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24 November 2017

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Lemur

i think you made some good points but at the same time i got the impression i was reading an all too neatly packaged whig account of history

Croesus

I think I love you!
Agree 66%, and so pleased to see inclusion of Zoroaster.

The "Judeo-Christian" formula is historically, theologically, mythologically inappropriate.
I was tempted to edit the quote, but Browder's use of the formula indicates how the concepts he was convinced to teach and propagate are politically - ideologically driven.

I consider "Abrahamism" and "Zoroaster- Greek thought" to be antithetical. The core of Zoroastrianism is "Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds;" each person is accountable for his own behavior. Zoroastrians tend not to involve themselves in converting others..

In contrast, Maimonides wrote of Abraham:

"He realized the way of truth and . . . righteousness . . . that there is a God who . . . created the world, and besides whom there is none other.
He also knew that the whole world was erring, . . . Once he achieved this, he began to reason with the inhabitants of Ur Casdim and to argue with them, saying that by serving idols they were not following the way of truth.
He broke their images, and began to proclaim that it is not fitting to serve anyone other than God, . . . Abraham also proclaimed that it was fitting to break and destroy all the figures, so that nobody will err on account of them "

Anna

Excuse me for sounding "snoopy," but what are the names of those who have been primed by Israel-firsters to become a Fifth Column in the US?
Do the primed have any shame?

David Habakkuk

Larry Kart,

From an article entitled ‘Is Israel Good for the Jews?’ published by the sociologist Norman Birnbaum in the ‘Nation’ back in 2006:

‘Domestically, the chief allies of American Jewry were once the liberal Protestants; the modern Catholics, whose great achievement was the Second Vatican Council; and progressive secularists. Now organized Jewry has an alliance with those who were not so long ago embittered anti-Semites. The Protestant fundamentalists think the founding of the Jewish state means that the conversion of the Jews is imminent. Suppose the fundamentalists demand that US Jewry anticipate the end of time by beginning their conversion now? Some have welcomed the Lebanon crisis as the initiation of Armageddon. In the meantime, they combat the pluralism of the public sphere, which is indispensable to enduring rights for Jews in the United States. America is in serious danger of becoming a nation defined not by citizenship but by bargains among struggling ethnic and religious communities, united in an impossible project of global domination. Will Nobel prizes and business acumen, and seventeenth-century biblical imagery of America as a New Israel, protect the Jewish minority as our imperial project disintegrates? Its end could generate the domestic deprivation and tension conducive to renewed anti-Semitism.’

(See https://www.thenation.com/article/israel-good-jews/ .)

Babak Makkinejad

Pirouz Bahram.

English Outsider


Lemur - yes, you've ID'd it with remorseless accuracy. Whiggish as hell. More or less straight Macaulay, or as much of it as I could remember, with the odd bit of customisation.

Wiki quotes Lord Acton on Macaulay:-

"[T]he Essays are really flashy and superficial. He was not above par in literary criticism; his Indian articles will not hold water; and his two most famous reviews, on Bacon and Ranke, show his incompetence. The essays are only pleasant reading, and a key to half the prejudices of our age. It is the History (with one or two speeches) that is wonderful. He knew nothing respectably before the seventeenth century, he knew nothing of foreign history, of religion, philosophy, science, or art. His account of debates has been thrown into the shade by Ranke, his account of diplomatic affairs, by Klopp. He is, I am persuaded, grossly, basely unfair."

Again according to Wiki, Karl Marx put the boot in too: Marx says of Macaulay that he was "a 'systematic falsifier of history'.[37]"

An ideal model, therefore, for a Rovian re-writing of English history that conforms to Mrs Bryen's equally extraordinary re-writing of American history.

I'm pretty sure I got the cutlery bit right though.

The Porkchop Express

This is absolutely true. Literal word of God. The Christian dispensationalists and most of the evangelicals don't need convincing. They support Israel 100% without getting into the muck of politics. End times, Messiah returns, etc... They give Israel support because it has to exist in order for Christ to return.

Part of this prophecy is that once Jesus returns to Earth, the Jews must convert or be cast into the pit of fire. That the Israelis go along with the support of this insane theology says more about their political cynicism than anything else.

David Habakkuk

The Beaver,

Thanks for that, which I found instructive and enjoyable.

There are however critical ways in which the world has changed, which I think are not appreciated by Friedman, JINSA, and their like.

A fundamental premise of British, and American, policy has been that we could co-operate with the Saudis against those deemed our common enemies, without risking serious ‘blowback.’

We have had now had repeated terrorist attacks in the West from jihadists – and it has not escaped people’s attention that those responsible are not Alawites from Syria, Hibzullah, or Iranians.

So the emptiness of the endless charade of promises that the Saudis will suddenly become part of Friedman’s ‘flat world’ is now increasingly noticed and regarded as important, in a way it was not in the past.

Also relevant is the fact that the Israelis appear to be able to imagine no solution to any of their security problems other than bombing people and inveigling others in doing this. The fact that this has quite patently done much to exacerbate the jihadist problem, and the migration crisis, both of which pose very major threats to European countries, does not appear to worry them.

Historical ‘narratives’ can mutate in strange ways – and do so rapidly.

The King David Hotel bombing, to which Colonel Lang referred in his post, is no more forgotten in Britain than is the attempt to sink the USS Liberty in the United States.

On a site called ‘British Forces in Palestine’ you will find, among much other material, a page entitled ‘Kidnap, Torture and Murder of Sergeant Clifford Martin and Sergeant Mervyn Paice.’

Ironically, according to ‘Haaretz’, the former was ‘the circumcised, Hebrew-speaking son of a Jewish mother.’

(See http://www.britishforcesinpalestine.org/attacks/sergeants.html ; https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/the-cruel-revenge-that-helped-drive-the-british-out-of-palestine-1.456440?block=true&trailingPath=2.169%2C2.216%2C2.218%2C ,)

If they go on the way they are going, people like Shoshana Bryen could wake up one morning to discover that, far from being ‘our other best friend in the world’, the British are a people with very decidedly mixed feelings about Zionists – and indeed, that many here are inclined to write Israelis off as little more than a bunch of thugs.

LeaNder

Anna, tell me why this "cultural Marxist" and post-Zionist isn't really surprised about your association?

Babak Makkinejad

This sounds consistent with the Poetry of William Blake; when the project of building a new Jerusalem on England's green and verdant shores proved impractical, it was conveniently moved to America. And we suffer these Delusions thanks to our civilization's weakness in opposing alien peoples' fantasies.

Babak Makkinejad

The "good speech, ..." was only a spiritual exercise for fortifying oneself for the on-going and relentless war against the Evil Essence that permeates the Universe.
The semitic religions of Western Asia are confused interpretations of the Din Behi.
Zoroaster did send emissaries, he himself was martyred in Jihad against Turanians.

David Habakkuk

EO,

Good god man – are you really an enthusiast for the rule of the Major-Generals?

And this history really does matter, given that people like Rabbi Sacks and Soshana Bryen are trying to suggest a fundamental harmony between Israel and the United States on the basis of common origin of their political ideas in the Hebrew Bible. So Sacks writes: ‘Covenant is central to the Mayflower Compact of 1620. It is central to the speech of John Winthrop aboard the Arbela in 1630.’

A less sympathetic view, from the time, of the mentality of the kind of people who, at the time to which Sacks is going back, ‘internalized the Hebrew Bible’ in the way he appears to find congenial was brilliantly itemised in the great doggerel poem ‘Hudibras’ by the – very drunk – royalist poet Samuel Butler. His description of the religion of his protagonist, a colonel in the Parliamentary Army, begins:

‘For his Religion, it was fit/ To match his learning and his wit;/ ‘Twas Presbyterian true blue;/ For he was of that stubborn crew/ Of errant saints, whom all men grant/ To be the true Church Militant ...’

It concludes:

‘All piety consists therein/ In them, in other men all sin’.

(See http://www.exclassics.com/hudibras/hudibras.pdf )

Clearly, Butler’s view is not the whole truth, by any means. But to see that it has substance – and was in tune with the feelings of very many of his fellow-countrymen, both then and later – one needs only to read a review by Ronald Hutton of the 2001 study ‘Cromwell’s Major-Generals: Godly Government during the English Revolution’ by Christopher Durston. An excerpt:

‘One of the biggest factors in the failure of the Major-Generals consists of their lack of popularity, manifested in their own reports concerning their reception and their decisive rejection by the electorate, despite all their efforts to pack a Parliament. Dr Durston considers two traditional explanations, that they were hated either as soldiers or as agents of a legally dubious governmental centralisation, and while admitting some force to them rejects them in favour of a third. This is to emphasise their status as the allies and patrons of local cadres of godly Protestant fundamentalists; in common parlance radical puritans. In this reading, it was the inherent anti-puritanism of the English and Welsh, as powerful at times if less celebrated than their anti-Catholicism, which made the generals most obnoxious to them. There is nothing that can be faulted in such a suggestion; but nor is it actually demonstrated, and it probably cannot be. The great problem in evaluating public responses to the Major-Generals is that the latter possessed so many qualities likely to give widespread offence, consisting of all those mentioned above, that together they made up a package of irredeemable unacceptability.’

(See http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/232 )

What Bryen, channelling Sacks, have accurately described are the ideological roots of a self-image of ‘exceptionalism’ which is actually the fundamental problem with American foreign policy today. And indeed, the spirit of ‘neoconservative’ Middle East policies seem very close indeed that of those Puritans who, to quote Butler again:

‘Call fire and sword and desolation,/ A godly thorough reformation,/ Which always must be carried on, And still be doing, never done’.

rjj

Anna, I think your names question refers to a comment I did not make. Don't know enough to make such a statement.

Do the primed have any shame?

That usually only comes after things turn out badly.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

As a matter of boring self-referential pride three of my ancestors; John Alden, William Mullins and Richard Warren signed the Mayflower Compact. I am pleased to say that Winthrop was not among my grandfathers but Major John Mason is a grandfather. He carried out Winthrop's policy toward the Pequots. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Butler's last 2 words were also asked about Napoleon, "Will he ever be satisfied?"

Babak Makkinejad

That is what I thought too, once again for the Jew to die in order for the Christian to be saved.
That we are discussing all of this 200 years after Voltaire attests to the depth of religious sentiment and its hold on human mind.

Babak Makkinejad

And England maintains destroyers in the Persian Gulf against Iran.

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

That was precisely what ultimately did for him.

For a considerable time, Tsar Alexander I attempted to find a place for Russia within the European order that Napoleon had created. It was also relevant here that some very intelligent people in his country’s élite were inclined to think that British sea power posed a much greater long-term danger to their country than French land power. (A view with which I have a great deal of sympathy.)

When it became clear that Napoleon was not prepared to accept anything other than something close to unconditional subordination, Alexander and his advisors prepared seriously for war. As part of the process, the Minister of Defence, Barclay de Tolly, created Russian military intelligence – and with its aid, he and others worked out what kind of war Napoleon wanted to fight, and how to make sure he was not able to fight it.

Doing this may sound easy in retrospect, but it was not at the time. In 1812, it involved making an army whose whole culture was offensive avoid taking offensive action, and retreat without breaking. For Barclay – the Baltic German bourgeois – it also meant that his determined pursuit of the one strategy that held out prospects of victory led to accusations of disloyalty.

After he was replaced by the old Russian noble Kutuzov, Barclay commanded the right flank at Borodino. I do not know whether the claim on the RT site ‘Russapedia’ that he had four horses shot under him is accurate, but he was clearly in the thick of the fighting, and it is good to see one of Russia’s greatest commanders given the honour he deserves, after his shabby treatment by Tolstoy in ‘War and Peace.’

(See http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/military/mikhail-barklay-de-tolly-michael-andreas-barclay-de-tolly/ .)

When it became clear clear that Napoleon had been decisively repulsed, the old division resurfaced. So Kutuzov, and the former Foreign Minister Rumyantsev, were inclined to think it made better sense to let a weakened Napoleon survive – on the basis that his total destruction would play into the hands of the British.

The view taken by Alexander was, quite precisely, that Napoleon would never be ‘satisfied’ – that, of his nature, he was an ‘overreacher’, and that no stable peace was possible in Europe until he had been completely destroyed.

The 2009 study ‘Russia Against Napoleon’ by Dominic Lieven, a descendant of a Baltic German family who served Alexander and his successors with distinction, is an exposition of the strategy which the Tsar and Barclay de Tolly developed, and a defence of the decision to destroy Napoleon, even at the risk of empowering the British. (Among other things, it is a kind of ‘settling of scores’ with Tolstoy.)

Its conclusions were summarised in a lecture Lieven gave at the London School of Economics following the book’s publication, available at http://www.lse.ac.uk/website-archive/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=433 .

At this year’s Valdai Group meeting, Lieven presented the conclusions of his subsequent study of the origins of the First World War and the 1917 Revolution.

Also on the Valdai website is an encomium by a contemporary Russian scholar, Alexei Miller, who clearly concludes that Lieven had put Tolstoy in his place: his title is ‘Dominic Lieven Outmatched Leo Tolstoy.’

(See http://valdaiclub.com/multimedia/video/alexei-miller-dominic-lieven/ ; http://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/revolution-war-and-empire/ )

Mahatma Propagandhi

Thank you for your mention and links to the MRFF. I'm a long-time supporter of Mr. Weinstein's organization, which does not, IMO, get enough ink. His descriptions of, and battles with, Christian Dominionists who have captured the USAF Academy are scary indeed, not to mention his wider struggles against the ubiquitous proselyzation referenced in your post.

Larry Kart

I'm not sure why they left Palo Alto, but perhaps the funding for his wife's research was going to dry up, and/or she might have progressed at Stanford to the academic level she had been aiming for. Also, family ties might well have played a role.

The Porkchop Express

It's a really bizarre thing to behold. The entire relationship/understanding is an antithetical one. Theologically their positions are predicated on the other side being dead wrong at the end of the day (end of days). But presently? Marriage made in Heaven.

Walrus

Thank you for your post. I just ordered the book as a Christmas present to me.

Tony Wikrent

I am not familiar with the entire corpus of Browder's work, so this comment is based only on the brief portrait supplied by Croesus above.

There are truths, and there are half-truths. To argue--and especially to teach, which I believe carries with it the responsibility to be as truthful as possible--that "America's roots" are entirely European is a half-truth. Just as important as what the USA founders incorporated from Europe, is what they rejected.

For example, one of the most overlooked facts of America's founding is that among the most important legislation first adopted by virtually all the states was the end of British common law regarding primogeniture. This of course was an important attempt to prohibit the creation and perpetuation of the fortunes, power, and rule of oligarchical families, whether local or national. Happily, it the abolition of primogeniture had its intended effect, though today conservatives/libertarians/Republicans are going to practically bring back most of the ill effects of primogeniture with their attempts to abolish the estate tax, and also, imo, the lowering of top marginal income tax rates. When you consider that modern corporations operate much the same as old European oligarchical fondo (funds) you can also see that lowering corporate tax rates will have similarly pernicious effects on the republic.

USA was founded as a republic at a point in world history when all other countries were governed by monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, or despotisms. The European states had developed these forms of government to a relatively high level. The founders rejected them all, but tried to blend the the best of each type in their design. Thus we get a very strong executive with many of the powers found in European monarchies, yet (supposedly) subject to the checks and balances of an independent legislature and an independent judiciary. Moreover, the federal structure of independent states subject to a national government was taken directly from the Iroquois confederation of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations.

In economics, the USA founders again adopted the best of Europe, while rejecting the worst. The creation the American republic and its Constitution must be understood in the context of the global shift from the economic and political systems of feudalism, to mercantilism and modern nationalism. The Framers were entirely familiar with mercantilist policies, and the debates in the Constitutional convention make very clear that they had no intent of creating laissez faire and unregulated market capitalism, but a careful and deliberate plan to ensure that all economic activity was channeled and directed to the promotion of the general welfare and national development.

The words “mercantilist” and “mercantilism” are generally used whenever government powers are used to promote a state’s economic powers. By specifying in the Constitution that government powers are used to promote a state’s economic powers in promotion of the general welfare, the American republic made a sharp break from European mercantilism, in which the welfare of a sole monarch or small group of oligarchs was often conflated with the general welfare of a state or nation. Once you understand this history, it becomes clear that the idea that the general welfare is the slippery slope to tyranny, or The Road to Serfdom as Friedrich von Hayek titled his book, is a direct and insidious attack on the founding principles of the American republic.

This fascinating mix of economic policies was carried into effect by first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who is today understood by almost no one, no matter where on the political spectrum they claim to be. Contrary to the mythology peddled by conservatives and libertarians, the USA economy was NOT based on the ideas of Adam Smith--Hamilton thoroughly repudiated Smith, free trade, and laissez faire. For example, In his Report on Manufactures, Communicated to the House of Representatives, December 5, 1791, Hamilton wrote:

“To cherish and stimulate the activity of the human mind, by multiplying the objects of enterprise, is not among the least considerable of the expedients by which the wealth of a nation may be promoted.” And: “Experience teaches, that men are often so much governed by what they are accustomed to see and practise, that the simplest and most obvious improvements, in the most ordinary occupations, are adopted with hesitation, reluctance, and by slow gradations…. To produce the desirable changes as early as may be expedient may therefore require the incitement and patronage of government… it is of importance that the confidence of cautious, sagacious capitalists, both citizens and foreigners, should be excited. And to inspire this description of persons with confidence, it is essential that they should be made to see in any project which is new—and for that reason alone, if for no other, precarious—the prospect of such a degree of countenance and support from government, as may be capable of overcoming the obstacles inseparable from first experiments.”

And liberals and leftists are wrong in their belief that Hamilton favored the wealthy and powerful over the people. One of Hamilton’s great insights was that economic development depended entirely on improving the productive powers of labor. This meant the development of science and technology, and the spread of machinery to replace muscle power, both animal and human. (Read Section II, Subsection 2, “As to an extension of the use of Machinery...” in Hamilton’s December 1791 Report to Congress on the Subject of Manufactures.) The correct view of Hamilton must be precise: it was not that Hamilton sought to encourage and protect wealth, but to encourage and protect the CREATION of wealth.

Chroniclers of American history have pretty much agreed that George Washington was "the indispensable man." I think the exact same must be said of Washington's closest aid and adviser, Hamilton.


English Outsider

David Habakkuk - Thank you for a very useful summary indeed. I shall buy the book. Your final quote from Butler hits the mark just so. I have a feeling it hits more marks than just the neocons.

Do I like the Major-Generals? From what little I know of them, no. Proto-Commissars, set to enforce a consensus rather than find one.
It was no reign of terror - there was neither bureaucratic apparatus nor general fanaticism enough for that, and they were perhaps by that stage more worried about keeping the show on the road than forcing through a New Jerusalem, but they did some damage here and there. As for the spirit they exemplify, I find those times thoroughly modern if one allows for the change from God to Dawkins.

That is no far-fetched comparison. We see there the sequence we see today. An earnest enquiry after the truth leading to a doctrinaire conviction that one has found it. That leading to an insistence on forcing the doctrine found on others. When that spills over into politics, as it did then and as it does now, when it becomes a political force and interacts with other political forces, then dysfunction can be the only result. That and an enforced conformity that kills enquiry and thus kills new solutions. The "rule of the Major Generals", had it been successful and prolonged, must have been as deadening and as sterile as the current doctrinal rule of the Progressives.

Keith Harbaugh

Thanks to Colonel Lang and the other commentators for
some really great insights on this topic.
Thank you again!

As to my thoughts on the topic,
I'm no expert on the upper ranks of the military,
but I think I do have some insight into the motivations of ambitious people.
I've observed how the military has changed in many ways from my ROTC and early career days in the 1960s and 70s.
For example from the strenuously homophobic Jody calls we cadets belted out on our PT runs,
to the welcoming, seemingly anything goes, attitude of our military leaders today.

I have my own theory on two things that caused that change.
First, the military brass surely observes how the general culture has changed (for the worse, IMO),
and worries about being too far out of step with the country they serve.

Second, there is the "Peter Pace" (remember him?) effect.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Pace
Remember, when he was JCS Chairman, he was described by some of his peers as "Perfect Pete",
so well did he exemplify the military ideal.
He had VN combat experience which educated him more than a thousand books would,
and felt deeply about the consequences of unnecessary wars.

But then he made a big booboo, at least so far as his career was concerned.
He spoke openly about his views towards homosexuality.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/13/AR2007031300185.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/14/AR2007031400303.html
OMG! Kiss your career goodbye.
The son of a bitches in the U.S. Senate let it be known that there was no way they could anger the homosexual lobby
and confirm Pace for a second term as JCS Chairman.
So instead we got a fat slob of a Navy supply officer as JCS Chair
to kill "Don't ask, don't tell".
(Colonel: Feel free to edit the above sentence if it might be too offensive to some.)

Anyhow, if I were an ambitious military officer,
the message I would get from that is:
Don't deviate from the liberal or mainstream party line
if you want to rise to the top.
And I can see that applying to rev up support for
the Zionist/Likudnik/neocon "party line" on Iran and elsewhere.

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