HISTORY

In Remembrance of the October Revolution

Oct Rev

The Communist Monster, Vladimir Lenin  

 

This October marks the centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia and the establishment of Soviet-style Communism which tragically, for the Russian people, would last for some seventy interminable years.  Not only did the Soviet regime liquidate and imprison millions, but its idiotic system of central planning impoverished the country, turning it into an economic basket case, the effects of which continue to this day.

Just as bad, the Bolsheviks murdered the last Czar, Nicholas II and his family, brutally ending nearly five hundred years of monarchial rule of Russia.  Within a year of the demise of the Russian aristocracy, two other of Europe’s venerable royal houses – Germany and Austria – met the same fate, all three casualties of their insane decision to participate in World War I.  The end of the German Court and especially that of Austria came at the vengeful insistence of then President Woodrow Wilson, who brought the US into the conflict on the pledge to make the “world safe for democracy.”

The triumph of the Bolsheviks and the downfall of the German and Austrian monarchies ushered in the Age of Democracy as other Western constitutional republics at the time and in each passing year began to resemble and adopt features of their supposed Communist foe.  As the 20th century wore on, each Western nation state became more “democratic,” increasing their welfare/warfare state apparatus, imposing more and more radical egalitarian social and economic measures, and adopting greater amounts of economic planning mostly through central banking.  Not only did economic activity become increasingly effected by monetary policy, but the central banks were instrumental in the eradication of the gold standard throughout the Western world.

Not only did Communism prove to be a disaster economically in Russia and everywhere else tried, but socialism had other debilitating effects.  The quality of the population declined along with the numbers of ethnic Russians, a trend that ominously continues to this day.  While ingenuity was stifled by the Soviet command economy, its culture, although never as advanced as Western Europe, became sterile and overshadowed by the heavy hand of the commissar.  The only memorable literature produced during the period were accounts of the gulag and the repression of dissent.  Music and the arts were similar cultural wastelands.

The West, too, as its nation states became more socialistic and egalitarian, witnessed retrogression in every aspect of society.  The catastrophic drop off in the size of the native populations can largely be attributed to crazed feminism, where women were encouraged and given privileges to pursue careers and become “working moms,” which led to the phenomenon of the “dysfunctional family” and declines in the number of child births.  Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains this effect in the American context:

In the U.S., . . . less than a century of full-blown

democracy has resulted in steadily increasing

moral degeneration, family and social disintegration,

and cultural decay in the form of continually rising

rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and crime.

 

As a result of an ever-expanding list of non-

discrimination – ‘affirmative action’ – laws and

nondiscriminatory, multicultural, egalitarian

immigration policies, every nook and cranny of

American society is affected by government

management and forced integration.*

Hoppe Demo 3

Hoppe’s seminal demolition of Democracy

A primary reason why the quality of Western life has crumbled so markedly has been the replacement of its “natural elites” with “political elites” via the democratic process.  Every society is led by its leading individuals who through talent, hard work, brains, foresight, moral fortitude, fairness, and bravery come to the top and are looked to for guidance.  Under democratic conditions, however, the natural elites have, in a sense, been “voted out” by the political class who, instead of out competing their rivals, secure their status by politics mostly through demagogy.

In Soviet Russia, the natural elites were ruthlessly purged by Lenin’s forces and over time any sort of advancement or achievement had to come via the Communist Party.

Despite the overwhelming failure of socialism, Western nation states continue to practice many of its features, a most notorious recent example being that of the passage of Obamacare, the first step on the road to universal health care in the US.  America, itself, resembles more of a police state than ever before with the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and the passage of draconian legislation such as the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The October Revolution should be remembered for what it was: the inauguration of mankind’s first total state.  It, and the social system which it spawned, should be condemned by all those who seek prosperity and an advanced civilization.

*Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order. New Brunswick (U.S.A.): Transaction Publishers, 2001, p. xiii.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

 

 

A Constitutional Anniversary to Forget

constitutionstupid

While not a jubilee year, last week marked the 230th anniversary of the US Constitution.  Naturally, most of its devotees enthusiastically praised the document which by now is seen on a par with Holy Writ itself.  An editorial from Investor’s Business Daily provides an example of such hagiography:

The Constitution’s beauty is that it not only delineates our rights

as Americans, but expressly limits and defines government’s ability

to interfere in our private lives.   This equipoise between citizens’

duties, responsibilities and rights makes it the defining document

or our nation’s glorious freedom.

 

But America is wonderful largely because of the Constitution and

those who framed it . . . .

 

What we have is too precious to squander . . . .*

Most of the piece laments about the widespread ignorance of its sacred contents among the denizens in which it rules over and encourages the unlearned “to bone up a bit on your constitutional heritage . . . .”  The editorial fails, as do most others on the Right, to understand that it is not a lack of knowledge of the Constitution’s contents among the populace which lies at the heart of America’s social, economic, and political problems, but the very document itself.

One of the main reasons why the Constitution continues to be so widely venerated is due to the deliberate distortion of history that its “founders” promoted and that generations of its sycophants have continued to perpetuate to this very day.  The official narrative runs that the Constitution was enacted because of widespread popular support for a change to the supposed inadequacies and deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation.

This is a myth.  Instead, the Constitution was a coup deliberately schemed by the leading political and mercantile classes to set up a powerful central government where ultimate authority rested in the national state.  The use of the term “federal” to describe what was created in Philadelphia in those fateful days was a ruse much like the banksters and politicos used “Federal Reserve” to describe the central bank created in 1913.  It was neither “federal” – a decentralized monetary order – nor a “reserve” of gold, but a monetary institution which could create money out of thin air and eventually eliminate the gold standard.

It was a similar political maneuver 230 years ago as a new American national state was established and touted as a decentralized form of government where power was evenly divided between state and national levels and between the different branches of the government itself  – “separation of powers.”  In actuality, however, the “federal system” was the elevation of central power at the expense of local authority which had previously existed.  Section VI of the Constitution says it all:

The Constitution and the laws of the United States  . . .

shall be the supreme law of the land; and the

judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the

Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Elementary political science has shown and plain common sense knows that any person or institution given “supreme authority” will misuse and abuse such power.  Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely is an undeniable dictum of human nature.  A truly decentralized system of governance would not contain a plank as “supreme law of the land” as part of its foundation.  Instead, real federalism would be dispersed, as it existed in the past in such political arrangements as confederacies, leagues, and, certainly, under the much maligned feudal social order.

Even the Constitution’s celebrated Bill of Rights is flawed and has proven to be ineffective in protecting basic human freedoms.  It is the federal government which enumerates and interprets what freedom individuals should possess.  Thus, the meaning and extent of individual liberties will be in the hands of federal jurists and courts who will invariably rule on cases in favor of the state.  The ensnaring of individual rights within the central government’s authority did away with the venerable common law which was a far greater defender of liberty than federal courts.

Just as important, the enactment of the Constitution, which brought all the individual states under it suzerainty, did away with one of the most significant checks on state power – “voting with one’s feet.”  When there are multiple governing authorities, if one jurisdiction becomes too oppressive, its subjects can move to freer domains.  This still happens on a local level as high tax and regulatory states such as California and New York have lost demographically to freer places like Nevada and Texas.  Yet, from the Federal Leviathan there is no escape, except expatriation.

Unless and until Americans and all the other peoples of the Western world who live under constitutional rule recognize that it is the type of government which is the cause of most of the political turmoil, social unrest, and economic malaise  which they face, there is no hope of turning things around.

*”Sturdy Constitution, ” Investor’s Business Daily, Week of September 18, 2017, A20.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

Christopher Columbus and the Falsification of History

columbus and isabella

The Los Angeles City Council’s recent, crazed decision* to replace Christopher Columbus Day with one celebrating “indigenous peoples” can be traced to the falsification of history and denigration of European man which began in earnest in the 1960s throughout the educational establishment (from grade school through the universities), book publishing, and the print and electronic media.  It is amazing that, as of yet, the federal holiday commemorating the Genoese explorer’s world- changing voyage has not come under attack.  It is doubtful that in the current radicalized leftist ideological atmosphere, the national government’s recognition of Columbus will survive much longer.

Most of what has been taught about Christopher Columbus and his holy and heroic patroness has been distorted, lied about, and politicized for the advancement of leftist causes, the most important of which is the smearing of the great European men of the past and to ridicule their descendants’ pride in their glorious heritage.  The historical untruths have not stopped with Columbus and Queen Isabella, but are being spread about conditions of the pre-Columbian societies.

Instead of an idyllic land where the inhabitants lived in peace and harmony with one another until the evil, conquering white man appeared, life in the pre-Columbian Americas’ was, to say the least, quite grisly.  A recent archeological discovery in Mexico City of the ancient Aztec Empire shows again what most knew, prior to the onslaught of leftist historical revisionism, that human sacrifice was practiced on a large scale.**

Archeologists have found more than 650 skulls where human sacrifices were conducted at the site of Templo Mayor, which was one of the primary temples of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan.  The new find substantiates the description of Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who accompanied conquistador Hernan Cortes in 1521, and his account of the discovery of tens of thousands of skulls which were in the temple that became known as Huey Tzompantli.  The number of skulls must have been vast for they “struck fear” in the hearty and seasoned Spanish explorers.

human sacrifice

A depiction of human sacrifice in Mesoamerica

That the Spanish immediately ended this hellish practice is not much spoken about by history professors in their lectures to their gullible students, nor did the Los Angeles City Council refer to the satanic ritual during their announcement.  Such inconvenient facts do not fit the liberal paradigm of the evil, marauding conquistadors subjugating the innocent Mesoamerican peoples to Spanish rule.  Nor will there be much mention that Columbus’ discovery brought civilization to the pagans and more importantly – and horrifically for the politically-correct – Christianity to the indigenous peoples and a chance for eternal salvation.

The takedown of Columbus is also a swipe at the figure who made his exploits altogether possible.  For Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand’s underwriting of the great Genoese Admiral’s voyage came only after they had completed their sacred mission of ridding the Iberian Peninsula of the dreaded Moors.  Once accomplished, the Queen fulfilled her promise to finance Columbus.  It has been contended by some scholars that the discovery of the New World under Spanish auspices was a reward by Divine Providence for the freeing of Spain of the Mohammedan menace.

Instead of enslavement and plunder that leftist historians accuse the Spanish Crown as motives for the exploration, the exact opposite was the truth, as candidly stated by Columbus himself: “she [Isabella] would continue the experiment for the glory of God and His Church, even if the islands yielded nothing but rocks and stones.  She had spent more money . . .  on enterprises of less importance, and would consider all she had disbursed well employed, for it would result in the spread of [Christianity] and the good of Spain.”***

Nearly every moral and ethical system ever devised has always condemned ingratitude.  Acknowledgement and veneration of the glorious deeds of those of the past in which a civilization was built is a necessary duty for its preservation.  When a culture’s icons are ignorantly defamed or replaced, it is a sure sign that it is in steep decline.  The scuttling of the yearly commemoration of Christopher Columbus’ monumental expeditions by the city of Los Angeles is another ominous indicator of a deeply troubled and disintegrating society.

*Tyler Durden, “Los Angeles Changes ‘Columbus Day’ to ‘Indigenous Peoples Day.'”  Zero Hedge.  31 August 2017.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-31/trump-was-right-it-will-never-end-los-angeles-changes-columbus-day-indigenous-people

**Reuters, “Tower of Human Skulls in Mexico Casts New Light on Aztec Sacrifices.”  2 July 2107.  https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/tower-human-skulls-mexico-casts-new-light-aztec-sacrifices-n779106

*** Quoted in Rev. Frs. Alphonsus Maria Duran, M.J., and Paul Mary Vota, M.J., “Why Apologize for the Spanish Inquisition?” (Chicago: Miles Jesu, 2000), p. 10.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com

 

Can Germany Be Made Great Again?

Holy-Roman-Empire-1789-1024x704

Ever since the start of the deliberately conceived “migrant crisis,” orchestrated by NWO elites, the news out of Germany has been, to say the least, horrific.  Right before the eyes of the world, a country is being demographically destroyed through a coercive plan of mass migration.  The intended consequences of this – financial strain, widespread crime and property destruction, the breakdown of German culture – will continue to worsen if things are not turned around.

Opposition to the societal destruction within Germany have been harassed and persecuted by the authorities and labeled by the mass media with the usual epithets: “far right,” neo-Nazi, “haters,” and heaven forbid, “separatists.”  Because of this and other factors, there has been no mass movement, as of yet, that has coalesce to challenge the German political establishment.

A possible reversal of German fortunes, however, has come from a recent poll of Bavarians.*

A survey conducted by YouGov, a market research company, found that 32% of Bavarians agreed with the statement that Bavaria “should be independent from Germany.”  This percentage has increased from 25% of secession-minded Bavarians when polled in 2011.

Of the some 2000 surveyed between June 24 and July 5, most supporters of  independence come from the southern portions of the country.

Whether Bavarians or their fellow German separatists realize it or not, the only “political” solution to the migrant crisis is secession.  This is not only true for Germany, but for all Western nation states swamped with unwanted migrants.  Once free from the domination of the national government (and just as important the EU), each jurisdiction could make its own immigration policy and would be better able to control population influx at the local level.

Historically, Germany’s past has much more in common with a decentralized political landscape than with a unitary state.  From the disintegration of the Roman Empire until Napoleon wantonly abolished the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Germany was an amalgam of different political units – kingdoms, duchies, confederacies, free cities, etc.  With no grand central state, there was considerable freedom and economic growth as each sovereign entity was largely able to conduct its affairs on its own terms.

Decentralized political power is also conducive for the advancement of culture.  Music, the highest art form, found some of its greatest expression from the German peoples.  And, the monumental figures of Western music were financed in large measure by German princes, kings, and emperors.  Johann Sebastian Bach’s sublime Brandenburg concertos were underwritten, so to speak, by Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg while Beethoven received support from Archduke Rudolph.  Mozart was funded no less by the Austrian emperor himself, Joseph II.

Political decentralization provides an important mechanism as a check on state power.  A multitude of governments prevents individual state aggrandizement as oppressed populations can “vote with their feet” and move to safer and less repressive regimes.  A unitary state, or just a few, throughout the world would negate such an advantage.

Naturally, if nation states are a constant threat to the liberties and economic well being of their citizens, global organizations and states are that much more of a danger and should always and everywhere be opposed.  The European Union, largely based on the principles of the US Constitution, has pressured nations under their sway, such as Germany, to accept the migrants and has threatened members such as Hungary and Poland with penalties if they do not do their fair share.

The empirical evidence is overwhelming in regard to political decentralization and economic growth.  Since the level of taxation and government regulation are crucial factors in an economy’s ability to produce, the limitation on taxation and government oversight tend to be significantly lower if there are numerous states since there would be amble opportunities for producers to go to more conducive areas to set up shop.  This can be seen in the US as thousands of oppressed businesses and firms have left California to lower tax and restrictive climes such as Texas and Nevada.

If Germany is ever to get a handle on the migration crisis before the country is completely demographically dismembered, its only hope is to return to its decentralized political roots.  Let Bavaria lead the way!

*https://www.rt.com/news/396600-bavaria-independence-germany-poll/

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

On the Commemoration of World War I: From Woodrow Wilson to Donald Trump

Trump - Wilson

It is altogether fitting that the US attack on a Syrian airport, the dropping of a MOAB on defenseless Afghanistan, and the potential outbreak of nuclear war with North Korea have all come in the very month one hundred years earlier that an American president led the nation on its road to empire.  President Trump’s aggressive actions and all of America’s previous imperialistic endeavors can ultimately be traced to Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to bring the country into the First World War on April 6, 1917.
This month, therefore, should be one of national mourning for the decision to enter that horrific conflict changed America and, for that matter, the world for the worse.
Had the US remained neutral, the war would most likely have come to a far quicker and more politically palatable conclusion, however, the entry of America on the Entente side prolonged the conflict and extended its economic and political destruction to such a degree that the Old Order could not be put back together again.  The great dynasties (Germany, Russia, and especially Austria) were ruthlessly dismantled at the conclusion of WWI by the explicit designs of Wilson which left a power vacuum across Central Europe.  The vacuum, of course, was filled by the various collectivist “isms” which produced the landscape for another global conflagration even greater than WWI.For America, after a brief revival of isolationism and non-interventionist sentiment throughout the land, the country, led by another ruthless and power-mad chief executive, provoked and schemed its way into the second general European war within a generation, this time via “the backdoor” with Japan.  A second US intervention, making the war global, could not have come about had there been no WWI, or if that war had ended on better terms.After the Second World War, the US emerged as the world’s dominant power with bases across the globe and entered into a string of never ending hot and cold wars, regime changes, destabilizations, assassinations, bombings, blockades, and economic sanctions that have continued to this very day and hour.  Quickly after the war’s conclusion, the American media, academia, and the security and military industrial complex had to invent the myth that the Soviet Union and the US were of equal military might which turned out to be a blatant lie.  After being decimated in WWII and its adherence to unworkable and economic destructive socialistic planning, the Soviet Union could never produce the wealth necessary to maintain a global empire as the US did, and still does.  The “Soviet threat” was always a ruse to get gullible Americans to vote for and support greater and greater “defense” spending.Besides Ron Paul and to a far lesser extent his son, Donald Trump was the only viable candidate who spoke of taking a new, less interventionist foreign policy which is why he was able to garner so much support from millions of empire-weary Americans during the presidential campaign.  He rightly called the Iraqi War a “disaster,” spoke of getting along with Russia, and the US’s commitment to NATO should be rethought, among other refreshing comments on foreign affairs.In one of the most memorable and hopeful passages of his Inaugural Address, the new president championed non-intervention abroad:

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.

Unlike Ron Paul, however, Trump had no grounding in a true America First foreign policy.  While critical of his predecessors’ foreign policy decisions, Trump was not opposed philosophically to the US Empire or saw it as the greatest threat to world peace which currently exists.

Without an ideological basis against American globalism, Trump was easy pickings against the threats and machinations of the Deep State.  Without a refutation of the ideology which drove Wilson and all of his successors to promote military adventurism abroad, Trump will be little different than his imperial predecessors and with a personality that is thin-skinned, impulsive and unpredictable, Trump could, God forbid, become another Woodrow Wilson.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Review: Charles A. Beard, American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1946.

 
american-for-pol-in-the-making     charles-a-beard-ii
*This essay is dedicated to the late Charlie McGrath of Wide Awake News.charlie-mcgrath

Introduction
Last year, 2016, marked the 70th anniversary of the publication of Charles Beard’s masterful study of United States foreign policy prior to the nation’s disastrous entrance into the Second World War, American Foreign Policy in the Making1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities(AFPM).  The book was soon accompanied by President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941 published in 1948, the year of the great historian’s passing.
The two volumes were extremely influential and became cornerstones of World War II revisionism.  AFPM chronicled US policy in the crucial decade prior to the fateful attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  The records released and the research done in the decades following Beard’s studies have only substantiated the historian’s interpretation of events.*
The most recent of the growing literature of WWII revisionism has been by the German historian Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof, and his provocative book, The War That Had Many Fathers.**  As Beard did with AFPM, Schultze-Rhonhof seeks to assign responsibility for the outbreak of WWII in the European theatre.  Like Beard, and in contrast to the official historical interpretation, Schultze-Rhonhof blames the provocative actions of the “Allied” governments in the years leading up to the conflict.***
World War II
By any objective rendering, for Western Civilization, WWII was an unmitigated catastrophe whose reverberations continue to this day.  Forty three million troops were senselessly killed between American, British and Continental forces while 38 million civilians perished.  Europe’s current demographic nightmare had its unfruitful seeds cut down with the depopulation of the Continent’s finest for the maniacal aims of the world’s power elites.  Not only the loss of life, but the destruction of property and the cultures upon which they were built have been incalculable. 
Although the US emerged in the post-war world as the dominant economic and political power (as its mainland remained unscathed from wartime destruction), its participation in the conflict was a titanic geopolitical blunder.  The defeat of Germany and Japan, which would have not come about without US military might, left vast power vacuums in Eastern Europe and the Far East that Soviet Russia and Red China ruthlessly filled.  Half of Europe would fall behind the Iron Curtain, subjected to fierce political repression and debilitating socialistic economic planning.  In the Far East, Communist regimes sprang up with the assistance of China and the Soviet Union which America attempted to counter in Korea and Vietnam at a staggering cost to its domestic economy and social tranquility. 
Even after the fall of Soviet Communism, the US’s supposed lethal enemy, America maintained its empire as its “defense” spending continued to escalate beyond all reasonable levels which has led, in part, to the decline of domestic living standards of nearly all except, of course, for the politically well-connected.
Not only has military adventurism bankrupted the country, but there is now “blowback” from the countless enemies either real, imagined, or contrived created by US overseas meddling.  Moreover, the nation’s military industrial and security complex has turned on its own citizens with spying, surveillance, and data gathering that would be the envy of Stalin’s Cheka.
Yet, it was US participation in WWII which cemented the nation on its ruinous course as global policeman.  This was predicted and feared by Charles Beard and other perceptive minds which is why they fought so courageously to keep the country neutral.
Naturally, Beard’s criticism of FDR’s bellicose foreign policy and the historian’s position that he had deliberately provoked the Japanese to attack led Beard to be ostracized by the historical profession which, by and large, had been converted to internationalism by the 1930s.  To his credit, Beard had left academia long before and made his way financially from his voluminous writings.  Nevertheless, he was smeared by the historical profession and much of the Establishment press with the usual charges, or was mostly ignored.  Despite his isolationist views, however, his seminal book on the Constitution remained in widespread use.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Charles Beard meticulously chronicles the events and policy decisions which led to US entry into WWII with nearly all the focus on the actions and words of the most important figure which brought it about: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  It is FDR, in Beard’s view, who bears ultimate responsibility – hence the subtext of the book,  “A Study in Responsibilities” – for American foreign policy which would eventually lead the nation into the second global conflagration of the 20thcentury.
Despite nuancing his foreign policy views for political gain, FDR remained a convinced “Wilsonsian internationalist” throughout his life.  While he may have sublimated his position for public office (during the 1932 and 1940 presidential campaigns), FDR stayed true to a globalist mindset.  US entry into WWII could have only come about by one who was a determined interventionist who wanted America to become a world power against, as Beard and others have shown, the explicit will of the vast majority of his fellow citizens who wanted no part of the conflict.  It is thus FDR who bears primary responsibility for America’s entrance into the war which could have been avoided had the US taken a more reasonable and less belligerent stance in its foreign policy toward the Axis Powers especially Japan.
The deep disillusionment which followed WWI among the initial belligerents was shared by the American public despite not having suffered the devastation that the European powers had endured.  The skepticism over why the country entered the war in the first place and the determination not to do so again was the main reason why America refused to become part of the League of Nations.  Americans rightly feared that US participation in the League would drag the nation into needless conflicts which were not in the country’s best interest.  For their insistence on joining the League, Woodrow Wilson and the Democratic Party would be punished by the American electorate as the Republicans would control both Congress and the White House throughout the 1920s.
After the 1924 election, it was clear to any aspiring Democratic politician that if electoral success was to be secured, Wilsonian internationalism had to be dropped or expressed in a different fashion.  FDR would come to this realization and by the 1932 election had distanced himself far enough from his ideological mentor (Woodrow Wilson) that he would be palatable to an “isolationist” electorate.
Had it not, however, been for the Stock Market Crash, the ensuing Depression, and Herbert Hoover’s ill-advised and idiotic economic policies which made the initial financial downturn far worse, FDR, despite mitigating his earlier interventionist views, would not have been elected.  The good will that the Republicans had generated by staying out of the League and pursuing an “isolationist” foreign policy was in step with the American people’s wishes.
As the financial crisis deepened, the 1932 Presidential election became a referendum on the economic policies of the Hoover Administration while foreign policy played a minor role.  Even with deteriorating financial conditions and Hoover’s inability to turn things around, FDR still had to receive monetary backing and favorable press treatment especially from the powerful William Randolph Hearst and his publishing syndicate.  Hearst was, however, an American Firster and thus leery of FDR’s past views.  For an endorsement, the publishing magnate had to be convinced of the sincerity of the future President’s stance.
The shrewd New York Governor, of course, understood this and throughout the campaign spoke against formal US involvement in the League or any other collective security arrangement and argued that fixing the domestic economy would be the first priority of his Administration.  As the campaign wore on, Hearst became convinced and in a self-penned editorial formally endorsed FDR.  Not only could FDR be trusted to keep the US out of foreign entanglements, but he believed that the Democratic nominee had the right policies to fix the nation’s economic woes.  History would prove Hearst wrong on both points.
Roosevelt’s First Term, 1933-1937
Attempts at economic recovery would dominate FDR’s first Presidential term as war clouds began to darken over European and Asiatic skies.  The President maintained his anti-League stance although the US worked along informal lines with the organization as Republican Administrations had previously done.  When global disputes or actual armed conflicts broke out, FDR called for peace and asserted US neutrality.  Typical was his response to the Italian-Ethiopian dispute in 1935: “I wish to voice the hope of the people and the Government of the United States that an amicable solution will be found and that peace will be maintained.”   When the war broke out he declared: “This Government is determined not to become involved in the controversy and is anxious for the restoration and maintenance of peace.”[165]
Even when there were no overseas quarrels to respond to, FDR forcefully reiterated his Administration’s foreign policy stance which reflected the desires of the nation’s Founders:

In the face of this apprehension the American people can have but one concern – the American people can speak but one sentiment: despite what happens in continents overseas, the United States of America shall and must remain, as long ago the Father of our Country prayed that it might remain – unentangled and free.  This country seeks no conquest.  We have no imperial designs.  From day to day and year to year, we are establishing a more perfect assurance of peace with our neighbors. . . .  We not only earnestly desire peace, but we are moved by a stern determination to avoid those perils that will endanger our peace with the world.[166-67]

America, at this time, was in no mood for any overseas military adventurism or participation with any international organization which might lead into a conflict.  A good example of how fierce public isolationist sentiment ran can be seen in the debate over whether the nation should become a member of the World Court which had always been a cherished goal of the internationalists.

In January, 1935 FDR urged the Senate to pass legislation that would make the country a member of the Court although the resolutions that were proposed, in Beard’s words, “had been diluted until they contained no words that could possibly impair the sovereignty of the United States.”[163]  Despite pressure from FDR and other prominent politicos and organizations, the bill went down to defeat against a “storm of opposition” led, in part by the gallant Father Charles E. Coughlin and William Randolph Hearst.

Roosevelt’s Second Term, 1937-1940

After the landslide victory over the hapless Alfred Landon, the beginning of FDR’s 2nd presidential term, and nearly all of 1937 was focused on the economy and his attempt to alter the Supreme Court in order to pass the more radical (socialistic) aspects of the New Deal.  Foreign policy, except for one stark and ominous episode, was not a factor.

Despite four years of the New Deal’s collectivist attempt to bring the economy back, a severe, and what a number of economists contend was an even worse downturn than had occurred under Herbert Hoover, began in the summer of 1937.  Beard quotes a financial analyst’s assessment of economic conditions at the time:

During the next three months, however, following August, the market experienced a decline which can only be described as a collapse.  The decline in [stock] prices during September, October and November was not only drastic but also general in its application to all groups of stocks.  In fact there are few instances on record where a larger percentage decline has occurred within so short a period of time as three months. . . .  Adverse new piled up so plentifully during the last three quarters of 1937 as to undermine the confidence of the investment and speculative community.[177-78]

Not only the stock and financial markets, but the entire economy was in a dramatic tailspin:

Labor unrest of serious proportions confronted nearly all of the nation’s basic industries, and resulted in widespread disorganization in production as well as huge financial loss to all concerned. [ 178]

Another round of bleak financial data was a considerable blow to the prestige of the President and his celebrated “Brain Trust” who had confidently predicted that they had the answers to solve the nation’s economic woes.  As Beard writes: “In its range the shock of the economic collapse was startling to President Roosevelt and his advisers. . . .  Doubts came to the President and his counselors: perhaps they had been wrong in seeking recovery through the specific measures they had espoused and were at the end of their improvisation.”[178]  Furthermore, Congress’ refusal to go along with FDR’s “court-packing plan” effectively ended any further expansion of the New Deal and by the fall of 1937 “the outlook for the New Deal was discouraging and the discouragement affected all the Administration circles in Washington.  The grand dream of 1933 no longer inspired unwavering optimism even among loyal Democrats.”[Ibid.]

A number of historians have contended that the failure to alleviate the nation’s enormous economic problems was the primary factor as to why the US eventually entered WWII.  With his economic policies failing and blocked by Congress from even greater largesse, it would seem plausible that FDR would look at foreign affairs to distract the public.  In October of 1937 this clearly seemed the case.

Although the economy was imploding, when the topic of foreign policy came up, there was no change in the President’s commitment to nonintervention.  This, however, was abruptly ended in a speech given on October 5, 1937 in Chicago which ever since has become known as the “quarantine speech.”  “[T]he President delivered,” as Beard describes, “in a tone of decisive solemnity, an address on the world situation in which he discarded the doctrine of neutrality for the United States and espoused the idea of collective security – the cardinal principle of internationalism.”[184]

Beard continued:

He [FDR] spoke with feeling about the ‘present reign of terror and international lawlessness,’ forecast more frightful scenes, declared that in such circumstances America could not expect mercy or escape from attack, and called for united action against aggressors on the part of the 90 per cent of the world’s population that cherished peace, freedom, and security.[Ibid]

As expected, the internationalists welcomed the speech as they believed that FDR “had at last spurned, in the name of the United States, the principle of non-entanglement and non-intervention in the political and military operations of European and Asiatic powers . . . .”[187]  Isolationists were outraged and argued that FDR was going back on his vow of neutrality and that he “was trying to divert attention from his domestic ‘mistakes’ by raising war scares.”[Ibid]

Apparently, FDR and his Administration were taken back by the tremendous uproar that the Chicago address evoked not only at home, but throughout the world.  The President refused to elaborate on it in the weeks afterward and would only speak “off the record” to journalists with ambiguous and often confusing responses to their queries.

It is doubtful that FDR was that surprised about the reaction to the quarantine speech.  A savvy politician such as Roosevelt was, no doubt, aware of the staunch non-interventionist mood of the country and understood the response that it would engender.  His refusal to explain it further in the context of his previous policy statements about keeping America neutral was probably a calculated move.  Maybe a trial balloon?

While the quarantine speech gave hope to the war mongers, it did little to sway public opinion or move the noninterventionists.  “As a rule,” Beard remarked, “members of the anti-war bloc maintained that there was no middle ground, that the United States could not depart from neutrality as recognized in international law without a definite risk of war, and that the quarantine doctrine, if actually applied, meant nothing more nor less than setting out on the road to war.”[197]

Polls taken in the months leading up to the speech showed that three fourths of the people were against any overseas military operations and in April of 1937, 71% asked, thought that the nation’s participation in WWI was a mistake.[198]

Despite the ire that the speech raised and the amount of ink that was spilled over it from interventionists and isolationists alike, there was no further talk of “quarantining aggressors” for the rest of the year:

. . . President Roosevelt made no public pronouncement and took no public action that indicated any change in the foreign policy he had expounded from February 2, 1932, to the day of the quarantine speech.  Insofar as the outward signs of his thought and purposes were concerned, his foreign policy for the United States remained the same as it had been since 1932.[207]

The following year continued on the same lines as the previous one without anything like the quarantine speech.  While there was reference to FDR’s Chicago address in the press and in the halls of Congress, 1938 was an election year and internationalists, no doubt, understood that without the President’s willingness to give further elaboration on his remarks of the previous autumn, they would face political repercussions if they continued to push for US involvement overseas.  Beard sums up the interventionists’ position in 1938:

From the point of view of internationalists, the pronouncements and actions of the Roosevelt Administration in respect of American foreign policy during the year 1938 were for practical purposes a total loss.[220]

For Western man, 1939 ranks as one of the most disastrous of years.  The start of another European bloodbath within a generation would continue his social, economic and political decline.  US participation in both wars extended their length beyond the point that any reasonable settlement could be negotiated and guaranteed a far worse outcome for all involved.

It was the unjust terms of the Armistice at the conclusion of WWI which imposed huge financial reparations on Germany, the loss of its industrial territory in the West mainly to France, and, most troubling, the political re-configuration of Central and Eastern Europe that would lead to the exploitation of ethnic Germans residing in the artificially formed jurisdictions which would make WWII “inevitable.”

Yet, from American press coverage and from the tone of the Roosevelt Administration none of these inconvenient facts and considerations were ever fairly presented for public consumption.   Instead, Hitler’s motives and moves to undo the harsh and politically untenable terms of the Versailles Treaty and to seek an equitable redress of the prevailing conditions were repeatedly described and reported as “aggression.”

One the other side, the “Godfearing democracies” were sympathetically portrayed as resisting aggression and their enemies, which would later include Italy and Japan, had no justification for their actions.  Unfortunately, even the most ardent of isolationist succumbed to this distorted narrative which is why they ultimately failed in their efforts to keep the US neutral.

When hostilities actually broke out, the categorization of “democracies versus aggressors” became even more hardened and unyielding which contributed to a crucial shift in American foreign policy that allowed FDR even further latitude in foreign affairs.

The framing of the political situation in the late 1930s as one of aggressors versus freedom-loving democracies must be given credit to the intrepid machinations of the American and British popular press, academia, and organs of government.  That one of the democracies, Great Britain, which had been in possession of one of the largest empires in human history, gained, in large measure, through aggression and that the US itself, which had brutally crushed a self-determination movement of a significant portion of its own people, could label other nations “aggressors,” was beyond all hypocrisy.  Yet, none of this was spoken of by the press or policy makers who were all itching, no doubt, to get America involved in another overseas escapade that would swell their own power and prestige.

As negotiations between the European powers continued in futility and war seemed inevitable, debate in the US intensified about whether the nation’s neutrality laws and its munitions embargo should be altered.  While bills and amendments were brought forth, the isolationist forces were able to prevent any change.  And, had war not erupted in September1939, it is unlikely that the internationalists would have ever been able to amass enough political muscle to obtain their objective.

FDR and his supporters argued that a revision of the neutrality laws would better enable the President to conduct foreign policy and thus keep America at peace.  The isolationists rightly countered that supplying arms and or financial aid to belligerents, nonetheless, would make the US a participant in the conflict even though there was no commitment of troops.  The repeal of similar statutes during WWI was the main factor in bringing the US into the war in 1917.

The outbreak of the war in early 1939 gave FDR the political impetus to get the munitions embargo repealed, which Secretary of State Hull speciously argued, “will protect the neutrality, the safety and the integrity of our country and at the same time keep us out of wars.”[235]

The non-interventionists responded that this same idea failed miserably to keep America at peace during WWI and should be rejected as Beard explains their position: “In opposition to certain modifications, especially the embargo repeal, it was avowed that they were steps on the road to war and that President Roosevelt, like Woodrow Wilson in 1917, was leading the country on the way to war.”[237]

While FDR and the Administration remained adamant about keeping the US out of the war and although the nation’s neutrality laws had been strengthened, the die had been cast and America would eventually be drawn into the contest.  An insightful British article written before the war had erupted pointed out that if the US abandoned its munitions embargo, it became a belligerent and accurately predicted it would become an “active” participant:

If war is actually precipitated, President Roosevelt will call a special session of Congress . . . and will seek the practically guaranteed repeal of the arms embargo . . . .The full economic, industrial, agricultural resources of the United States would then be at the disposal of Great Britain. . .  though perhaps on a ‘cash and carry’ basis.  How, when, or whether the United States would actually be drawn into the conflict is, naturally, a question that cannot be answered, but if one is estimating the probabilities they are that the history of 1914-17 would be foreshortened and repeated . . .the precise pattern of participation might be very different from that of 1917, but it might be none the less effective.[262-63]

While FDR and his supporters argued to the contrary, the repeal of the arms embargo in 1939 would put the US on the road to war, all that was needed was a provocation.

The 1940 Democratic convention met in Chicago and it was assumed that FDR would be nominated although it would break with the two-term limit tradition on presidential tenure.  Like the Republicans, the Democrats well understood the mood of the country which remained decidedly against placing troops overseas although most favored aid to the “Allies.”  Beard describes the prevailing mindset of most of the Democratic delegates: “Either on their own motion or in response to the demands of their constituents, a very large majority of the Democrats at Chicago shared this sentiment and were dead-set against any platform planks that would authorize actions on the part of the Federal Administration at all likely to eventuate in American participation in a foreign war.”[283]

FDR, of course, was not happy with the more zealous anti-war Democratic contingent who wanted a far more forceful pledge and statement in the platform about keeping Americans from being deployed overseas.  While the “strict non-interventionists” prevailed, the wily FDR offset their efforts with a “clincher.”

The clincher, or what became known as “the escape clause,” which was inserted into the platform was a pledge that the President would keep the country out of war except in case of attack. Anne O’Hare McCormick, who Beard quotes, perceptively commented that the word “attack” could “easily be extended to mean any assault on American interests, wherever it takes place.”[289]

With the “escape clause,” his re-election a lock, and the repeal of the munitions embargo the year before, FDR had almost all he needed to bring the US into the conflict and turn it into a world war.

The 1940 Presidential Election

Ever since the 1896 Presidential election when the William Jennings Bryan forces captured control of the Democratic Party, which then abandoned the Party’s long-term commitment to the gold standard, laissez faire, and a non-interventionist foreign policy, and as the Republicans under William McKinley purged the crazed anti-gold zealots from their ranks, there has been little difference between the nation’s two dominant political parties.  The 1940 election, once again, validated the case.

The election pitted a public utility lawyer, Wendell Willkie of Indiana, against FDR.  Willkie had been a Democrat up until the year before the election.  He had not run in any of the primaries and emerged as a compromise candidate picked by the party on the 6th ballot over more known and committed non-interventionists.

Willkie offered no real alternative on foreign policy.  As Beard points out, Willkie had been an ardent supporter of Woodrow Wilson in which Willkie discovered his “first strong political ideology in devoted support of Wilson’s gallant but tragic fight for the League of Nations.”[269]  Throughout his career, he continually advocated that America join the League of Nations and declared that “only through such an instrumentality as the League could future wars be prevented.”[270]

Willkie’s principle reason for breaking with the Democrats was opposition to the New Deal.  Of course, it was not because Willkie was a laissez-faire ideologue, but it went against Willkie’s mentor, Woodrow Wilson’s “philosophy of government” and its principle of “economic individualism” whatever that term meant.

Willkie called for greater defense spending and agreed with efforts to support the “Allies” in every way short of sending troops overseas. None of Roosevelt’s provocative actions such as Lend-Lease were challenged by the Republican Presidential nominee nor did he try to link them to similar actions that FDR’s predecessor took which led the US into WWI.  Willkie did not see that the steps taken by FDR, although not committing troops, still put the US on an unstoppable path to a military clash in either the Far East or the Atlantic.

In his convention acceptance speech, Willkie sounded little different than his Democratic rival and was, in fact, itching for a confrontation with the German Chancellor:

. . . we know that we are not isolated From those suffering people. . . .  No man is so wise as to foresee what the future holds or to lay out a plan for it.  No man can guarantee to maintain peace. . . .We must face a brutal but terrible fact.  Our way of life is in competition with Hitler’s way of life. . . . I promise, by returning to those same American principles that overcame German autocracy once before, both in business and in war, to outdistance Hitler in any contest he chooses in 1940 or after.[297]

Despite public opposition to any overseas military involvement, if Willkie was somehow elected, America would sooner or later find itself in an armed conflict with a nation that had not threatened it, or its citizens with any harm:

And I promise you that, when we beat him, we shall beat him on our own terms, and in the American way.[Ibid.]

Unfortunately, the “American way” as Willkie hubristically boasted was not the cherished ideals of the past – non-intervention, commerce, peace – but would become that of war, economic collectivism at home, and eventually empire.
In an interview prior to the convention, Willkie wryly answered reporters’ questions about aid to the Allies: “I favor all possible aid to the Allies without going to war.”  An insightful bystander asked him “Doesn’t that mean war?”   Willkie responded: “That’s a matter of opinion.”[276]
As the campaign came to its climax, Willkie’s rhetoric about secret deals that the Roosevelt Administration was conducting with the Allied leadership to bring the US into the war intensified:

I want to put some questions tonight to the President of the United States and to you people here. . . .  Is there any one here who really thinks that the President is sincerely trying to keep us out of war?  An Administration that is not telling the truth is not qualified to head the country in time of crisis. . . .  I want to ask the President, and I demand an answer: Are there any international understandings to put America into the war that we citizens do not know about? . . .   I have been repeatedly asked in my trips throughout the country if such secret understandings exist.  The only answer I can give is that I do not know, but I want to know. [303-4]

The Republican nominee, however, never produced any hard evidence of FDR’s duplicity in the matter.  Without any real alternative, the American electorate voted for the third time for a man that had pledged to keep the country at peace.  For FDR, he had four more years to find a way to bring a reluctant nation into the conflict which he would accomplish via the “backdoor” with the badgering of Japan provoking them to attack in less than a year of his third inaugural address.

Conclusion

Besides Charles Beard’s accurate and courageous challenge to the orthodox historical interpretation of US involvement in World War II, American Foreign Policy in the Marking and its companion piece, President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, were important studies at the time, for they gave a considerable boost to WWII revisionism.  Those who questioned the origins of the war itself, and that of US participation in it faced far greater opposition to their views from academia, the press, and government authorities than had their predecessors who attempted to assess the responsible parties for igniting WWI.

While WWI revisionists had pretty much won the day and showed that Imperial Germany was not solely responsible for the war’s outbreak, WWII revisionists faced a far more daunting task in their search for truth.  WWII is now, after some 70 years, seen as the “good war,” where America’s “greatest generation” valiantly fought in a noble crusade to rid the world of fascism in particular that of Nazi Germany.

Whether FDR lied, manipulated events, or colluded with Winston Churchill to bring the US into the war which the American public was solidly opposed to right up to the morning that the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, no longer matters.  The arguments and evidence produced by Beard and later revisionists have never been refuted by the gatekeepers of American historiography.  Instead, FDR’s complicity in bringing the US into the hostilities are ignored or, if admitted to any degree, are justified since it led to the ultimate defeat of Hitler.

The internationalists argued that the American public caught up in its isolationist fog led by unworldly figures like Charles Lindbergh and Fr. Charles Coughlin could not grasp the threat that Hitler and his Axis partners posed to the world.  It was the foresight and duty of visionaries like FDR and Churchill by defeating the Axis powers that preserved Western democratic values.

Yet, it was Charles Beard and other gallant souls who began debunking the sacrosanct myth of the Second World War long before it had been officially promulgated.  His works on the origins of America’s entry into that conflagration have more than stood the test of time and have been vindicated by the historical record.

Charles Beard should not only be remembered and honored, but more importantly be learned from by all those who oppose the murderous and destructive US empire which emerged upon the ashes of WWII.  If that empire is to be taken down, it must first be demystified and Beard’s revisionist works will be a part of that intellectual task.  When that glorious event does come about, it will be because of the likes of Charles Beard who so well chronicled the nation’s tragic path to an eventual empire in American Foreign Policy in the Making 1932-1940: A Study in Responsibilities.

Notes

*One popular “revisionist” account is by Patrick J. Buchanan, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost its Empire and the West Lost the World.  (New York: Crown Publishers, 2008).

**GerdSchultze-Rhonhof.   1939 – The War That Had Many Fathers: The Long Run-Up to the Second World War.  trans.  George F. Held (Munich, Germany: OlzogVerlag GmbH, 2011).

***Schultze-Rhonhof gave an excellent presentation of his book at the 2016 Property and Freedom Society’s meeting which can be see here:

http://propertyandfreedom.org/2016/10/gerd-schultze-rhonhof-on-the-many-fathers-of-world-war-2-pfs-2016

the-bill-of-rights
This December, 2016, marks the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution which would become known as the “Bill of Rights.”  To secure passage of the Constitution, the framers of the document (the Federalists) had to agree that it would contain explicit language on individual rights.Ever since its ratification, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in which it is a part, has been hailed as one of the seminal achievements in the annals of human history while the political arrangements prior to it (primarily monarchy and aristocratic rule) have been sneered at and belittled by the Constitution’s hagiographers.   Moreover, the American Constitution has provided a model for the emergence of the nation state which came into its own after the French Revolution and the tragic breakup of Christendom.History, however, if looked at outside the Anglo-American perspective has shown that far from a protector of individual liberty, the Bill of Rights has been mostly useless in defense of basic freedoms while the Constitution, that it is a part of, has been a vehicle for the expansion of state power to an unfathomable degree.Despite the supposed guarantees of individual liberty within the Bill of Rights and the supposed limited nature of the Constitution itself, there has never been a more intrusive state in world history both domestically and in its myriad of interventions across the globe than the Leviathan that rests on the shores of the Potomac River.  And, the rise of American totalitarianism did not begin with the revelations of Edward Snowden and the other courageous whistle blowers of the recent past, but started soon after the new “federal” state came into existence with the passage of the Alien & Sedition Acts.  Each year since has witnessed the growth of state power at the expense of individual rights where now domestic spying and surveillance are part of the nation’s social fabric.The primary reason why the Bill of Rights has been unable to secure basic liberties is because the federal government and its courts are the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution and its amendments as explicitly stated in Article VI, section 2, subtitled, Supreme Law of the Land:

                   This Constitution and the laws of the United

States which shall be made in pursuance thereof,

and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under

the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme

law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be

bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of

any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Since the central government is the final arbitrator of the document, any ruling or decision on particular laws or regulations which would impinge on individual rights will, for the most part, be favorable to the government itself.  And, due to man’s fallen nature, any such power will be abused.

The ratification of the Constitution in 1789 made in essence the individual states mere appendages of the central government.  While the Constitution’s sycophants boast of its “checks and balances,” a far superior bulwark against political repression is that of people “voting with their feet.”  Under the Articles of Confederation, when the national government was not the supreme law of the land, if a certain state became too tyrannical, at least in theory, and had the much neglected Articles remained in place, those persecuted could simply move to a more friendlier jurisdiction.

This would also hold true in the realm of taxation and regulatory policy.  Those political authorities who became too confiscatory in their taxing or enacted burdensome regulations could also see population outflows.  Similar activity goes on all the time currently as people flee high tax municipalities and states like California and New York to lower tax regions such as Florida and Texas.

For voting with one’s feet to be most successful, there needs to be a multitude of states and political jurisdictions.  In the current political climate, this would mean the breakup of the nation state.  Secession and political decentralization should thus be the goals of those who prize individual liberty and prosperity, not the celebration of constitutionalism and the supposed guarantees of personal freedoms under ideas such as the Bill of Rights.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Brahms & Democracy

kyril-kondrashin-brahms-symphony-1-2012

In November of 1876, one hundred and forty years ago, Johannes Brahms’ monumental First Symphony was first heard, performed in Karlsruhe, Germany.  The much anticipated work – which took Brahms over 20 years to complete – has become part of the canon of Western music.  Ironically, the premiere of The Ring by Brahms’ supposed rival and fellow musical genius, Richard Wagner, was performed for the first time in the same year.

While one critic initially called Brahms’ First Symphony “Beethoven’s Tenth,” it has surpassed that unjust description and now stands on its own merit as a distinct masterpiece.  The First Symphony, the three that followed, and the rest of Brahms’ works makes him more than Beethoven’s successor, a unique musical figure in his own right.

In one of his best newspaper articles, H.L. Mencken wrote the following about a Brahms’ performance:

My excuse for writing of the above gentleman is simply

that I can think of nothing else.  A week or so ago, . . . I

heard his sextet for strings, opus 18, and ever since then it

has been sliding and pirouetting through my head.  I have

gone to bed with it and I have got up with it.  Not, of course,

with the whole sextet, nor even with any principal tune of it,

but with the modest and fragile little episode at the end of

the first section of the first movement – a lowly thing of eight

measures, thrown off like a perfume, so to speak, from the

second subject.*

The Sage of Baltimore continued on what made Brahms so special:

In music, as in all the other arts, the dignity of the work is simply

a reflection of the dignity of the man.  The notion that shallow

and trivial men can write great masterpieces is one of the follies

that flow out of the common human taste for scandalous

anecdote. . . .  More than any other art, perhaps, music demands

brains.  It is full of technical complexities.  It calls for a capacity to

do a dozen things at once.  But most of all it is revelatory of what

is called character.  When a trashy man writes it, it is trashy music.

Here is where the immense superiority of such a man as

Brahms becomes manifest.  There is less trashiness in his music

than there is in the music of any other man ever heard of, with

the sole exception, perhaps of Johann Sebastian Bach. . . .

Hearing Brahms, one never gets any sense of being entertained

by a clever mountebank.  One is facing a superior man, and the

fact is evident from the first note.

While Brahms was born in Hamburg, he eventually found his way to the musical capital of the world, Vienna, which, at the time, was part of the Austro- Hungarian Empire.  Vienna was more than the musical center of Europe, but a cultural one as well which was rivaled by few in Brahms’ time.

Although mostly forgotten under an avalanche of pro-democracy historiography, the Vienna where Brahms spent most of his adult life was “ruled” by a monarch.  The rich cultural life which flourished in that political atmosphere was admitted even by those who were, no doubt, hostile and envious of it as the philosopher and economist, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, describes in his seminal book, Democracy: The God That Failed:

Even democratic intellectuals and artists from any field of

intellectual and cultural endeavor could not ignore the

enormous level of productivity of Austro-Hungarian and in

particular Viennese culture.  Indeed, the list of great names

associated with late nineteenth and early twentieth century

Vienna is seemingly endless.**

As Professor Hoppe insightfully shows, the incredible accomplishments of the likes of Brahms came in the pre-democratic era which tragically ended with WWI.

. . . rarely has this enormous intellectual and cultural

productivity been brought in a systematic connection with

the pre-democratic tradition of the Habsburg monarchy.

Instead, if it has not been considered a mere coincidence, the

productivity of Austrian-Viennese culture has been presented

‘politically correctly’ as proof of the positive synergistic effects

of a multiethnic society and of multiculturalism.

Whether the accomplishments were in the arts, music, scientific breakthrough, invention, or entrepreneurial wealth creation, all were the result of individual initiative, skill, tenacity, foresight and intelligence within a society that recognized, praised, and promoted such achievements.  There was no affirmative action or policies that promoted artists based on their skin color or gender.  When Brahms came to Vienna, he did not receive an Austro-Hungarian version of a National Endowment of Arts subsidy!

Just as important, and what is ignored by the Left and many race-denying realists on the respectable Right, is that all of these civilization-enhancing accomplishments in Vienna were made, for the most part, by white men.  No other culture or people have ever produced music comparable to Brahms and his fellow Western musical masters.

The democratic age which followed has been praised by scholars as an advancement of the human condition on all fronts.  In his book and in other places, however, Professor Hoppe has shown that just the opposite has occurred under democratic conditions with a trend toward de-civilization.  Taking the US as an example, he writes:

. . . less than a century of full-blown democracy has resulted in

steadily increasing moral degeneration, family and social

disintegration, and cultural decay in the form of continually rising

rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and crime.  As a result

of an ever-expanding list of nondiscrimination –

‘affirmative action’ – laws and nondiscriminatory, multicultural ,

egalitarian immigration policies, every nook and cranny of American

society is affected by government management and forced integration;

accordingly, social strife and racial, ethnic, and moral –cultural

tension and hostility have increased dramatically.

As Professor Hoppe notes, the latest phase in the democratic era has been  immigration policies which have been deliberately planned to destroy the various Western cultures with Germany being the most devastated.  Yet, as Mencken wrote of him, Brahms was a product of Germanic blood not that of multiculturalism.  The German people who continue to support and allow those to wantonly destroy the culture that produced a Brahms should consult Mencken:

I give you his Deutsches Requiem as an example. . . .   The thing is

irresistibly moving.  It is moving because a man of the highest

intellectual dignity, a man of exalted feelings, a man of brains,

put into it his love and pride in his country.  That country is

lucky which produces such men.

While Brahms’ music will always be listened to and played for its brilliance, it should always be remembered in what culture his genius was allowed to flourish.  How fortunate for mankind that Brahms lived in the pre-democratic era and what a loss it would have been if the First Symphony would have never been composed.

*Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, ed. The Impossible H.L. Mencken: A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories.  With a Foreword by Gore Vidal.  New York: Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1991, pp. 465-468.

**Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order.  New Brunswick (U.S.A.): Transaction Publishers, 2001, pp. xii-xiii.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Presidential Dictatorship

Sic Semper tyrannis II

Executive orders, undeclared wars, drone hits, assassination of citizens and non-citizens alike, the overthrow of foreign regimes, domestic spying, the abetting of known criminal activities through pardons, economic planning, opening borders, monetary manipulations are just some of the nefarious activities that routinely emanate from the most dangerous political office that the world has ever painfully come to know – the United States Presidency!

The U.S. presidents can and have created a veritable “hell on earth” for their opponents, perceived enemies, and the innocent not only in the country in which they reign, but over the lives and fortunes of peoples and places where they have absolutely no authority to interfere.  While other chiefs of state have theoretically had such power, U.S. presidents have been able to inflict their destruction and chaos because, paradoxically, the nation’s free-market system, for a long time, created immense wealth which could be tapped into.

The tyrannical nature of the presidency was recognized long ago by those politically perspicacious men who opposed both the office and the draconian document which created it.  Few groups in history have been so vindicated for their foreboding as those who vainly argued against the ratification of the United States Constitution than the Antifederalists.

“An Old Whig”* aptly sums up the damage that would come about if the Constitution was ratified and the office of president would come into being:

. . . the office of President of the United States appears to me

to be clothed with such powers as are dangerous.  To be the

fountain of all honors in the United States, commander in chief

of the army, navy and militia, with the power of making treaties

and of granting pardons, and to be vested with an authority to

put a negative upon all laws, unless two thirds of both houses

shall persist in enacting it, . . . .**

An Old Whig saw that the president would become a “king” but without the natural and binding checks that even the most absolutist of monarchs were restrained by:

[The president] is in reality to be a KING as much a King

as the King of Great Britain, and a King too of the worst

kind; – an elective King. . . . The election of a King

whether it be in America or Poland, will be a scene of

horror and confusion; and I am perfectly serious when

I declare that, as a friend to my country, I shall despair

of any happiness in the United States until this office

is either reduced to a lower pitch of power or made

perpetual and hereditary.***

One of the Federalists’ counterarguments to the Antifederalists’ concern over the presidential office was the widely held assumption that George Washington would become the new Republic’s first chief executive and the general knowledge of his impeccable character would assuage those worried of potential executive overreach.  Such a lame response neglected to look into the future when the office’s huge potentiality for despotism would be sought after and won by those who had less upstanding personal traits than the father of the country.

The growing decentralized political movements throughout the world with, for instance, the hopefully upcoming British exit from the European Union, can only be enhanced if the office of the president and, for that matter, all other nation state’s chief executives are exposed as tyrannical institutions which are anathema to individual liberty and collective self-determination.  Presidents, premiers, chancellors, prime ministers, and their like along with central banking are the two nefarious pillars of power of the modern nation state whose continued existence guarantees perpetual war and economic regression.

In this seemingly interminable presidential election cycle, populist, libertarians, conservatives, and all sorts of anti-Establishment types are delusional if they believe the totalitarian direction in which the country is now headed will be reversed through elections or choosing the “right” candidate.  “Making American Great Again” will only come about when the chief executive office and the statist document that created it have been repudiated.

Prior to the presidency’s abolition, its ideological justification must be first debunked.  There is no finer place to start for this most necessary task to take place than in the dissemination of the perceptive and enduring words of the much neglected Antifederalists.

*Probably penned by a group of Philadelphia Antifederalists – George Bryan, John Smilie, James Hutchinson and maybe others.  See, John P. Kaminski & Richard Leffler, eds., Federalists and Antifederalists: The Debate Over the Ratification of the Constitution.  Madison, Wisconsin: Madison House Publishers, 1989, p. 18.

**Ibid., p. 86.

***Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Long Live the Flags of Dixie!

Confederat Flag

On May 19, the House of Reprehensibles passed a proposal that would essentially ban the display of Confederate flags from national cemeteries.  The amendment was added to a Veteran Affairs spending bill.

Not surprisingly, House Speaker Paul Ryan allowed the measure to be voted upon in hopes of not disrupting the appropriations process.  Yes, by all means Paul, the redistribution of taxpayers’ confiscated wealth should take precedent over a draconian attempt to eradicate a heroic symbol of the country’s past.  Hopefully, Ryan will be ousted this November as both Speaker and Congressman for not only his consistent sell out to Obummer and the Democrats on the budget, but his lack of understanding and appreciation of what is arguably the most important period of American history.

In a certain sense, the Confederate flag should not be displayed in national cemeteries or for that matter flown alongside those of the Union.  The two are representations of dramatically opposed political ideologies.  Liberals and political opportunists of all sorts have deliberately smeared the South’s attempt at secession as being entirely over the issue of slavery.  The “Civil War” (which that struggle has become known by) is now seen through Politically Correct hindsight.

A civil war, in the truest sense, is a conflict between factions attempting to gain control of a government typically for their own aggrandizement.  The bloody conflict between the North and South was not that, nor was it solely over slavery although the institution played a role in it.

The Confederacy wanted no part of the Washington establishment at the time, which it believed had become too tyrannical, and attempted to secede from it.  The remaining states of the North, under the “leadership” of Abraham Lincoln, prevented this at the cost of more than 600,000 lives, the vast destruction of property, and the impoverishment of a people who simply sought to rule themselves.

The South’s action was nearly identical to what the colonies, North and South, did some 80 years previously in breaking away from the British Empire and becoming free and independent states under the benign rule of the Articles of Confederation.

As America’s Founding Fathers saw their liberties violated by King and Parliament, Southerners witnessed similar tyrannies and wisely anticipated more federal oppression with the election of Lincoln.

This interpretation has been ably supported by scholarship, though the view is rarely acknowledged in academia or in the mainstream media.  In an essay from an insightful collection titled Secession, State and Liberty, Donald Livingston persuasively describes the ideological content of the Declaration of Independence, the revolution it inspired, and its influence on the South’s leadership.

He writes: “Overall, the Declaration is an argument designed to justify the secession of the new self-proclaimed American states from the British state. . .  [It] is a document justifying the territorial dismemberment of a modern state in the name of the moral right of a people to self-government.”*

The South, imbued with such logic and the example of the Revolutionary generation’s break with Great Britain, attempted to separate from the Union on similar grounds and, in Livingston’s view, had a much stronger claim than the Founding Fathers had for independence:

[T]he colonies were not and never had been recognized as sovereign states, either by others or even by themselves.  At the time of the Civil War, however, the southern states had been and still were sovereign states, and so they could mount not only a moral argument but a legal one as well.  And it was the legal argument they primarily insisted upon.  Each state used the same legal form to secede from the Union that it has used to enter, namely, ratification in a convention of people.**

Although slavery was a part of the South’s final break with the North, the Confederacy could never have been built on such a narrow foundation.  Those who seek to paint Southern secession as a movement solely designed to protect their “peculiar institution” have either misunderstood the genesis of that struggle or do so for political gain.

While Southern secession is mercilessly condemned by the Establishment, scholars like Professor Livingston see it and the War for Southern Independence in a much different and far nobler light: “With the orderly, legal secession of the southern states, the American genius for self-government reached its highest moral expression.”***

The Northern and Southern flags which fly in national cemeteries across the land are indeed representative of different traditions, but not what the Politically Correct crowd would have everyone to believe.

The defenders of Dixie and the flags that commemorate their courageous actions have long since been morally justified.  The Union flag, on the other hand, has been one of aggression and domination, at first, brutally directed at its fellow countrymen who simply sought self-determination, and afterwards against millions of peoples from Vietnam to Iraq.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future as economic conditions worsen and American hegemony can no longer be maintained, the Union flag and the empire in which it represents will receive greater vitriol than the Confederate flag has gotten for its innumerable mass murders, destruction, crimes, and chaos which it has wantonly brought to every corner of the planet.

*David Gordon, ed., Secession, State & Liberty. Donald W. Livingston, “The Secession Tradition in America.” New Brunswick (U.S.A.), Transaction Publishers, 1997, p. 7

** Ibid., 18.

*** Ibid., 19.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

“Pope” Francis and the Disintegration of Europe

Pope's Wall

A Massive Wall Surrounds Francis-Bergoglio’s Vatican City-State

Despite being rebuked and humiliated by the Republican presidential front runner over his inflammatory statements about U.S. illegal immigration policies, Newpope Francis of the Vatican II sect has continued to opine about the migration crisis.

In an address to a Newcatholic French group, Bergoglio admitted the obvious: “We can speak today of [an] Arab invasion.  It is a social fact.”  Yet, despite the horrific consequences of this fact, mostly orchestrated by New World Order groups and organizations of which his church is a part, Newpope amazingly contends that this will eventually be a positive thing for Europeans: “How many invasions has Europe experienced in the course of its history! But it’s always been able to overcome them and move forward, finding itself complimented and improved by the cultural exchange they brought about.”*

Europe “complimented and improved”?!   Right.  Tell that to the thousands of women who have been raped, assaulted, and terrorized by mostly Muslim fanatics, or look at the widespread destruction of private property that these trespassers have wrought, and worse, the cultural transformation that this deliberately created crisis has produced.

Bergoglio furthered these idiotic statements with some multicultural speak: “the only continent [Europe] that can bring some unity to the world.”  And that Europe must fulfill its “universal role” and “rediscover its cultural roots.”**

If Bergoglio really wants Europeans to “rediscover” their “cultural roots,” they will find that ever since the emergence of Mohammedanism, its fanatical adherents have repeatedly attempted to overrun and conquer the Continent and subject its peoples to the crazed religious and political dictates of its possessed “prophet.”

At one time, Europe fulfilled its “universal role” by engaging in a series of military actions (the Holy Crusades) which were mostly inspired by true popes (which Bergoglio and his Vatican II predecessors are certainly not) to expunge the infidel from the sacred places where the Founder of Christianity lived, preached, was crucified, and gloriously rose from the dead.  These authentic successors of St. Peter, in particular Urban II and Innocent III, understood the threat that Mohammedanism posed to their flocks both spiritually and culturally.

The failure of Christendom to ultimately defeat Islam and drive it out of the former lands of the Roman Empire was not the fault of the popes, but that of the secular powers who increasingly sought their own aggrandizement. If the European principalities had heeded the popes’ calls and driven the Muslims back to their tribal homeland, history would have had a happier outcome.

Bergoglio, if he cared to look, would find that Europe’s “universal role” included the justification of “holy war,” in the use of violence against Islam, not only during the Crusades, but in the re-conquest of Spain, and in the defense of its homeland from numerous Muslim assaults. Moreover, the idea of Muslims living side-by-side with Europeans or being able to create their own autonomous communities would have rightly been considered societal genocide.

No authentic pope would be engaged in “dialogue,” common prayer meetings, or other ecumenical interchanges with Muslims as Bergoglio and his Vatican II predecessors have repeatedly and blasphemously done over the years.  Any pre-Vatican II pope, theologian, bishop, priest, or, for that matter, astute layman would properly consider such actions abominable and would recommend as punishment a rendezvous with some of the scum that abounds at the bottom of the Tiber for its transgressors!

Bergoglio and most of the Newchurch hierarchy’s support for free migration and open borders and their condemnation of those who have opposed such lunacy clearly demonstrates that the Vatican II sect is part and parcel of the New World Order which seeks the eradication of sovereignty and the extinction or at least subjugation of European peoples to the global elites.

Not only is this cretin wantonly overturning two thousand years of traditional Christian teaching on morality, but he is openly encouraging the destruction of those societies which that morality ultimately helped to build.

Despite the skillfully and deceitfully crafted persona as “Mr. Humble” and his white pontifical attire, “Pope” Francis and the sect that he heads are a clear and present danger to what remains of Western civilization and must be opposed and removed from power.

*Tom Wyke, “The Pope says ‘It is a Social fact’ that Europe is seeing an ‘Arab Invasion’ and it’s a Good Thing.”  Daily Mail.com.  4 March 2016

**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

Queen Isabella and the Invasion of Europe

Surrender of Granada

The Muslim Surrender of Granada to Fernando and Isabella, 1492

If the Western world ever becomes serious on how to deal with the current, mostly Muslim, invasion of its once sacred soil, all it needs to do is to look to its glorious past.  In particular, it should examine the heroic actions of one of its greatest figures, Isabella of Castile. This is why the historian William Thomas Walsh entitled his magisterial biography of the queen, Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.

While the Reconquista was not directed at securing access to the Holy Land and Jerusalem as earlier Crusades had attempted, the ridding of the Spanish peninsula of Muslim power was a definite part of what Jonathan Riley-Smith calls the “paraphernalia of crusading:”

. . . with the union of Aragon and Castile in the

persons of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1479 and

the resurgence of crusading ideas that had followed

the loss of Constantinople the Spanish court, with

Isabella taking the lead, began to seethe with fervour,

nationalistic as well as religious.  The paraphernalia

of crusading – papal letters and crusading privileges –

were in evidence.  [Jonathan Riley-Smith,

The Crusades: A History, p. 312

Isabella and Fernando used their money and resources not for “national greatness,” or their own self aggrandizement as the later “absolutist” monarchs would do, but instead employed their treasures to triumphantly defeat one of Christianity’s mortal foes.

Huge sums of money were spent and large armies

raised and the war was pursued with a remarkable

singlemindedness at the expense of almost

all the country’s other interests.  [Ibid]

If Christian principalities and powers had a portion of Isabella’s ardor for the Faith, the infidel would have long since been vanquished or at least pushed out of the former lands of the Roman Empire which they had brutally overrun.  Unfortunately, the Western world went in an increasingly secular direction after the passing of the great queen, eventually adopting totalitarian social democracy as its governing system while pushing Christianity out from nearly every sector of public life.

Norman Housley in Contesting the Crusades adds, “. . .  the Granada war of 1482-92 had shown not just that the crusading mechanism could still work, thereby confirming the lesson of the Hussite crusades, but that it could generate military success.” (p. 138) He points out that the Reconquista was a part of crusading tradition and not some separate political aggrandizement scheme of Isabella and Fernando: “A significant feature of recent research on the Granada war, however, has been the demonstration that the campaigns were advanced with the help of a cluster of ideas and emotions that had strong links with past crusading.” (p. 139)

Before the final elimination of Muslim power in Spain, Isabella was engaged in crusading activity.  Her forays against the Muslims were undertaken outside of Spain proper and done despite the kind of internal political difficulties which kept other sovereigns from taking up the Cross.

In 1479, the Grand Turk Mohammed II besieged Rhodes which Venice had abandoned, in part, to preserve its own trading privileges in the Levant.  While the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem had held off the Muslims, it did not end the threat as the Turks set their sights on the coast of Italy which, of course, sent shock waves not only throughout the country, but Europe at large.

In August of 1480, the Turks attacked and took the city of Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples.  The atrocities committed were particularly heinous as Walsh details:

Of the 22,000 inhabitants, the barbarians bound 12,000

with ropes and put them to death, thus helpless, with

terrible tortures.  They slew all the priests in the city.

They sawed in two the aged Archbishop of Otranto,

whom they found praying before the altar.  On a hill

outside the city, now known as Martyrs’ Hill, they

butchered many captives who refused to become

Mohammedans, and threw their corpses to the dogs.

[Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 192]

The account of these actions became widely dispersed and certainly known to Isabella.

As happened far too often in earlier crusades the political leadership, this time in Italy, was too busy with their own petty squabbles to recognize the Muslim threat despite pleas from the pope: “If the faithful, especially the Italians wish to preserve their lands, their houses, their wives, their children, their liberties, and their lives; if they wish to maintain that Faith into which we have been baptized, and through which we are regenerated, let them at last trust in our word, let them take up their arms and fight.” [Quoted in Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 192]

Not only for the rest of Europe, but the Moors’ capture of Otranto was a threat to Spain, especially since Granada, with two important sea ports on the Mediterranean, could easily be used as military bases.  Isabella, however, keenly understood what the establishment of a Muslim foothold on Italian soil would mean for the security of Christendom.  In response, she sent the entire Castilian fleet to assist in the recapture of Otranto.  The queen went beyond just providing arms for defensive purposes, but took the offensive despite delaying much needed domestic reform as Walsh describes:

. . . it was characteristic of Isabella to stop at nothing short of

her utmost.  At a moment when she had need of her new

revenues to complete her program of reform and to prepare

for war with Granada . . . she generously threw all her energies

and material resources into the major struggle for the safety

of Christendom.  She formed the audacious design of raising

a fleet powerful enough not only to defend Italy and Spain,

but if necessary to defeat the Turks on the high seas and

smash their whole offensive.   [Ibid., p. 193]

The idea of compromise or coexistence with the Muslims, a policy which had been taken by crusaders both in the East and in Spain’s case with El Cid was anathema to Fernando and Isabella.  [S.J. Allen & Emilie Amt, eds.,The Crusades: A Reader, pp188-191]  After the sultan of Egypt, al-Ashnat Saifud-Din Qa’it Bay, had won a significant victory over the Ottoman Turks, he demanded that Fernando and Isabella stop their war on Granada.  He threatened, among other measures, to take reprisals on Christian pilgrims and suggested destroying the Holy Sepulcher.  [Warren H. Carroll, Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen, p. 190]

Fernando was not to be intimidated.  He quickly retorted with a sharp and detailed history of the Reconquista which showed that it was his and his predecessors’ right to regain their homeland from the Muslim invaders.  Moreover, if Catholics were killed to stop the war in Granada, Fernando would kill Granada Moors in retribution. [Ibid.] To this warning, no response was ever recorded from the sultan!

Isabella’s personal sanctity and love for her people has never been denied.  Prior to the attack on the Muslim held fortress of Loja, Isabella organized a massive army the makeup of which consisted of soldiers from across the Continent eager to join the crusade, inspired, no doubt, by the queen’s indomitable will as the late Warren Carroll shows:

The whole army knew that Isabella . . . was praying night

and day for their success; knowing her holiness, they were

immensely confident in the power of her prayers.  Never

had her prestige among them stood so high; her constant

care for the wounded, her fine and firm hand upon their

supply line, keeping them equipped with all they needed

wherever they might go, were now known and honored by

every soldier.  [Ibid., p. 172]

Even her love for her husband would not dissuade the queen from accomplishing what she believed was a holy mission.  In 1484, Fernando had sought to reclaim rights that his family had in Roussillon, France.  Yet, the financial situation at the time only allowed for one war to be fought so a decision had to be made: a conflict over a dynastic dispute or the continuation of the struggle to expel the Muslims.

Isabella never wavered.  Unlike other sovereigns who became embroiled in internal politics instead of fulfilling their crusading vows, Isabella pressed on, even more determined.  In one of the few instances where her disagreements with her husband became public, the queen wrote:

    This is so just and so holy an enterprise that among all

those of Christian princes there was none more honorable

or more worthy, none more likely to gain the aid of God and

the love of the people. . . .   Two years ago the war with the

Moors began, in which great efforts were made and great

preparations undertaken on land and sea, at immense cost.

In view of all this, it appears unwise to lose all by beginning

another war with the French.  [Quoted in Carroll, Isabel of Spain,

pp, 158-9.]

The Reconquista was not only a part of Spain’s struggle, but became one of Christendom’s, which can easily be seen with the participation of knights and fighting men from across the Continent.  The most important of these were the Lombards whom Isabella recognized as crucial for the achievement of the ultimate goal as Carroll points out:

. . .  the Lombards became the key to the war against Granada;

they were the decisive and irresistible weapon, once brought

to the scene of action.  It was not easy to transport these

monsters over the primitive roads of southern Spain, but

it was done under Isabella’s constant prodding.  [Ibid., p. 159]

While the conquest of Granada at the beginning of 1492 ended seven hundred years of Muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula, the victory would have never been achieved without the sacrifices of Queen Isabella.  Before an attack on Granada could be made, the fortress of Baza had to be captured, however, Fernando’s earlier defense of Sicily and his foray into France left him critically short of funds.  He considered postponing the assault until the needed money and supplies could be procured and sought Isabella’s advice.

Her response was typical, “[Baza] has to be continued and it will continue.”  [quoted in Carroll, Isabel of Spain, p. 192]  Another retreat would be fatal to the spirit of the people and ultimate success.  William Thomas Walsh explains the heroic efforts the queen made to secure the funds, soldiery, and supplies for Baza’s capture:

Money was the first need.  She pawned her gold and plate,

priceless heirlooms from her ancestors; and she sent all

her jewels by speedy messengers to  Valencia and

Barcelona . . . her pearl necklace, her balas rubies, even

the jeweled crown of Saint Fernando.  [Walsh, Isabella of

                                Spain, p. 312]

The amount sold was astronomical totaling some 60,000 gold florins.  [Carroll, Isabel of Spain, p. 192]  “The pawning of Isabella’s jewels,” Walsh contends,” was the turning point in the Crusade, and the fall of Baza marked the beginning of its third and final phase.”  [Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 314]

The capitulation of Granada and the restoration of Christianity throughout Spain was celebrated throughout Europe and recognized at the time for its supreme significance.  Probably no one summed up the accomplishment of Fernando and Isabella than King Henry VII who proclaimed:

These many years the Christians have not gained new ground

or territory upon the infidels, nor enlarged and set farther the

bounds of the Christian world.  But this is now done by the

prowess and devotion of Fernando and Isabella, sovereigns

of Spain, who to their immortal honor have recovered the

great and rich kingdom of Granada, and the populous and

mighty  city of the same name from the Moors . . . for which

this assembly and all Christians are to render laud and thanks

to God, and to celebrate this noble act of the King of Spain, who

in this is not only victorious but apostolical, in the gaining of

new provinces to the Christian faith.  [Quoted in Walsh, Isabella

of Spain, pp. 333-34]

While it took some 700 years to rid Spain of the Muslim yoke, at least Isabella and her predecessors had only to contend with the infidel.  Today, however, those who oppose the invaders have a two-fold problem: not only must they battle a hostile, alien group which may freely roam within their midst, but they must counter the Continent’s political elites who are allowing and, often times, encouraging the catastrophe to take place.

If victory is to be achieved, those who seek to preserve Europe’s cultural and demographic heritage must adopt Isabella’s uncompromising policies and replicate her own tremendous sacrifices.  Many have done so already and will certainly be honored by history for their gallant stand, but many more must join if the contest is to be ultimately won.

Selected Bibliography

Allen, S.J. and Amt, Emilie, eds., The Crusades: A Reader.  2nd ed., Toronto:

University of Toronto Press, 2014.

Carroll, Warren H.  Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen.  Front Royal, VA.:

Christendom Press, 1991

Housley, Norman.  Contesting the Crusades.  Malden, MA.: Blackwell

Publishing, 2006.

Smith, Jonathan Riley.  The Crusades: A History.  3rd ed., London:

Bloomsbury Academic, 1987; 2014.

Walsh, William Thomas.  Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.  New York:

Robert M. McBride and Company, 1930; Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and

Publishers, Inc., 1987.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

Another Constitutional Convention: An Idea Whose Time Has Not Come

const conven

In the midst of the seemingly indeterminable presidential electoral campaign, some of the candidates have been asked about the possibility of convening a constitutional convention in the hope of addressing the nation’s most pressing issues, most ominously the gargantuan federal deficit now in excess of $18 trillion.

Governor John Kasich supports such a notion with the explicit purpose of passing a balanced budget amendment.

Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self Governance, a leading group pushing the idea, believes that “If it starts to become a serious presidential issue, we could get it done in 2016.”*

Not all presidential contenders are on board with the idea. Senator Marco Rubio has expressed trepidation over the possibility of a convention for amending the current document fearful that it would lead to a total rewrite:

Just make sure that we know how it is going to turn out
because if you open up the Constitution, you are also
opening it up to people that want to re-examine the First
Amendment, people that want to re-examine the Second
Amendment, people that want to re-examine some other
fundamental protect[ions] that are built into the Constitution.”**

Unlike most issues on which he pontificates, Senator Rubio is this time right in his analysis, but most likely for the wrong reasons.

The original Constitutional convention was called to “revise” the supposedly defective Articles of Confederation, but by the time the deliberations (more like arm twisting, threats, and bribes) were over, the Articles had been replaced by a brand spanking new document. The Constitution granted the central government far more power than it had before while the individual states had, in effect, lost their cherished sovereignty and had become mere appendages within the new “federal” union.

Under the current ideological climate, the convocation of another constitutional convention would not return the nation to its halcyon days as a confederation of independent states, but would more than likely increase the central government’s power at the expense of what is left of state and individual rights. The idea of amending the current document is naïve at best, but more importantly a gigantic waste of time.

Groups like Citizens for Self Government do not grasp the essential problem of American political, social and economic life. It is the Constitution itself that is the cause of the myriad of problems which besiege the land. The adoption of the Constitution despite what its sycophantic champions of today and yesteryear have erroneously argued, created a highly centralized national state which is virtually limitless in its power.

The Articles of Confederation, on the other hand, were just that – a system where the national government was dependent for its existence on the individual states’ benevolence. American constitutional history can be seen as the systematic destruction of state, regional, local and, eventually, individual sovereignty from the aggrandizement of federal power, all achieved under Constitutional rule.

The Constitution negates one of the great safeguards of individual liberty – “voting with one’s feet.” Under a confederation of states, tyranny can be avoided, to an extent, by simply relocating to another political jurisdiction. If a state becomes too confiscatory in its taxing policies, its subjects can move to a less tax burdensome district. Thus, the more political jurisdictions there are the better.

Under the Constitution, there is no escape from its dictates unless one expatriates. The ability of populations to move and the greater number of political units provides a far superior check on tyranny than the supposed “checks and balances” and “separation of powers” so celebrated in American federalism.

Amendments, conventions, “strict interpretation” of the Constitution, and all other reforms of the federal system will do nothing to limit or eventually slay the American Leviathan. Decentralization is the key which means secession and a dismantling of the Union.

Secession should not be limited to the Union, but allow for the breakup of the existing states along political, economic and cultural lines. States as geographically, culturally, and economically diverse as California should be broken down into numerous smaller entities. The overriding principle in regard to liberty and prosperity is the greater number of political configurations the better.

Until the Constitution is seen for what it truly is, the rapacious federal state will continue to gorge itself on the ever dwindling productive efforts of its citizenry. Once this is recognized and efforts are taken to disembowel the beast, will the lives, liberties, and property of Americans and a great many around the globe be secured.

*David Sherfinski, “GOP Hopefuls’ Support Boosts Constitutional Convention Idea.” The Washington Times. 24 December 2015.
**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , on January 26, 2016. Edit

The Constitution’s Big Lie

Rossiter II

One of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon Americans at the time of its telling and which is still trumpeted to this very day is the notion that the U.S. Constitution contains within its framework mechanisms which limit its power. The “separation of powers,” where power is distributed among the three branches – legislative, executive, judicial – is supposedly the primary check on the federal government’s aggrandizement.

This sacred held tenet of American political history has once again been disproved.

Last Friday (October 23), the Attorney General’s office announced that it was “closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges” against former Internal Revenue Service’s director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner, or, for that matter, anyone else from the agency over whether they improperly targeted Tea Party members, populists, or any other groups, which voiced anti-government sentiments or views.

The Department of Justice statement read:

The probe found ‘substantial evidence of mismanagement,
poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the
belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted
them based on their political viewpoints. But poor
management is not a crime.’ (My emphasis)

Incredibly, it added:

We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on
political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate
motives that would support a criminal prosecution.*

That the DOJ will take no action against one of its rogue departments demonstrates the utter lawlessness and totalitarian nature of the federal government. The DOJ’s refusal to punish documented wrongdoing by the nation’s tax collection agency shows the blatant hypocrisy of Obummer, who promised that his presidency would be one of “transparency.”

It can be safely assumed that Congress will not follow up on the matter, as Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), who chaired a committee to investigate the bureau’s wrong doings, admitted that its crimes may never be known.** The DOJ and Issa’s responses are quite predictable once the nature of the federal government and, for that matter, all governments are understood.

Basic political theory has shown that any state is extremely reluctant to police itself or reform unless threatened with destruction, take over, or dismemberment (secession). The Constitution has given to the federal government monopoly power where its taxing and judicial authority are supreme. It will not relinquish such a hold nor will it seek to minimize such power until it is faced with one of these threats.

While it was called a federated system at the time of its enactment and ever since by its apologists, the reality of the matter is quite different. As the Constitution explicitly states in Art. VI, Sect. 2, the central government is “the supreme law of the land.” The individual states are inferior and mere appendages to the national government – ultimate control rests in Washington.

In fact, it was the Constitution’s opponents, the much derided Antifederalists, who were the true champions of a decentralized system of government while their more celebrated opponents such as Madison, Hamilton and Jay wanted an omnipotent national state.

Thus, in the American context, the only method for those oppressed by the federal government is to either threaten or actually go through with secession. Attempts to alter its dictatorial rule through the ballot box or public protests are futile. While there will naturally be outrage at letting the IRS off the hook, focus and anger must be redirected away from participation within the current political system to that of fundamental change.

Congress’ refusal to prosecute an executive bureau that has deliberately used (and is still using) state power to oppress and harass opponents of the Obama regime demonstrates the bankruptcy of the idea that separation of power limits tyranny. Federal power and the corresponding tyranny and corruption which it has bred has never been countered by the checks and balances and separation of powers of the supposed “federal republic” created a little over two centuries ago.

Until the “big lie” of the Constitution is realized, agencies like the IRS will continue to target and tyrannize anti-government organizations, groups, and individuals. The Constitution provides no real mechanism for the redress of grievances from the subjects which it rules. Only when the breakup of the federal Union has taken place, will American liberties and freedoms be secured.

*Tyler Durden, “DOJ Closes Lois Lerner Investigation Without Charges.” Zero Hedge http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-23/doj-closes-lois-lerner-investigation-without-charges
October 23, 2015.
**Melanie Batley, “Issa on IRS Scandal: May Never Get the Truth.” Newsmax http://www.newsmax.com/US/issa-scandal-irs-investigation/2014/07/09/id/581638/ July 9, 2014.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

The Antifederalists and the American Empire

The Antifederalists and the American Empire

If any group of similarly-minded people have been vindicated by the passage of time, it has been those opposed to the United States Constitution who would later become known as the “Antifederalists.” Nearly every objection that the Antifederalists raised about the Constitution have long ago proved to be wholly founded and had they been more politically savvy and persevered in their convictions, the document would have never seen the light of day, arguably, leaving Americans and the rest of the world considerably better off.

One of the Antifederalists’ biggest fears was that the adoption of the Constitution would ultimately lead to an empire and all of the nasty consequences which flow from it. They rightly understood that empire building was the dream of many of their Federalist opponents such as Alexander Hamilton who wanted Americans to follow the path of the British Empire.

“Brutus” beautifully expressed the Antifederalist position on empire:

[Americans] ought to furnish the world with an example of a great people, who in their civil institutions hold chiefly in view, the attainment of virtue, and happiness among ourselves. Let the monarchs in Europe, share among them the glory of depopulating countries, and butchering thousands of their innocent citizens, to revenge private quarrels, or to punish an insult offered to a wife, a mistress, or a favorite: I envy them not the honor, and I pray heaven this country may never be ambitious of it. (1)

Warfare was abhorrent to the Antifederalists the exception, of course, being for defensive purposes. War enriched the few especially the politically connected while everyone else suffered. The “Federal Farmer” echoing a Scholastic viewpoint describes war’s de-civilizing effects:

War is justifiable on no other principle than self-defense, it is at best a curse to any people; it is comprehensive of most, if not all the mischiefs that do or can afflict mankind; it depopulates nations; lays waste the finest countries; destroys arts and sciences; it many times ruins the best men, and advances the worst, it effaces every trace of virtue, piety and compassion, and introduces all kinds of corruption in public affairs; and in short, is pregnant with so many evils, that it ought ever to be avoided if possible; nothing but self-defense can justify it. (2)

While it took at least a century to get going, it is ultimately the Constitution which is responsible for the creation of the American Empire. The imbroglio in the Crimea/Ukraine with the C.I.A. and other agencies fomenting social discord and strife is just the latest episode in the long destructive course of this nation’s imperial history. And, it will not be the last.

The chief reason why those who opposed the American Empire from its beginnings until the present day have failed to halt its malignant growth is because they have not challenged the foundation upon which that edifice rests. The Constitution created a powerful central government which obliterated any real check that the individual states had upon its largesse. The Antifederalists clearly understood this, while most contemporary opponents of the Federal Leviathan do not.

The enactment of the Constitution was a grand reversal in the course of human events away from political decentralization which was embodied in the American Revolution. Tragically, within a decade after secession from the mightiest empire on earth at the time, Americans foolishly allowed to be imposed on them a highly centralized national state which would eventually develop into a global juggernaut that has now become the greatest threat to human liberty, peace and prosperity mankind has ever witnessed.

If the American Empire is to be dismantled prior to an economic collapse, its intellectual justification must first be debunked. There is no better place to start than with the perspicacious arguments of the 18th century opponents of the United States Constitution and the empire it created.

(1) Herbert J. Storing. What the Anti-Federalists Were For: The Political Thought of the Opponents of the Constitution. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981, p. 31.
(2) Ibid.

First published 4-23-’14

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

World War I and the Course of American Foreign Policy

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This year marks one full century since the outbreak of one of the most horrific and world altering events in all of history, World War I. “The war to end all wars,” as it was first naively dubbed, was an unmitigated disaster for mankind where everyone who was affected suffered, the exception, of course, were the usual suspects: politicians, their financiers, and the armament industries. The consequences of the conflagration still linger long after millions had been slaughtered and the wanton destruction had concluded.

As happens with most wars, the origins of WWI were sown in a previous conflict which in this case was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 where France was handily defeated and forced to relinquish territory, most notably, Alsace-Lorraine. While French revanche for its defeat was the primary impetus for the Great War’s outbreak, other factors certainly contributed. Most importantly, the rise of nationalism throughout Europe coupled with a neo-imperialism among the major powers which inevitably brought them into disputes over colonial possessions. Moreover, a system of mutual “defense” treaties and alliances were made which committed nations to military engagement if a partner came under attack.

Thus, by 1914, the world was one big powder keg ready to be detonated by a spark which, tragically, was lit by the assassination of Austria’s Archduke. The deaths of combatants and non-combatants on an unprecedented scale quickly ensued while the cost of the war exceeded anything previously fought, forcing nations to borrow prodigiously and print vast amounts of money.

While the blame for the war’s outbreak can be placed on national pride and the utter stupidity and incompetence of the contending European powers, its grizzly continuation can be placed at the feet of one individual and the nation he headed, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States. If it had not been for this former Princeton political science professor, the war, most likely, would have come to an earlier conclusion and a second more destructive conflict would have been avoided.

By 1916, the War had come to a standstill as each side finally began to realize their collective insanity and opened peace talks. In the United States, which had ostensibly remained “neutral,” but had favored the Triple Entente (United Kingdom, France, Russia), a presidential election was taking place. When it comes to foreign policy, all presidents lie and Wilson continued the tradition during the campaign. Despite running on a platform of neutrality, he had secretly told the Allies that he would do all in his power to bring the nation into the war after his re-election.

The promise of United States intervention emboldened the Allied powers to spurn negotiations and press on despite near exhaustion. A little over a month after his inauguration, in April, 1917, Wilson called on Congress to declare war on the Central Powers who had taken no direct military action against America. Wilson’s call for war was based on the ludicrous slogan “to make the world safe for democracy.” Unfortunately, Congress and enough of the gullible public went along with the hoax and the nation plunged itself into the madness which set it on its ruinous course of global empire.

While making the world safe for democracy appealed to many, the primary reason why Wilson got into the conflict (surprise, surprise) was financial. Wilson was intimately connected with J.P. Morgan’s financial empire which had underwritten a considerable amount of Allied debt.         If the war ended on unfavorable terms for the Entente Powers or if the Central Powers would actually win, the House of Morgan would be ruined. An Allied victory would bail out the Morgans and allow Wilson to have a hand in redesigning the map of Europe as he undoubtedly dreamed of during his Princeton teaching years.

While the United States’ rout of Spain in 1898 is technically the beginning of its rise as global policeman, it was intervention in World War I which became the blueprint for its meddlesome foreign policy of the past century. The nation would become involved in a seemingly endless string of wars (both “hot” and “cold”), revolutions, coups, ethnic strife, and internecine struggles none of which threatened its own security. The current Ukraine imbroglio is just the latest example of such.

After a century of foreign intervention which have enriched politicians and the politically-connected financial elite while bringing death, destruction and misery to peoples throughout the world, America’s superpower status is coming to an end.         The continuing economic deterioration and likelihood of a major financial collapse will eventually curtail its overseas adventurism. The resources will simply not be available to conduct and maintain a global military apparatus. There will thus be a good that comes out of an economic collapse: the end of the American empire!

Until that day, however, expect the continuation of a belligerent and domineering foreign policy which began when the United States made the infamous decision a century ago to enter a war that was supposed “to end all wars.”

First Published 3-29-’14

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

   

One thought on “HISTORY

  1. Pingback: Charles A. Beard, “American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932-1940″* | Antonius Aquinas

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