A Promise Or a Threat?

Put me down firmly on the side of those who see You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy” as more of a threat; I see “You will be happy” with special emphasis on “will” and the unstated addendum to that statement as “You damn peasants better be happy, or else!”
The simple fact is that owning things – especially things which can be construed as tools – allow one a degree of independence, and even a mild degree of comfort over and above the norm. This was suggested to me in a college class four decades and more since. I think it must have been the required readings for medieval history course; dedicated medievalists had gone into various probate records and wills in England or France and studied the inventories of barely-above-survival peasant households. Nothing really notable in the main – just basic tools, household and farm implements like butter churns, cheese presses, cooking pots, some simple furniture. But at least one of the readings pointed out how possession of certain tools like a cheese-press, hinted that the owner of that item –was in fact, making cheese, possibly for their own use or for the market. The very fact that they owned something with which to turn a farm product like milk, into something to sell or barter for in the marketplace implied a slightly higher level of comfort and security for that household.

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Heuristics for Ukraine (and other places)

NB: some of the following is from a recent videoconference that included our own Trent Telenko, who is very much the man of the hour, but some of it is more publicly available, not to mention common sense. First, though, as is my wont, a quadrant diagram to organize my presentation …

I. Theater “Hardware” (physical assets/consequences)

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Aristos a la Lanterne!

When the rage of downtrodden French peasants, living-on-the-edge city dwellers and frustrated bourgeois towards the ruling nobles and royalty final exploded into a kind of civic wildfire, there was no appeasing their collective anger. A handful of wary and fleet-footed aristocrats, or those who had made a good living out of serving the royals and the nobility fled from France in all directions. The slow and unwary made a humiliating appointment with Madame Guillotine before a contemptuous and jeering crowd, if they had not already run afoul of a mob with pikes and knives, and ropes at the foot of civic lampposts. (The fury of the French Revolution flamed so furiously that it that eventually it burned a good few leading revolutionaries themselves. As the Royalist pamphleteer Jacques Mallet Du Pan remarked pithily, “Like Saturn, the Revolution devours its children.) For a long time, my sympathies as regards parties in the French Revolution tended to be with those who fell out with it, sympathies formed by popular literature and music: The Scarlett Pimpernel, A Tale of Two Cities, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and other tales which basically tut-tutted the madness which overcame all reason and discretion, and championed those who had the brunt of it fall on them, either justly or not. How fortunate that our own very dear revolution had been able to escape such conflagrations: Loyalists in the colonies might have suffered being tarred and feathered and ridden out of town or having to leave in an undignified rush when Yankee Doodle went to town and made their independence stick. But the jailhouse regrets of those who called up and inflamed that conflagration, even inadvertently is not my concern here.

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This War Comes Already Pre-Nuked

So, the Biden (Mis) Administration, or whoever and whatever powers have the strings firmly attached to the puppet in the Oval Office seems determined to pick a fight and a war with Russia over the Ukraine. A fight in which most Americans might have some mild-to-moderate sympathies with the Ukrainians, as they were most viciously abused under Soviet rule, having the misfortune to be essentially the breadbasket of the Soviet Union and relatively unwilling to have their crops and livelihoods confiscated for the good of the Party of the Workers, and having in the interim since the fall of the Iron Curtain to have developed some pesky notions of a separate and rather rebellious national identity. The Ukraine, like Poland, is luckless geographically, in being the pathway of invading armies from either direction, so one can’t really blame them for being a little testy and proactive about another one.
But it’s not really our fight, and it seems to be one constructed in a Potemkin village fashion.
There was a story, most likely apocryphal regarding a proposed alliance sometime during the late 19th century, between (IIRC) Britain and France, likely against a bellicose Germany, wherein a high-level British diplomat and his equally high-level French counterpart began pounding out the details of the proposed military alliance. The British diplo asked his French counterpart; what would be the absolute minimum number of troops that Britain would contribute to the situation in an emergency in the case of German invasion. “Only one,” replied the French diplomat, “And we would make certain that he would be killed at once.”
That is what the Biden administration would like, apparently. They would like to be able to wave the bloody shirt, the blood-saturated BDU blouses of American military personnel as a cynical and calculated distraction from a year of epic fail.

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American Gulag and Stasi, Inc

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the protest at the Capitol, in Washington, DC. A good many of those who attended felt they had a perfect right to walk into the Capitol Building, which is after all, the structure that we pay for and support our so-called political representatives with our votes. So why didn’t we have the right to walk into it, especially when allowed by the Capitol Police gatekeepers? There certainly were enough loud progressive protesters at the Kavanaugh hearings, setting the example for conservatives to follow an established principle. Or so they thought … mistakenly, as it has turned out. A number of questions about that event still remain. 

(Historically, well-wishers thronged the White House, upon the election of Andrew Jackson, and pretty much destroyed carpets and upholsteries, with the passage of their dirty boots and subsequent rowdy and presumably drunken celebration of a man of the people, a genuine frontiersman, to the highest office in the land. Again – the halls of government are rightfully, our halls – not the exclusive property of temporary lords and ladies. Or so we had assumed. But Jackson was a Democrat, of course, so all was forgiven.)

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