respectively. Saddam modeled himself after
Stalin. Saddam would never have led a real Communist revolution, but he could have
been the perfect groundbreaker for the Communists of the future. Unrest in the region is
not just about anarchy. It can coalesce into something history has shown us. The study of
19th Century Europe, therefore, is more than just an exercise in intellectual curiosity. It is
a cautionary tale. The greatest mistake the United States can make is to declare the "end
of history." Our youth and our success make this a hubristic possibility.
Hersen noted a Russian writer, of all people, who said that Americans learn notions of
law, justice and equality in the cradle. In other words, asking these Europeans of the 19th
and early 20th Centuries (and Third World countries of the 21st) is tantamount to asking
a person to learn a foreign language. It can be done, but it requires intelligence,
perseverance and motivation.
THE EUROPEANS OF THE UPPER CLASSES, THROUGHOUT THE AGES, HAD SIMPLY FELT THAT
THE LOWER CLASSES WERE NOT CAPABLE OF LEARNING THIS “LANGUAGE.” THEN THERE
WERE THE PHILOSOPHERS, DISCUSSED EARLIER IN THIS BOOK. MASSIMI D’AZEGLIO AT THE
TIME OF THE REVOLUTIONS QUESTIONED THE VERY HUMAN AMBIVALENCE TOWARDS
FREEDOM. ERIC FROMM IN “ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM” SHOWED THAT FROM THE TIME OF
THE REFORMATION, FREEDOM WAS A BURDEN, A THREAT, AND MOST MEN WERE NOT
PREPARED TO ACCEPT ITS RESPONSIBILITIES. AMERICA ENJOYED A TREMENDOUS
ADVANTAGE FROM THE BEGINNING. WE ARE A COUNTRY FOUNDED FROM ITS VERY
BEGINNING BY MEN WHO OPENLY SOUGHT AND RISKED EVERYTHING, FOR FREEDOM. THIS
WAS WAS A COMPLETELY ALIEN CONCEPT TO MOST OF THE MEN ON EARTH.
“The gift of liberty is like that of a horse, handsome, strong, and high-spirited,” wrote
d’Azeglio. “In some it arouses a wish to ride; in many others, on the contrary, it increases
the desire to walk.” As Priscilla Robertson wrote, the French voted for Napoleon’s
offspring because he would restore “order.” This is like Eastern European countries that
still vote for Communists, 14 years after the fall of Communism. Prussians were still
paying their taxes after their parliament had been dissolved. Hapsburg’s subjects also
chose to let somebody take power over them even when a vacuum in power existed.
Moderates accused radicals of destroying order. The radicals were stopped, but they did
not go away. Some, like Mazzini, were stopped by foreign intervention, giving them a
martyred status that allowed them to fight another day with increased stature. The civil
war of Paris’ June Days made radicalism appear hopeless. Frederick William said
soldiers were the only cure for Democrats.
This lack of desire for freedom marks the big difference between European socialism and
American Democracy. The (non-British) Europeans did not have the gumption to go all
the way. Their half-measures ended up being their disaster. When the European middle
classes got what they wanted, they found themselves giving up their newfound liberties
so as to create equality with the lower classes. This is the precise opposite of
conservatism, whose motto is “a rising tide lifts all boats.” It is at the heart of a modern
liberalism that believes in some kind of fuzzy, outcome-based result. It is the kind of
thought that gave us affirmative action and school systems that do not flunk F students.
An old proverb tells the story of a man who is asked if he could have anything in the
world, provided his worst enemy gets the same thing. He says he wants one blind eye.
Marx saw this, and he exaggerated class conflict. No soft socialists like Louis Blanc, no
turncoats like Lamartine. Marx saw the violence that nations make on each other, and
turned that inward. French radicals wanted to march into Savoy or the Rhineland. The
Germans wanted to march into Schleswig, the Italians to Radetzky. Disarmament was an
eccentric notion of Karl Vogt, or Louis Napoleon, neither of whom were part of the spirit
of the ‘48ers.
1968 may have been America’s 1848, or as close to it as any year in our history. This was
the heart of the Vietnam War, a year in which Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy
were assassinated. Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for re-election. The French were
cutting their own deals with the Soviets. The Cultural Revolution raged unabated in
China. U.S. streets and college campuses were aflame with violent protest. American
soldiers were getting cut up in the jungles and spat upon in airports. If ever the
Democrats, socialists, Communists, liberals and radicals of these United States had the
wind in their sails, it was in 1968. So whom did the American electorate choose? The
most conservative Republican of the pre-Ronald Reagan era. The man who exposed
Alger Hiss as a Communist spy and called Chairman Mao a “monster.” If somehow
Europe could have had a political party in 1848 as attractive as the Republicans, a
movement with as much charisma as conservatism, and a candidate who gave voice to
patriotism and freedom like Richard Nixon, then the continent may have been saved. This
statement no doubt will be met with brutal distress from the intellectual elites, the book
reviewers of the New York Times, and the salons of liberalism. This does not have the
slightest thing to do with the fact that it is true. The fact that this and other Truths simply
are is the secret weapon of the right.
Marx said nationality was a myth. He wanted one-world government, but Lenin and the
Balkan leaders used nationalism as cover. Marxists felt that loyalty to class outweighed
national patriotism. America may expose this as a lie more thoroughly than any single
statement he ever made. Europeans simply did not believe that each man was created
equal. They still had their barons, their dukes, their sirs and lords. The King of Prussia
could still call working men an assemblage from the "gutter". Macaulay stood up in the
House of Commons and said universal suffrage destroyed property, and thus, civilization.
British Ambassador to Turkey Canning said he would not live in a world of “Reds and
demagogues.” Metternich, the great hero of Henry Kissinger, thought freedom of the
press was impossible. A Viennese army officer threw his shaving water out the window,
it hit a man in the streets, and when the man complained he was arrested. Guizot saw no
correlation between the welfare of the lower classes with society as a whole.
These attitudes worked the other way, too. The movements were stalled much the same
way women’s suffrage took a long time to get off the ground. People did not think of
themselves as equal to their masters. Therefore, if they could not share government with
them, they had to kill them. George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” explained this well. The
American ambassador to Berlin, Donelson, thought the masses could not succeed because
they seemed to accept starvation. Cavour said that the lower classes of the New World
would have been shocked to see who their “counterparts” were. Is it any wonder that
millions and millions immigrated to the U.S.? Kossuth called the peasants “you” people,
instead of “us.” Hitler would learn this lesson and call for uber alles to fight together.
When Italian revolutionaries pulled Count Hubner from his carriage, they did not
presume to sit in it. Italians equated the word “Democratic” with shabby, a reflection of
themselves.
So out of this came mass hypnotists, working their ignorant crowds like a snake oil man
at the county fair. Then there were the Democrats who turned into autocrats. Religion
played little role in Europe. It had been made to turn inward. The Catholics were
disgraced by their bigoted empire. The Protestants were concerned with spiritual matters.
In Garibaldi’s guerilla army of Italy, a man might be a captain one day, a private the next.
L’Atelier, the French workers’ newspaper, came right out and said they had to succeed
and form a club “in order to become men.”
Race and religion did not play major roles in the revolutions. Racial politics of
post-World War II America tried to take on the same class distinctions of the Europeans
of a century earlier, which was a mistake. What the racial protesters failed to understand
was that they were not fighting mere prejudice, but class distinction. In so doing they
failed to realize that in the U.S., class distinction can be eliminated the way Jackie
Robinson, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Barry Bonds
eliminated it; through excellence. The European revolutionaries never looked at the world
the way a little girl in the Birmingham, Alabama of the 1950s, Condi Rice, looked at it.
For all the hatred of prejudice, the American ideal could not be denied. Even 100 years
before those freed slaves were given 40 acres and a mule. With that came an independent
spirit that immediately placed them above the shabby masses of proletariat who asked
their European dictators to rule them with iron hands.
So, the squabbles of government went on after 1848. Prussia pressed for the Weimar
Republic, and Kremsier addressed the problems of mixed populations under Viennese
control. The politicians made all their moves without trusting the people. The people did
not trust the politicians. Austria’s serfs gained freedom, at the cost of repression for
others. Italy made advances, but Germany was disillusioned and ready for military rule.
The myths of Marx and Bismarck seem to have been the only immediate “victors” of the
‘48ers.
Confidence was lost. Idealism turned to cynicism. Power politics ensued. Realpolitik was
the new political phrase of the day. Totalitarianism, nationalism, Communism and
militarism were the ruthless result of 1848. The formation of Western Europe in the 20 th
Century was complete. God help those had to live through it.

                                 CHAPTER ELEVEN

A DIFFERENT KIND OF REVOLUTION
AMERICA FORMS A "MORE PERFECT UNION"


        THERE IS A WELL KNOWN PHRASE THAT SAYS, “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES
AROUND.” IN A HISTORICAL SENSE, THIS PHRASE APPLIES TO HISTORY, SPECIFICALLY
AMERICAN HISTORY. BUT THIS PHRASE APPLIES IN A WAY THAT WILL SURPRISE SOME,
ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT IT IS COMING FROM A PROFESSED CONSERVATIVE. SO HERE
GOES: AMERICA STARTED COMMUNISM.
        WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE MORE OUTRAGEOUS A STATEMENT THAN THAT? THE
POINT I MAKE IS THAT THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION OPENED FLOODGATES THAT HAD
NEVER BEEN TRULY EXPLORED BEFORE. THE GREEKS, THE ROMAN SENATE, THE MAGNA
CARTA AND OLIVER CROMWELL’S ENGLAND; THESE WERE PRE-CURSORS. THE AMERICANS
CREATED A CONCEPT OF FREEDOM THAT WAS, IN ESSENCE, “POWER TO THE PEOPLE.” IT
                                                                          TH
WAS THIS POWER THAT FUELED THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, AND THE UPRISINGS OF 19
CENTURY EUROPE. EVENTUALLY, THESE EVENTS LED TO MARXISM-LENINISM. THE
AMERICAN IDEAL WAS PERVERTED BEYOND IMAGINATION, BUT IT WAS THE POWER OF A
POPULAR MOVEMENT THAT STARTED IN THIS COUNTRY THAT SPURRED OTHERS TO THINK
THAT THEY COULD DO THE SAME. IT WAS THE BAGGAGE OF HISTORY IN THESE OTHER
NATIONS THAT CAUSED THEIR REVOLUTIONS TO FAIL OR TO BECOME SOMETHING ELSE.

The ride of Paul Revere
        Now, let us look at our beginnings. The British troops held Boston, and to the
English rulers, the breaking point had been reached. Their commander was General
Thomas Gage. He had had it with the rebellious colonialists. He sent out a detachment of
soldiers to put it down.
        Somebody knocked on the door of Paul Revere, located in Boston’s North Square,
at 10 P.M. on April 18, 1775. The messenger whispered two words: “Dr. Warren.”
Revere knew what the words meant. He left his home, making his way along the dark
cobblestone streets toward Hanover Street. He reached the home of Dr. Joseph Warren,
34, a dapper and well-mannered man. Within the local Whig Party, Dr. Warren was
considered the number three man behind Samuel Adams and John Hancock. For this
reason, he was a marked man in the eyes of the British.
The Provincial Congress had adjourned in Concord. Both Adams and Hancock were at
large. They knew that the Congress had attracted the attention of the British, thus making
them marked men. In fact, they were in Lexington, at the home of Reverend Jonas Clark.
They planned to stay in hiding there, away from the colony’s military governor, until the
Continental Congress in Philadelphia, scheduled for the following month. But Dr.
Warren, despite the threat of hanging, had served as a link between the Whigs in Boston
and these men. Now he had returned to Boston. He summoned Revere.
Revere was a surgeon-dentist. Such a position at that time was more of a mechanic than a
doctor. Warren was a Harvard man of breeding. Revere was considered a member of the
lower class. That is, he would have been had they been living in Europe in 1848. They
never would have cooperated in that time and place. Their goals would have been
completely different. They likely would have been enemies. Warren would have felt
Revere to be below him. Revere would have envied and hated him for his manners and
place in society.
But this was not a European revolution. This was a different kind of revolution. They
were equals. Revere had been doing “outdoor work,” riding courier from Boston to as far
away as Philadelphia. A vigilance committee had been set up on Boston’s North End to
watch the English Tories. General Gage had returned from England the previous year. He
controlled 4,000 men. The Whigs now felt that Gage was going to take punitive action
against them.
The colonists had a cache of weapons in Concord, 17 miles to the northwest. The
weapons included muskets and cannon, musket balls and cartridges, hundreds of barrels
of gunpowder, reams of cartridge paper, spades, axes, medicine chests, tents, hogsheads
of flour, pork, beef, salt, boxes of candles, wooden spoons, dishes, canteens, casks of
wine and raisins, and other war supplies.
THE GREAT FEAR WAS THAT GENERAL GAGE WAS GETTING CLOSER TO THE SUPPLIES. HE
HAD SPIES OUT AND ABOUT. AT MIDNIGHT, BRITISH NAVAL SHIPS IN BOSTON HARBOR PUT
THEIR ROWBOATS OUT TO LAUNCH. THIS WAS A PATROL OF GAGE’S CRACK GRENADIER
COMPANIES, HEAVY-DUTY AND LIGHT-INFANTRY TROOPS. IN OTHER WORDS, HIS SPECIAL
FORCES. NORMALLY HIS EXERCISES MOVED SOUTHWARD THROUGH BOSTON NECK. ANY
DEVIATION FROM THE NORM WOULD AROUSE DETECTION. THE QUESTION AMONG THOSE
WHO SAW THE LAUNCH WAS WHETHER GAGE PLANNED TO MOVE TROOPS ACROSS BACK
BAY TO EAST CAMBRIDGE, AND FROM THERE BY COUNTRY LANES TO CONCORD.
ON SATURDAY NIGHT, THE 15TH, NOTHING MORE OCCURRED. ON SUNDAY MORNING, DR.
WARREN SENT REVERE TO LEXINGTON TO WARN ADAMS AND HANCOCK THAT THIS MIGHT
OCCUR. REVERE WONDERED IF GAGE WOULD POST EXTRA GUARDS AT THE CHARLESTOWN
FERRY AND ALONG THE NECK, TO PREVENT COURIERS FROM LEAVING BOSTON FOR THE
COUNTRY. REVERE TURNED TOWARD CHARLESTOWN. HE FOUND COLONEL WILLIAM
CONANT AND SEVERAL OTHERS. THE PRE-ARRANGED SIGNAL WAS THAT IF THE REDCOATS
MARCHED OVER BOSTON NECK BY LAND, REVERE WOULD SIGNAL WITH ONE LANTERN. IF
GAGE’S FORCE SHOULD LEAVE BOSTON BY WATER, TWO LANTERNS. REVERE WANTED TO
REACH CHARLESTOWN WITH DETAILS. SHOULD HE FAIL, HOPEFULLY HIS SIGNALS TO
COLONEL CONANT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD.
ON MONDAY, APRIL 17, AMID THE THREAT OF RAIN, AND ON TUESDAY, CLEAR AND COLD,
THE BRITISH WERE QUARTERED IN PRIVATE HOUSES. MAJOR JOHN PITCAIRN WAS
ACTUALLY STAYING NEXT DOOR TO THE REVERES IN NORTH SQUARE. NEARBY ON BACK
STREET WERE THE ROYAL IRISH AND THE 43RD. THE FACT THEY WERE GETTING READY FOR
                                                   TH
ACTIVE MARCH WAS OBVIOUS. AT 10 O’CLOCK ON THE 18 , REVERE WAS WAITING.
WARREN ASKED HIM TO MAKE FOR LEXINGTON, AND REVERE MADE FOR THE CHARLES
RIVER. TWO FRIENDS ROWED HIM ACROSS. THE SOMERSET-MEN-OF-WAR WERE A BIT TO
THE WEST. THE SHIP WAS WINDING. HE LANDED ON THE CHARLESTOWN SIDE. HE MET
COLONEL CONANT, WHO SAID HE HAD SEEN HIS SIGNALS. HE GOT A HORSE, AND THEN
RICHARD DEVENS, WHO WAS ONE OF THE COMMITTEE OF SAFETY, TOLD HIM HE HAD COME
DOWN THE ROAD FROM LEXINGTON AT SUNDOWN. DEVENS HAD MET 10 BRITISH OFFICERS,
ALL ARMED TO THE TEETH.
THEY HAD ASKED DEVENS WHERE CLARK’S TAVERN WAS. THEY THOUGHT ADAMS AND
HANCOCK MIGHT BE HOLED UP THERE. DEVENS THEN SENT A WARNING TO JONAS CLARK
THAT THE PATROL WAS SEEKING HIS PLACE OF BUSINESS.
REVERE MOUNTED DEACON JOHN LARKINS’ HORSE, WARNED BY DEVENS OF THE BRITISH
PATROL. HE TOOK OFF THROUGH CHARLESTOWN. IT WAS 11 P.M. HE RODE THROUGH SALT
MARSHES, CLAY PITS, AND SCRUBS. HE COULD SMELL THE SEA. HE BORE LEFT ON THE
SHORT ROAD THROUGH CAMBRIDGE TO LEXINGTON, PAST THE MUMMIFIED BODY OF
CAPTAIN COLDMAN’S MARK, WHO HAD HUNG IN CHAINS FOR 20 YEARS AFTER TRYING TO
POISON HIS MASTER. THEN HE SAW TWO HORSEMEN JUST AHEAD. THEY HAD BRITISH
HOLSTERS AND COCKADES. THEY APPROACHED. REVERE SPUN ABOUT AND GALLOPED FOR
MYSTIC ROAD, PURSUED BY TWO BRITISH HORSEMEN. HE GOT CLEARED OF THEM AND
WENT THROUGH MEDFORD, OVER THE BRIDGE, AND UP TO MENOTOMY. IN MEDFORD HE
WOKE UP THE CAPTAIN OF THE MINUTEMEN. THEN HE ALARMED EVERY HOUSE HE COULD IN
LEXINGTON THAT THE BRITISH WERE COMING. JOHN BUCKMAN’S TAVERN WAS ALIGHT AT
THIS LATE HOUR. THE MOONLIGHT LIT THE VILLAGE.
REVERE FLANKED THE COMMON AND WENT DOWN BEDFORD ROAD A QUARTER OF A MILE
TO CLARK’S FRAME HOUSE, IN A GROVE OF TREES. HE FOUND A MILITIA GUARD AT THE
DOOR. WILLIAM MUNROE OF THE LEXINGTON MINUTEMEN HAD ALSO SEEN BRITISH
PATROLS ON THE ROAD AND ASSUMED THEY WERE UP TO NO GOOD. HE WAS THERE TO
PROTECT THE GROUP AT CLARK’S FROM A RAID. HE HAD EIGHT OTHER GUARDS TO ASSIST
HIM. REVERE TROTTED UP AND ASKED FOR ADMITTANCE, BUT SERGEANT MUNROE SAID
THE FAMILY WAS RETIRED.
REVERE INFORMED HIM WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT WHETHER HE WOKE UP THE PEOPLE IN
THE HOUSE THAT THE BRITISH REGULARS WERE COMING. JOHN HANCOCK DID HEAR THE
NOISE.
“COME IN, REVERE,” HE SAID. “WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF YOU.”
Sam Adams was there. The others in the house crowded about, wearing their
nightclothes. Hancock immediately went for his gun to go after the British, a brave but
foolish idea. Adams talked him out of. The Adams-Hancock partnership was another one
that never would have been part of the 1848 revolutions. Adams was a failure in business,
disheveled and seedy-looking. Hancock, a ship-owner, was one of the wealthiest
merchants in New England.
    After some consultation, Revere took the bit between his lips and entered the road
again with another messenger, William Dawes. Dr. Samuel Prescott joined them. He had
been, uh, "courting" Miss Milliken of Lexington until one in the morning. Revere was
stopped. His horse was actually commandeered from him into the British military, but he
was let go. The British advanced on the population. General Gage still did not think
rebellion would break out. When he met armed rebels, he was surprised. Guns were fired,
but nobody was killed. The Americans dispersed. When the British fired eight
Massachusetts men were killed, 10 wounded, and one British regular had suffered a leg
wound. Major Pitcairn’s horse had been struck lightly twice. The British then marched
for Concord. The Americans, alerted in time by Paul Revere, managed to get to their
weapons cache. The American Revolution was on. Aside from the cache, all the
Americans were hunters and owned guns, which came in very handy. History was
changed forever.

Lafayette and the American-French alliance
        In describing the formation of Western Europe, this book has heretofore described
facts about France that does not place it in a good historical light. In recent years, the
country has been the source of jokes. One wag said that, “France has always been there
when they needed us.” Another said the French national sport was “running away from
the Germans.” Another joke said that nobody knows what the best defense of Paris is,
because it’s never been tried.” Barbara Tuchman in “The Guns of August” described
Marshal Ferdinand Foch and the French military staff sitting around a dining table in
Paris. German guns could be heard in the background. The Germans were battling the
British, who had traveled to the outskirts of the city to protect it. Foch and his staff were
eating lunch and drinking wine.
France has a long history. They are an important European country. How important they
are now is questionable. But before Americans waste too much time and energy making
fun of their ways, we need to remember that they are a nation that is intertwined with
ours. We owe them a debt of gratitude. In fact, as mentioned before, one of the reasons
French history went awry was because they helped us. They fought a kind of “rear guard
action” against the British while we were engaged in a war with them. They helped to
finance our revolution. France overextended themselves. This was a cause – not the
cause, but a factor – in the economic problems that led to the French uprisings. Those
uprisings all but ruined a great nation. First, they created a "monster" (Napoleon). Then a
series of smaller revolutions helped usher in a socialist sickness that led to greater
disaster throughout the entire continent.
In studying the French contribution to the U.S., we are led to one central figure. His name
was Lafayette. Generations of West Point graduates studied Lafayette. General George
Patton was an admirer of Lafayette and, because of him, he admired France as a country.
He still admired him after their Vichy forces fired upon him when he arrived to fight
Erwin Rommel in North Africa.
Lafayette landed on American soil at the little port of Georgetown in the southern
Carolinas in the early Summer of 1777. He left France with a letter de cachet amid much
intrigue that had Versailles in great debate. He had been at sea for two months, eluding
British cruisers, and never got over his seasickness. He then rode north to join forces with
George Washington.
The members of the Continental Congress were unsure of the young Marquis. He was a
man of title, wealth, privilege – and charm. All were traits not necessarily associated with
the plainspoken colonists. After all, he came from a monarchical country, and we were
fighting one of those. Lafayette was not yet 20 years old when he was commissioned a
major general in the Continental Army. He was made a personal member of
Washington’s family.
LAFAYETTE HAD DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF IN FRANCE AS A CAPTAIN IN THE ROYAL
GUARDS. WHEN THE BOURBONS BEGAN TO CONSIDER WHETHER THEY SHOULD AID THE
COLONIALISTS, LAFAYETTE LOBBIED FOR A POSTING IN AMERICA. HE SPOKE BAROQUE
ENGLISH. WHEN HE CAME TO WASHINGTON, HE WAS GIVEN COMMAND OF TROOPS DOWN
FROM HEAD OF ELK TO AID THE VIRGINIANS. THEY HAD BEEN HARASSED BY RAIDS BY THE
TRAITOR, BENEDICT ARNOLD, ALONG THE JAMES RIVER. LORD CORNWALLIS WAS SAID TO
HAVE A LARGE FORCE MARCHING UP FROM THE CAROLINAS. HE WAS DUBBED THE
HANNIBAL OF AMERICA. WASHINGTON WAS STILL FIGHTING SIR HENRY CLINTON’S MEN
ON NEW YORK ISLAND.
WHEN LAFAYETTE ARRIVED IN VIRGINIA, IT BUCKED UP THE ALMOST-DESPAIRING
VIRGINIANS. HE HAD GREAT ENTHUSIASM, NOT JUST FOR THE MILITARY ADVENTURE, BUT
GREAT LOVE FOR THE AMERICAN CAUSE OF FREEDOM. THE NEW EXPERIMENT, THE
AUDACITY OF A COLONY FIGHTING BACK AGAINST THE MIGHTY BRITS, WAS INFECTIOUS.
THE AUSTRIAN BARON FRIEDRICH WILHELM AUGUSTUS VON STEUBEN, HAD BEEN SENT
BY WASHINGTON TO TEACH THE VIRGINIANS THE SOLDIER SKILLS ORIGINALLY TAUGHT BY
FREDERICK THE GREAT. VON STEUBEN WAS DIFFICULT. LAFAYETTE WAS A BREATH OF
FRESH AIR.
AS SUMMER DEVELOPED, LAFAYETTE HUNG ON CORNWALLIS’ FLANK. HE DID NOT RISK
GENERAL ENGAGEMENT. A NEW STYLE OF HIT `N’ RUN WARFARE WAS BEING DEVELOPED.
USING THE TERRAIN (CREEKS, ESTUARIES, WINDING FOREST PATHS) AND THE LOCALS’
KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAND, LAFAYETTE TURNED WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN CORNWALLIS’
TRIUMPHAL MARCH INTO A SERIES OF DETOURS AND ABOUT-FACES. OVER TIME, IT BECAME
A VIRTUAL RETREAT. SEEING THIS, THE AMERICANS BECAME ENCOURAGED. WASHINGTON
SENT ANTHONY WAYNE AND THE PENNSYLVANIA LINE TO ASSIST LAFAYETTE.
A NAVAL BATTLE BETWEEN FRENCH AND BRITISH FLEETS OFF THE CAPES HAD YORKTOWN
THINKING THAT VICTORY WAS IN THE AIR. OFFICERS AND MEN WERE MAKING HASTE TO
TIDEWATER, VIRGINIA TO AID LAFAYETTE'S FORCES. WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA HAD BEEN
DESERTED, BUT NOW THE ALLIED ARMIES WERE SURROUNDING THE AREA, BRINGING A
SENSE OF LIFE BACK. OFFICERS STAYED AT THE LOCAL COLLEGE. MEN IN UNIFORM WERE
EVERYWHERE. ANTHONY WAYNE HAD BEEN WOUNDED, AND VON STEUBEN HAD THE
GOUT. VOLUNTEERS WERE JOINING UP. LAFAYETTE ADDED THE PERFECT MIX OF FRENCH
POMPOSITY, WHICH THE ESPRIT DE CORPS.
The American victory at Yorktown was significant to the French. They had suffered
recent losses to the British in Germany, at Louisberg, and at Quebec. Lafayette’s own
father had been killed at Minden. After Cornwallis surrendered, Lafayette returned to
Versailles. Word of his victory was a shot in the arm to the beleaguered Bourbons. The
King draped the Order of St. Louis around Lafayette’s neck. He was upgraded to
marechal de camp over older marshals, who called him the French Washington.
Lafayette was married and named a daughter, Virginie, after his American campaign. He
almost took as a mistress one of Marie Antoinette’s ladies-in-waiting. But his experience
with American marriage, notably Washington’s, changed his view of the institution. He
began to understand that marriage is a partnership of love, not just an arrangement for the
purpose of making heirs. He settled into marriage and did not become a de facto
Bourbon. He entertained American diplomats, their wives and merchants in Paris, and
discussed philosophy with the likes of Diderot, Rousseau and Voltaire.
In 1784, Lafayette returned, arriving in New York. He was greeted by great joy from the
militia, who fought a desperate, spirited fight. At Mount Vernon he met his idol
Washington again. According to reports, he and Father of Our Country proceeded to a
local hostelry for a bit of drunkenness. Then Washington made for a hard ride to Ohio.
Lafayette went to Philadelphia. He joined with James Madison to the Indian territory in
Virginia, where Lafayette was known as Kayewlaah. Madison talked Lafayette into using
his position with the Bourbons of Spain to open navigation of the Mississippi.
French ships did great work at the harbor at Yorktown. Lafayette’s personage grew to
Churchillian dimensions in the American psyche. Then he returned to French, where he
and Thomas Jefferson further rallied Bourbon support. Having lost his father, and still a
young man, Lafayette was always searching for a father figure. He attached himself to
Jefferson as he had to Washington. Times were changing in Paris. Lafayette was
approached about addressing reforms. He set at first to create an atmosphere for religious
toleration, which had so impressed him among the Americans.
The issue of slavery was foremost. Lafayette kept a framed copy of the Declaration of
Independence on the wall of his study. He hoped France could achieve such a document
for themselves. Jefferson made suggestions for reform of the Bourbon aristocracy.
Lafayette used these in forming an outline. Jefferson, however, was not optimistic of the
reform movement. He feared that Lafayette was feted in Par