Justplainbill's Weblog

August 27, 2017

The Fate of Empires, by Sir John Glubb, thanks to Butch [c]

THE FATE OF EMPIRES
and
SEARCH FOR SURVIVAL
Sir John Glubb
John Bagot Glubb was born in 1897, his father being a regular officer in the Royal Engineers.
At the age of four he left England for Mauritius, where his father was posted for a three-year
tour of duty. At the age of ten he was sent to school for a year in Switzerland. These youthful
travels may have opened his mind to the outside world at an early age.
He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in September 1914, and was
commissioned in the Royal Engineers in April 1915. He served throughout the first World War
in France and Belgium, being wounded three times and awarded the Military Cross. In 1920 he
volunteered for service in Iraq, as a regular officer, but in 1926 resigned his commission and
accepted an administrative post under the Iraq Government.
In 1930, however, he signed a contract to serve the Transjordan Government (now Jordan).
From 1939 to 1956 he commanded the famous Jordan Arab Legion, which was in reality the
Jordan Army. Since his retirement he has published seventeen books, chiefly on the Middle
East, and has lectured widely in Britain, the United States and Europe.
William Blackwood & Sons Ltd
32 Thistle Street
Edinburgh EH1 1HA
Scotland
© J. B. G. Ltd, 1976, 1977
ISBN 0 85158 127 7
Printed at the Press of the Publisher
Introduction
As we pass through life, we learn by
experience. We look back on our behaviour
when we were young and think how foolish
we were. In the same way our family, our
community and our town endeavour to avoid
the mistakes made by our predecessors.
The experiences of the human race have
been recorded, in more or less detail, for
some four thousand years. If we attempt to
study such a period of time in as many
countries as possible, we seem to discover
the same patterns constantly repeated under
widely differing conditions of climate,
culture and religion. Surely, we ask
ourselves, if we studied calmly and
impartially the history of human institutions
and development over these four thousand
years, should we not reach conclusions
which would assist to solve our problems
today? For everything that is occurring
around us has happened again and again
before.
No such conception ever appears to have
entered into the minds of our historians. In
general, historical teaching in schools is
limited to this small island. We endlessly
mull over the Tudors and the Stewarts, the
Battle of Crecy, and Guy Fawkes. Perhaps
this narrowness is due to our examination
system, which necessitates the careful
definition of a syllabus which all children
must observe.
I remember once visiting a school for
mentally handicapped children. “Our
children do not have to take examinations,”
the headmaster told me,” and so we are able
to teach them things which will be really
useful to them in life.”
However this may be, the thesis which I
wish to propound is that priceless lessons
could be learned if the history of the past
four thousand years could be thoroughly and
impartially studied. In these two articles,
which first appeared in Blackwood’s
Magazine, I have attempted briefly to sketch
some of the kinds of lessons which I believe
we could learn. My plea is that history
should be the history of the human race, not
of one small country or period.
The Fate of Empires
I Learning from history
‘The only thing we learn from history,’ it
has been said, ‘is that men never learn from
history’, a sweeping generalisation perhaps,
but one which the chaos in the world today
goes far to confirm. What then can be the
reason why, in a society which claims to
probe every problem, the bases of history are
still so completely unknown?
Several reasons for the futility of our
historical studies may be suggested.
First, our historical work is limited to short
periods—the history of our own country, or
that of some past age which, for some
reason, we hold in respect.
Second, even within these short periods,
the slant we give to our narrative is governed
by our own vanity rather than by objectivity.
If we are considering the history of our own
country, we write at length of the periods
when our ancestors were prosperous and
victorious, but we pass quickly over their
shortcomings or their defeats. Our people
are represented as patriotic heroes, their
enemies as grasping imperialists, or
subversive rebels. In other words, our
national histories are propaganda, not wellbalanced
investigations.
Third, in the sphere of world history, we
study certain short, usually unconnected,
periods, which fashion at certain epochs has
made popular. Greece 500 years before
Christ, and the Roman Republic and early
Roman Empire are cases in point. The
intervals between the ‘great periods’ are
neglected. Recently Greece and Rome have
become largely discredited, and history tends
to become increasingly the parochial history
of our own countries.
To derive any useful instruction from
history, it seems to me essential first of all to
grasp the principle that history, to be
meaningful, must be the history of the
human race. For history is a continuous
process, gradually developing, changing and
turning back, but in general moving forward
in a single mighty stream. Any useful lessons
to be derived must be learned by the study of
the whole flow of human development, not
by the selection of short periods here and
there in one country or another.
Every age and culture is derived from its
predecessors, adds some contribution of its
own, and passes it on to its successors. If we
boycott various periods of history, the
origins of the new cultures which succeeded
them cannot be explained.
_______________________________
Sir John Glubb, better known as Glubb
Pasha, was born in 1897, and served in
France in the First World War from 1915 to
1918. In 1926 he left the regular army to
serve the Iraq Government. From 1939 to
1956, he commanded the famous Jordan
Arab Legion. Since retirement, he has
published sixteen books, chiefly on the
Middle East, and has lectured widely.
The Fate of Empires
2
Physical science has expanded its knowledge
by building on the work of its predecessors,
and by making millions of careful experiments,
the results of which are meticulously
recorded. Such methods have not yet been
employed in the study of world history. Our
piecemeal historical work is still mainly
dominated by emotion and prejudice.
II The lives of empires
If we desire to ascertain the laws which
govern the rise and fall of empires, the
obvious course is to investigate the imperial
experiments recorded in history, and to
endeavour to deduce from them any lessons
which seem to be applicable to them all.
The word ‘empire’, by association with the
British Empire, is visualised by some people
as an organisation consisting of a homecountry
in Europe and ‘colonies’ in other
continents. In this essay, the term ‘empire’ is
used to signify a great power, often called
today a superpower. Most of the empires in
history have been large landblocks, almost
without overseas possessions.
We possess a considerable amount of
information on many empires recorded in
history, and of their vicissitudes and the
lengths of their lives, for example:
The nation Dates of rise and fall Duration in years
Assyria 859-612 B.C. 247
Persia 538-330 B.C. 208
(Cyrus and his descendants)
Greece 331-100 B.C. 231
(Alexander and his successors)
Roman Republic 260-27 B.C. 233
Roman Empire 27 B.C.-A.D. 180 207
Arab Empire A.D. 634-880 246
Mameluke Empire 1250-1517 267
Ottoman Empire 1320-1570 250
Spain 1500-1750 250
Romanov Russia 1682-1916 234
Britain 1700-1950 250
This list calls for certain comments.
(1) The present writer is exploring the facts,
not trying to prove anything. The dates given
are largely arbitrary. Empires do not usually
begin or end on a certain date. There is
normally a gradual period of expansion and
then a period of decline. The resemblance in
the duration of these great powers may be
queried. Human affairs are subject to many
chances, and it is not to be expected that they
The Fate of Empires
3
could be calculated with mathematical
accuracy.
(2) Nevertheless, it is suggested that there is
sufficient resemblance between the life
periods of these different empires to justify
further study.
(3) The division of Rome into two periods
may be thought unwarranted. The first, or
republican, period dates from the time when
Rome became the mistress of Italy, and ends
with the accession of Augustus. The imperial
period extends from the accession of
Augustus to the death of Marcus Aurelius. It
is true that the empire survived nominally
for more than a century after this date, but it
did so in constant confusion, rebellions, civil
wars and barbarian invasions.
(4) Not all empires endured for their full lifespan.
The Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar,
for example, was overthrown by
Cyrus, after a life duration of only some
seventy-four years.
(5) An interesting deduction from the figures
seems to be that the duration of empires
does not depend on the speed of travel or the
nature of weapons. The Assyrians marched
on foot and fought with spears and bow and
arrows. The British used artillery, railways
and ocean-going ships. Yet the two empires
lasted for approximately the same periods.
There is a tendency nowadays to say that
this is the jet-age, and consequently there is
nothing for us to learn from past empires.
Such an attitude seems to be erroneous.
(6) It is tempting to compare the lives of
empires with those of human beings. We
may choose a figure and say that the average
life of a human being is seventy years. Not all
human beings live exactly seventy years.
Some die in infancy, others are killed in
accidents in middle life, some survive to the
age of eighty or ninety. Nevertheless, in spite
of such exceptions, we are justified in saying
that seventy years is a fair estimate of the
average person’s expectation of life.
(7) We may perhaps at this stage be allowed
to draw certain conclusions:
(a) In spite of the accidents of fortune, and
the apparent circumstances of the human
race at different epochs, the periods of
duration of different empires at varied
epochs show a remarkable similarity.
(b) Immense changes in the technology of
transport or in methods of warfare do not
seem to affect the life-expectation of an
empire.
(c) The changes in the technology of transport
and of war have, however, affected the
shape of empires. The Assyrians, marching
on foot, could only conquer their neighbours,
who were accessible by land—the
Medes, the Babylonians, the Persians and
the Egyptians.
The British, making use of ocean-going
ships, conquered many countries and subcontinents,
which were accessible to them
by water—North America, India, South
Africa, Australia and New Zealand—but
they never succeeded in conquering their
neighbours, France, Germany and Spain.
But, although the shapes of the Assyrian
and the British Empires were entirely
different, both lasted about the same
length of time.
III The human yardstick
What then, we may ask, can have been the
factor which caused such an extraordinary
similarity in the duration of empires, under
such diverse conditions, and such utterly
different technological achievements?
The Fate of Empires
4
One of the very few units of measurement
which have not seriously changed since the
Assyrians is the human ‘generation’, a period
of about twenty-five years. Thus a period of
250 years would represent about ten generations
of people. A closer examination of the
characteristics of the rise and fall of great
nations may emphasise the possible significance
of the sequence of generations.
Let us then attempt to examine the stages
in the lives of such powerful nations.
IV Stage one. The outburst
Again and again in history we find a small
nation, treated as insignificant by its
contemporaries, suddenly emerging from its
homeland and overrunning large areas of the
world. Prior to Philip (359-336 B.C.), Macedon
had been an insignificant state to the
north of Greece. Persia was the great power
of the time, completely dominating the area
from Eastern Europe to India. Yet by 323
B.C., thirty-six years after the accession of
Philip, the Persian Empire had ceased to
exist, and the Macedonian Empire extended
from the Danube to India, including Egypt.
This amazing expansion may perhaps he
attributed to the genius of Alexander the
Great, but this cannot have been the sole
reason; for although after his death everything
went wrong—the Macedonian generals
fought one another and established rival
empires—Macedonian pre-eminence survived
for 231 years.
In the year A.D. 600, the world was divided
between two superpower groups as it has
been for the past fifty years between Soviet
Russia and the West. The two powers were
the eastern Roman Empire and the Persian
Empire. The Arabs were then the despised
and backward inhabitants of the Arabian
Peninsula. They consisted chiefly of wandering
tribes, and had no government, no
constitution and no army. Syria, Palestine,
Egypt and North Africa were Roman
provinces, Iraq was part of Persia.
The Prophet Mohammed preached in
Arabia from A.D. 613 to 632, when he died.
In 633, the Arabs burst out of their desert
peninsula, and simultaneously attacked the
two super-powers. Within twenty years, the
Persian Empire had ceased to exist. Seventy
years after the death of the Prophet, the
Arabs had established an empire extending
from the Atlantic to the plains of Northern
India and the frontiers of China.
At the beginning of the thirteenth century,
the Mongols were a group of savage tribes in
the steppes of Mongolia. In 1211, Genghis
Khan invaded China. By 1253, the Mongols
had established an empire extending from
Asia Minor to the China Sea, one of the
largest empires the world has ever known.
The Arabs ruled the greater part of Spain
for 780 years, from 712 A.D. to 1492. (780
years back in British history would take us to
1196 and King Richard Coeur de Lion.)
During these eight centuries, there had been
no Spanish nation, the petty kings of Aragon
and Castile alone holding on in the
mountains.
The agreement between Ferdinand and
Isabella and Christopher Columbus was
signed immediately after the fall of Granada,
the last Arab kingdom in Spain, in 1492.
Within fifty years, Cortez had conquered
Mexico, and Spain was the world’s greatest
empire.
Examples of the sudden outbursts by
which empires are born could be multiplied
indefinitely. These random illustrations must
suffice.
The Fate of Empires
5
V Characteristics of the outburst
These sudden outbursts are usually
characterised by an extraordinary display of
energy and courage. The new conquerors are
normally poor, hardy and enterprising and
above all aggressive. The decaying empires
which they overthrow are wealthy but
defensive-minded. In the time of Roman
greatness, the legions used to dig a ditch
round their camps at night to avoid surprise.
But the ditches were mere earthworks, and
between them wide spaces were left through
which the Romans could counter-attack. But
as Rome grew older, the earthworks became
high walls, through which access was given
only by narrow gates. Counterattacks were
no longer possible. The legions were now
passive defenders.
But the new nation is not only distinguished
by victory in battle, but by unresting
enterprise in every field. Men hack their way
through jungles, climb mountains, or brave
the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans in tiny
cockle-shells. The Arabs crossed the Straits
of Gibraltar in A.D. 711 with 12,000 men,
defeated a Gothic army of more than twice
their strength, marched straight over 250
miles of unknown enemy territory and seized
the Gothic capital of Toledo. At the same
stage in British history, Captain Cook discovered
Australia. Fearless initiative characterises
such periods.
Other peculiarities of the period of the
conquering pioneers are their readiness to
improvise and experiment. Untrammelled by
traditions, they will turn anything available
to their purpose. If one method fails, they try
something else. Uninhibited by textbooks or
book learning, action is their solution to
every problem.
Poor, hardy, often half-starved and ill-clad,
they abound in courage, energy and
initiative, overcome every obstacle and
always seem to be in control of the situation.
VI The causes of race outbursts
The modern instinct is to seek a reason for
everything, and to doubt the veracity of a
statement for which a reason cannot be
found. So many examples can be given of the
sudden eruption of an obscure race into a
nation of conquerors that the truth of the
phenomenon cannot be held to be doubtful.
To assign a cause is more difficult. Perhaps
the easiest explanation is to assume that the
poor and obscure race is tempted by the
wealth of the ancient civilisation, and there
would undoubtedly appear to be an element
of greed for loot in barbarian invasions.
Such a motivation may be divided into two
classes. The first is mere loot, plunder and
rape, as, for example, in the case of Attila
and the Huns, who ravaged a great part of
Europe from A.D. 450 to 453. However, when
Attila died in the latter year, his empire fell
apart and his tribes returned to Eastern
Europe.
Many of the barbarians who founded
dynasties in Western Europe on the ruins of
the Roman Empire, however, did so out of
admiration for Roman civilisation, and
themselves aspired to become Romans.
VII A providential turnover?
Whatever causes may be given for the
overthrow of great civilisations by
barbarians, we can sense certain resulting
benefits. Every race on earth has distinctive
characteristics. Some have been distinguished
in philosophy, some in administration,
some in romance, poetry or religion, some in
The Fate of Empires
6
their legal system. During the pre-eminence
of each culture, its distinctive characteristics
are carried by it far and wide across the
world.
If the same nation were to retain its
domination indefinitely, its peculiar qualities
would permanently characterise the whole
human race. Under the system of empires
each lasting for 250 years, the sovereign race
has time to spread its particular virtues far
and wide. Then, however, another people,
with entirely different peculiarities, takes its
place, and its virtues and accomplishments
are likewise disseminated. By this system,
each of the innumerable races of the world
enjoys a period of greatness, during which its
peculiar qualities are placed at the service of
mankind.
To those who believe in the existence of
God, as the Ruler and Director of human
affairs, such a system may appear as a
manifestation of divine wisdom, tending
towards the slow and ultimate perfection of
humanity.
VIII The course of empire
The first stage of the life of a great nation,
therefore, after its outburst, is a period of
amazing initiative, and almost incredible
enterprise, courage and hardihood. These
qualities, often in a very short time, produce
a new and formidable nation. These early
victories, however, are won chiefly by
reckless bravery and daring initiative.
The ancient civilisation thus attacked will
have defended itself by its sophisticated
weapons, and by its military organisation
and discipline. The barbarians quickly
appreciate the advantages of these military
methods and adopt them. As a result, the
second stage of expansion of the new empire
consists of more organised, disciplined and
professional campaigns.
In other fields, the daring initiative of the
original conquerors is maintained—in
geographical exploration, for example:
pioneering new countries, penetrating new
forests, climbing unexplored mountains, and
sailing uncharted seas. The new nation is
confident, optimistic and perhaps contemptuous
of the ‘decadent’ races which it has
subjugated.
The methods employed tend to be practical
and experimental, both in government and
in warfare, for they are not tied by centuries
of tradition, as happens in ancient empires.
Moreover, the leaders are free to use their
own improvisations, not having studied
politics or tactics in schools or in textbooks.
IX U.S.A. in the stage of the pioneers
In the case of the United States of America,
the pioneering period did not consist of a
barbarian conquest of an effete civilisation,
but of the conquest of barbarian peoples.
Thus, viewed from the outside, every
example seems to be different. But viewed
from the standpoint of the great nation,
every example seems to be similar.
The United States arose suddenly as a new
nation, and its period of pioneering was
spent in the conquest of a vast continent, not
an ancient empire. Yet the subsequent life
history of the United States has followed the
standard pattern which we shall attempt to
trace—the periods of the pioneers, of
commerce, of affluence, of intellectualism
and of decadence.
X Commercial expansion
The conquest of vast areas of land and
their subjection to one government
The Fate of Empires
7
automatically acts as a stimulant to commerce.
Both merchants and goods can be
exchanged over considerable distances.
Moreover, if the empire be an extensive one,
it will include a great variety of climates,
producing extremely varied products, which
the different areas will wish to exchange with
one another.
The speed of modern methods of transportation
tends to create in us the impresssion
that far-flung commerce is a modern
development, but this is not the case. Objects
made in Ireland, Scandinavia and China
have been found in the graves or the ruins of
the Middle East, dating from 1,000 years
before Christ. The means of transport were
slower, but, when a great empire was in
control, commerce was freed from the
innumerable shackles imposed upon it today
by passports, import permits, customs,
boycotts and political interference.
The Roman Empire extended from Britain
to Syria and Egypt, a distance, in a direct
line, of perhaps 2,700 miles. A Roman
official, transferred from Britain to Syria,
might spend six months on the journey. Yet,
throughout the whole distance, he would be
travelling in the same country, with the same
official language, the same laws, the same
currency and the same administrative
system. Today, some twenty independent
countries separate Britain from Syria, each
with its own government, its own laws,
politics, customs fees, passports and
currencies, making commercial co-operation
almost impossible. And this process of
disintegration is still continuing. Even within
the small areas of the modern European
nations, provincial movements demanding
secession or devolution tend further to
splinter the continent.
The present fashion for ‘independence’ has
produced great numbers of tiny states in the
world, some of them consisting of only one
city or of a small island. This system is an
insuperable obstacle to trade and cooperation.
The present European Economic
Community is an attempt to secure commercial
cooperation among small independent
states over a large area, but the plan meets
with many difficulties, due to the mutual
jealousies of so many nations.
Even savage and militaristic empires
promoted commerce, whether or not they
intended to do so. The Mongols were some of
the most brutal military conquerors in
history, massacring the entire populations of
cities. Yet, in the thirteenth century, when
their empire extended from Peking to
Hungary, the caravan trade between China
and Europe achieved a remarkable degree of
prosperity—the whole journey was in the
territory of one government.
In the eighth and ninth centuries, the
caliphs of Baghdad achieved fabulous wealth
owing to the immense extent of their
territories, which constituted a single trade
bloc. The empire of the caliphs is now
divided into some twenty-five separate
‘nations’.
XI The pros and cons of empires
In discussing the life-story of the typical
empire, we have digressed into a discussion
of whether empires are useful or injurious to
mankind. We seem to have discovered that
empires have certain advantages, particularly
in the field of commerce, and in the
establishment of peace and security in vast
areas of the globe. Perhaps we should also
include the spread of varied cultures to many
races. The present infatuation for indepenThe
Fate of Empires
8
dence for ever smaller and smaller units will
eventually doubtless be succeeded by new
international empires.
The present attempts to create a European
community may be regarded as a practical
endeavour to constitute a new super-power,
in spite of the fragmentation resulting from
the craze for independence. If it succeeds,
some of the local independencies will have to
be sacrificed. If it fails, the same result may
be attained by military conquest, or by the
partition of Europe between rival superpowers.
The inescapable conclusion seems,
however, to be that larger territorial units are
a benefit to commerce and to public stability,
whether the broader territory be achieved by
voluntary association or by military action.
XII Sea power
One of the more benevolent ways in which
a super-power can promote both peace and
commerce is by its command of the sea.
From Waterloo to 1914, the British Navy
commanded the seas of the world. Britain
grew rich, but she also made the Seas safe for
the commerce of all nations, and prevented
major wars for 100 years.
Curiously enough, the question of sea
power was never clearly distinguished, in
British politics during the last fifty years,
from the question of imperial rule over other
countries. In fact, the two subjects are
entirely distinct. Sea power does not offend
small countries, as does military occupation.
If Britain had maintained her navy, with a
few naval bases overseas in isolated islands,
and had given independence to colonies
which asked for it, the world might well be a
more stable place today. In fact, however, the
navy was swept away in the popular outcry
against imperialism.
XIII The Age of Commerce
Let us now, however, return to the lifestory
of our typical empire. We have already
considered the age of outburst, when a littleregarded
people suddenly bursts on to the
world stage with a wild courage and energy.
Let us call it the Age of the Pioneers.
Then we saw that these new conquerors
acquired the sophisticated weapons of the
old empires, and adopted their regular
systems of military organisation and
training. A great period of military expansion
ensued, which we may call the Age of
Conquests. The conquests resulted in the
acquisition of vast territories under one
government, thereby automatically giving
rise to commercial prosperity. We may call
this the Age of Commerce.
The Age of Conquests, of course, overlaps
the Age of Commerce. The proud military
traditions still hold sway and the great
armies guard the frontiers, but gradually the
desire to make money seems to gain hold of
the public. During the military period, glory
and honour were the principal objects of
ambition. To the merchant, such ideas are
but empty words, which add nothing to the
bank balance.
XIV Art and luxury
The wealth which seems, almost without
effort, to pour into the country enables the
commercial classes to grow immensely rich.
How to spend all this money becomes a
problem to the wealthy business community.
Art, architecture and luxury find rich
patrons. Splendid municipal buildings and
wide streets lend dignity and beauty to the
wealthy areas of great cities. The rich
merchants build themselves palaces, and
money is invested in communications,
The Fate of Empires
9
highways, bridges, railways or hotels,
according to the varied patterns of the ages.
The first half of the Age of Commerce
appears to be peculiarly splendid. The
ancient virtues of courage, patriotism and
devotion to duty are still in evidence. The
nation is proud, united and full of selfconfidence.
Boys are still required, first of all,
to be manly—to ride, to shoot straight and to
tell the truth. (It is remarkable what
emphasis is placed, at this stage, on the
manly virtue of truthfulness, for lying is
cowardice—the fear of facing up to the
situation.)
Boys’ schools are intentionally rough. Frugal
eating, hard living, breaking the ice to
have a bath and similar customs are aimed at
producing a strong, hardy and fearless breed
of men. Duty is the word constantly drummed
into the heads of young people.
The Age of Commerce is also marked by
great enterprise in the exploration for new
forms of wealth. Daring initiative is shown in
the search for profitable enterprises in far
corners of the earth, perpetuating to some
degree the adventurous courage of the Age of
Conquests.
XV The Age of Affluence
There does not appear to be any doubt that
money is the agent which causes the decline
of this strong, brave and self-confident
people. The decline in courage, enterprise
and a sense of duty is, however, gradual.
The first direction in which wealth injures
the nation is a moral one. Money replaces
honour and adventure as the objective of the
best young men. Moreover, men do not
normally seek to make money for their
country or their community, but for themselves.
Gradually, and almost imperceptibly,
the Age of Affluence silences the voice of
duty. The object of the young and the
ambitious is no longer fame, honour or
service, but cash.
Education undergoes the same gradual
transformation. No longer do schools aim at
producing brave patriots ready to serve their
country. Parents and students alike seek the
educational qualifications which will
command the highest salaries. The Arab
moralist, Ghazali (1058-1111), complains in
these very same words of the lowering of
objectives in the declining Arab world of his
time. Students, he says, no longer attend
college to acquire learning and virtue, but to
obtain those qualifications which will enable
them to grow rich. The same situation is
everywhere evident among us in the West
today.
XVI High Noon
That which we may call the High Noon of
the nation covers the period of transition
from the Age of Conquests to the Age of
Affluence: the age of Augustus in Rome, that
of Harun al-Rashid in Baghdad, of Sulaiman
the Magnificent in the Ottoman Empire, or
of Queen Victoria in Britain. Perhaps we
might add the age of Woodrow Wilson in the
United States.
All these periods reveal the same
characteristics. The immense wealth accumulated
in the nation dazzles the onlookers.
Enough of the ancient virtues of courage,
energy and patriotism survive to enable the
state successfully to defend its frontiers. But,
beneath the surface, greed for money is
gradually replacing duty and public service.
Indeed the change might be summarised as
being from service to selfishness.
The Fate of Empires
10
XVII Defensiveness
Another outward change which invariably
marks the transition from the Age of
Conquests to the Age of Affluence is the
spread of defensiveness. The nation, immensely
rich, is no longer interested in glory or
duty, but is only anxious to retain its wealth
and its luxury. It is a period of defensiveness,
from the Great Wall of China, to Hadrian’s
Wall on the Scottish Border, to the Maginot
Line in France in 1939.
Money being in better supply than courage,
subsidies instead of weapons are employed
to buy off enemies. To justify this departure
from ancient tradition, the human mind
easily devises its own justification. Military
readiness, or aggressiveness, is denounced as
primitive and immoral. Civilised peoples are
too proud to fight. The conquest of one
nation by another is declared to be immoral.
Empires are wicked. This intellectual device
enables us to suppress our feeling of
inferiority, when we read of the heroism of
our ancestors, and then ruefully contemplate
our position today. ‘It is not that we are
afraid to fight,’ we say, ‘but we should
consider it immoral.’ This even enables us to
assume an attitude of moral superiority.
The weakness of pacifism is that there are
still many peoples in the world who are
aggressive. Nations who proclaim themselves
unwilling to fight are liable to be conquered
by peoples in the stage of militarism—
perhaps even to see themselves incorporated
into some new empire, with the status of
mere provinces or colonies.
When to be prepared to use force and when
to give way is a perpetual human problem,
which can only be solved, as best we can, in
each successive situation as it arises. In fact,
however, history seems to indicate that great
nations do not normally disarm from
motives of conscience, but owing to the
weakening of a sense of duty in the citizens,
and the increase in selfishness and the desire
for wealth and ease.
XVIII The Age of Intellect
We have now, perhaps arbitrarily, divided
the life-story of our great nation into four
ages. The Age of the Pioneers (or the
Outburst), the Age of Conquests, the Age of
Commerce, and the Age of Affluence. The
great wealth of the nation is no longer
needed to supply the mere necessities, or
even the luxuries of life. Ample funds are
available also for the pursuit of knowledge.
The merchant princes of the Age of
Commerce seek fame and praise, not only by
endowing works of art or patronising music
and literature. They also found and endow
colleges and universities. It is remarkable
with what regularity this phase follows on
that of wealth, in empire after empire,
divided by many centuries.
In the eleventh century, the former Arab
Empire, then in complete political decline,
was ruled by the Seljuk sultan, Malik Shah.
The Arabs, no longer soldiers, were still the
intellectual leaders of the world. During the
reign of Malik Shah, the building of
universities and colleges became a passion.
Whereas a small number of universities in
the great cities had sufficed the years of Arab
glory, now a university sprang up in every
town.
In our own lifetime, we have witnessed the
same phenomenon in the U.S.A. and Britain.
When these nations were at the height of
their glory, Harvard, Yale, Oxford and
Cambridge seemed to meet their needs. Now
almost every city has its university.
The Fate of Empires
11
The ambition of the young, once engaged
in the pursuit of adventure and military
glory, and then in the desire for the
accumulation of wealth, now turns to the
acquisition of academic honours.
It is useful here to take note that almost all
the pursuits followed with such passion
throughout the ages were in themselves
good. The manly cult of hardihood, frankness
and truthfulness, which characterised
the Age of Conquests, produced many really
splendid heroes.
The opening up of natural resources, and
the peaceful accumulation of wealth, which
marked the age of commercialism, appeared
to introduce new triumphs in civilisation, in
culture and in the arts. In the same way, the
vast expansion of the field of knowledge
achieved by the Age of Intellect seemed to
mark a new high-water mark of human
progress. We cannot say that any of these
changes were ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
The striking features in the pageant of
empire are:
(a) the extraordinary exactitude with which
these stages have followed one another, in
empire after empire, over centuries or even
millennia; and
(b) the fact that the successive changes
seem to represent mere changes in popular
fashion—new fads and fancies which sweep
away public opinion without logical reason.
At first, popular enthusiasm is devoted to
military glory, then to the accumulation of
wealth and later to the acquisition of
academic fame.
Why could not all these legitimate, and
indeed beneficent, activities be carried on
simultaneously, each of them in due moderation?
Yet this never seemed to happen.
XIX The effects of intellectualism
There are so many things in human life
which are not dreamt of in our popular
philosophy. The spread of knowledge seems
to be the most beneficial of human activities,
and yet every period of decline is characterrised
by this expansion of intellectual
activity. ‘All the Athenians and strangers
which were there spent their time in nothing
else, but either to tell or to hear some new
thing’ is the description given in the Acts of
the Apostles of the decline of Greek
intellectualism.
The Age of Intellect is accompanied by
surprising advances in natural science. In the
ninth century, for example, in the age of
Mamun, the Arabs measured the circumference
of the earth with remarkable
accuracy. Seven centuries were to pass
before Western Europe discovered that the
world was not flat. Less than fifty years after
the amazing scientific discoveries under
Mamun, the Arab Empire collapsed. Wonderful
and beneficent as was the progress of
science, it did not save the empire from
chaos.
The full flowering of Arab and Persian
intellectualism did not occur until after their
imperial and political collapse. Thereafter
the intellectuals attained fresh triumphs in
the academic field, but politically they
became the abject servants of the often
illiterate rulers. When the Mongols conquered
Persia in the thirteenth century, they
were themselves entirely uneducated and
were obliged to depend wholly on native
Persian officials to administer the country
and to collect the revenue. They retained as
wazeer, or Prime Minister, one Rashid al-
Din, a historian of international repute. Yet
The Fate of Empires
12
the Prime Minister, when speaking to the
Mongol II Khan, was obliged to remain
throughout the interview on his knees. At
state banquets, the Prime Minister stood
behind the Khan’s seat to wait upon him. If
the Khan were in a good mood, he
occasionally passed his wazeer a piece of
food over his shoulder.
As in the case of the Athenians,
intellectualism leads to discussion, debate
and argument, such as is typical of the
Western nations today. Debates in elected
assemblies or local committees, in articles in
the Press or in interviews on television—
endless and incessant talking.
Men are interminably different, and
intellectual arguments rarely lead to
agreement. Thus public affairs drift from bad
to worse, amid an unceasing cacophony of
argument. But this constant dedication to
discussion seems to destroy the power of
action. Amid a Babel of talk, the ship drifts
on to the rocks.
XX The inadequacy of intellect
Perhaps the most dangerous by-product of
the Age of Intellect is the unconscious
growth of the idea that the human brain can
solve the problems of the world. Even on the
low level of practical affairs this is patently
untrue. Any small human activity, the local
bowls club or the ladies’ luncheon club,
requires for its survival a measure of selfsacrifice
and service on the part of the
members. In a wider national sphere, the
survival of the nation depends basically on
the loyalty and self-sacrifice of the citizens.
The impression that the situation can be
saved by mental cleverness, without unselfishness
or human self-dedication, can only
lead to collapse.
Thus we see that the cultivation of the
human intellect seems to be a magnificent
ideal, but only on condition that it does not
weaken unselfishness and human dedication
to service. Yet this, judging by historical
precedent, seems to be exactly what it does
do. Perhaps it is not the intellectualism
which destroys the spirit of self-sacrifice—the
least we can say is that the two,
intellectualism and the loss of a sense of
duty, appear simultaneously in the life-story
of the nation.
Indeed it often appears in individuals, that
the head and the heart are natural rivals. The
brilliant but cynical intellectual appears at
the opposite end of the spectrum from the
emotional self-sacrifice of the hero or the
martyr. Yet there are times when the perhaps
unsophisticated self-dedication of the hero is
more essential than the sarcasms of the
clever.
XXI Civil dissensions
Another remarkable and unexpected
symptom of national decline is the intensification
of internal political hatreds. One
would have expected that, when the survival
of the nation became precarious, political
factions would drop their rivalry and stand
shoulder-to-shoulder to save their country.
In the fourteenth century, the weakening
empire of Byzantium was threatened, and
indeed dominated, by the Ottoman Turks.
The situation was so serious that one would
have expected every subject of Byzantium to
abandon his personal interests and to stand
with his compatriots in a last desperate
attempt to save the country. The reverse
occurred. The Byzantines spent the last fifty
years of their history in fighting one another
in repeated civil wars, until the Ottomans
The Fate of Empires
13
moved in and administered the coup de
grâce.
Britain has been governed by an elected
parliament for many centuries. In former
years, however, the rival parties observed
many unwritten laws. Neither party wished
to eliminate the other. All the members
referred to one another as honourable
gentlemen. But such courtesies have now
lapsed. Booing, shouting and loud noises
have undermined the dignity of the House,
and angry exchanges are more frequent. We
are fortunate if these rivalries are fought out
in Parliament, but sometimes such hatreds
are carried into the streets, or into industry
in the form of strikes, demonstrations,
boycotts and similar activities. True to the
normal course followed by nations in
decline, internal differences are not
reconciled in an attempt to save the nation.
On the contrary, internal rivalries become
more acute, as the nation becomes weaker.
XXII The influx of foreigners
One of the oft-repeated phenomena of
great empires is the influx of foreigners to
the capital city. Roman historians often
complain of the number of Asians and
Africans in Rome. Baghdad, in its prime in
the ninth century, was international in its
population—Persians, Turks, Arabs, Armenians,
Egyptians, Africans and Greeks
mingled in its streets.
In London today, Cypriots, Greeks,
Italians, Russians, Africans, Germans and
Indians jostle one another on the buses and
in the underground, so that it sometimes
seems difficult to find any British. The same
applies to New York, perhaps even more so.
This problem does not consist in any
inferiority of one race as compared with
another, but simply in the differences
between them.
In the age of the first outburst and the
subsequent Age of Conquests, the race is
normally ethnically more or less
homogeneous. This state of affairs facilitates
a feeling of solidarity and comradeship. But
in the Ages of Commerce and Affluence,
every type of foreigner floods into the great
city, the streets of which are reputed to be
paved with gold. As, in most cases, this great
city is also the capital of the empire, the
cosmopolitan crowd at the seat of empire
exercises a political influence greatly in
excess of its relative numbers.
Second- or third-generation foreign
immigrants may appear outwardly to be
entirely assimilated, but they often constitute
a weakness in two directions. First, their
basic human nature often differs from that of
the original imperial stock. If the earlier
imperial race was stubborn and slowmoving,
the immigrants might come from
more emotional races, thereby introducing
cracks and schisms into the national policies,
even if all were equally loyal.
Second, while the nation is still affluent, all
the diverse races may appear equally loyal.
But in an acute emergency, the immigrants
will often be less willing to sacrifice their
lives and their property than will be the
original descendants of the founder race.
Third, the immigrants are liable to form
communities of their own, protecting
primarily their own interests, and only in the
second degree that of the nation as a whole.
Fourth, many of the foreign immigrants
will probably belong to races originally
conquered by and absorbed into the empire.
While the empire is enjoying its High Noon
of prosperity, all these people are proud and
The Fate of Empires
14
glad to be imperial citizens. But when decline
sets in, it is extraordinary how the memory
of ancient wars, perhaps centuries before, is
suddenly revived, and local or provincial
movements appear demanding secession or
independence. Some day this phenomenon
will doubtless appear in the now apparently
monolithic and authoritarian Soviet empire.
It is amazing for how long such provincial
sentiments can survive.
Historical examples of this phenomenon
are scarcely needed. The idle and captious
Roman mob, with its endless appetite for
free distributions of food—bread and
games—is notorious, and utterly different
from that stern Roman spirit which we
associate with the wars of the early republic.
In Baghdad, in the golden days of Harun
al-Rashid, Arabs were a minority in the
imperial capital. Istanbul, in the great days
of Ottoman rule, was peopled by inhabitants
remarkably few of whom were descendants
of Turkish conquerors. In New York,
descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers are few
and far between.
This interesting phenomenon is largely
limited to great cities. The original conquering
race is often to be found in relative
purity in rural districts and on far frontiers.
It is the wealth of the great cities which
draws the immigrants. As, with the growth of
industry, cities nowadays achieve an ever
greater preponderance over the countryside,
so will the influence of foreigners increasingly
dominate old empires.
Once more it may be emphasised that I do
not wish to convey the impression that
immigrants are inferior to older stocks. They
are just different, and they thus tend to
introduce cracks and divisions.
XXIII Frivolity
As the nation declines in power and
wealth, a universal pessimism gradually
pervades the people, and itself hastens the
decline. There is nothing succeeds like
success, and, in the Ages of Conquest and
Commerce, the nation was carried
triumphantly onwards on the wave of its own
self-confidence. Republican Rome was
repeatedly on the verge of extinction—in 390
B.C. when the Gauls sacked the city and in
216 B.C. after the Battle of Cannae. But no
disasters could shake the resolution of the
early Romans. Yet, in the later stages of
Roman decline, the whole empire was deeply
pessimistic, thereby sapping its own
resolution.
Frivolity is the frequent companion of
pessimism. Let us eat, drink and be merry,
for tomorrow we die. The resemblance
between various declining nations in this
respect is truly surprising. The Roman mob,
we have seen, demanded free meals and
public games. Gladiatorial shows, chariot
races and athletic events were their passion.
In the Byzantine Empire the rivalries of the
Greens and the Blues in the hippodrome
attained the importance of a major crisis.
Judging by the time and space allotted to
them in the Press and television, football and
baseball are the activities which today chiefly
interest the public in Britain and the United
States respectively.
The heroes of declining nations are always
the same—the athlete, the singer or the
actor. The word ‘celebrity’ today is used to
designate a comedian or a football player,
not a statesman, a general, or a literary
genius.
The Fate of Empires
15
XXIV The Arab decline
In the first half of the ninth century,
Baghdad enjoyed its High Noon as the
greatest and the richest city in the world. In
861, however, the reigning Khalif (caliph),
Mutawakkil, was murdered by his Turkish
mercenaries, who set up a military dictatorship,
which lasted for some thirty years.
During this period the empire fell apart, the
various dominions and provinces each
assuming virtual independence and seeking
its own interests. Baghdad, lately the capital
of a vast empire, found its authority limited
to Iraq alone.
The works of the contemporary historians
of Baghdad in the early tenth century are still
available. They deeply deplored the
degeneracy of the times in which they lived,
emphasising particularly the indifference to
religion, the increasing materialism and the
laxity of sexual morals. They lamented also
the corruption of the officials of the
government and the fact that politicians
always seemed to amass large fortunes while
they were in office.
The historians commented bitterly on the
extraordinary influence acquired by popular
singers over young people, resulting in a
decline in sexual morality. The ‘pop’ singers
of Baghdad accompanied their erotic songs
on the lute, an instrument resembling the
modern guitar. In the second half of the
tenth century, as a result, much obscene
sexual language came increasingly into use,
such as would not have been tolerated in an
earlier age. Several khalifs issued orders
banning ‘pop’ singers from the capital, but
within a few years they always returned.
An increase in the influence of women in
public life has often been associated with national
decline. The later Romans complained
that, although Rome ruled the world, women
ruled Rome. In the tenth century, a similar
tendency was observable in the Arab Empire,
the women demanding admission to the
professions hitherto monopolised by men.
‘What,’ wrote the contemporary historian,
Ibn Bessam, ‘have the professions of clerk,
tax-collector or preacher to do with women?
These occupations have always been limited
to men alone.’ Many women practised law,
while others obtained posts as university
professors. There was an agitation for the
appointment of female judges, which,
however, does not appear to have succeeded.
Soon after this period, government and
public order collapsed, and foreign invaders
overran the country. The resulting increase
in confusion and violence made it unsafe for
women to move unescorted in the streets,
with the result that this feminist movement
collapsed.
The disorders following the military takeover
in 861, and the loss of the empire, had
played havoc with the economy. At such a
moment, it might have been expected that
everyone would redouble their efforts to save
the country from bankruptcy, but nothing of
the kind occurred. Instead, at this moment of
declining trade and financial stringency, the
people of Baghdad introduced a five-day
week.
When I first read these contemporary
descriptions of tenth-century Baghdad, I
could scarcely believe my eyes. I told myself
that this must be a joke! The descriptions
might have been taken out of The Times
today. The resemblance of all the details was
especially breathtaking—the break-up of the
empire, the abandonment of sexual morality,
the ‘pop’ singers with their guitars, the entry
of women into the professions, the five-day
The Fate of Empires
16
week. I would not venture to attempt an
explanation! There are so many mysteries
about human life which are far beyond our
comprehension.
XXV Political ideology
Today we attach immense importance to
the ideology of our internal politics. The
Press and public media in the U.S.A. and
Britain pour incessant scorn on any country
the political institutions of which differ in
any manner from our own idea of
democracy. It is, therefore, interesting to
note that the life-expectation of a great
nation does not appear to be in any way
affected by the nature of its institutions.
Past empires show almost every possible
variation of political system, but all go
through the same procedure from the Age of
Pioneers through Conquest, Commerce,
Affluence to decline and collapse.
XXVI The Mameluke Empire
The empire of the Mamelukes of Egypt
provides a case in point, for it was one of the
most exotic ever to be recorded in history. It
is also exceptional in that it began on one
fixed day and ended on another, leaving no
doubt of its precise duration, which was 267
years.
In the first part of the thirteenth century,
Egypt and Syria were ruled by the Ayoubid
sultans, the descendants of the family of
Saladin. Their army consisted of Mamelukes,
slaves imported as boys from the Steppes
and trained as professional soldiers. On 1st
May 1250, the Mamelukes mutinied,
murdered Turan Shah, the Ayoubid sultan,
and became the rulers of his empire.
The first fifty years of the Mameluke
Empire were marked by desperate fighting
with the hitherto invincible Mongols, the
descendants of Genghis Khan, who invaded
Syria. By defeating the Mongols and driving
them out of Syria, the Mamelukes saved the
Mediterranean from the terrible fate which
had overtaken Persia. In 1291, the Mamelukes
captured Acre, and put an end to the
Crusades.
From 1309 to 1341, the Mameluke Empire
was everywhere victorious and possessed the
finest army in the world. For the ensuing
hundred years the wealth of the Mameluke
Empire was fabulous, slowly leading to
luxury, the relaxation of discipline and to
decline, with ever more bitter internal
political rivalries. Finally the empire collapsed
in 1517, as the result of military defeat
by the Ottomans.
The Mameluke government appears to us
utterly illogical and fantastic. The ruling
class was entirely recruited from young boys,
born in what is now Southern Russia. Every
one of them was enlisted as a private soldier.
Even the sultans had begun life as private
soldiers and had risen from the ranks. Yet
this extraordinary political system resulted
in an empire which passed through all the
normal stages of conquest, commercialism,
affluence and decline and which lasted
approximately the usual period of time.
XXVII The master race
The people of the great nations of the past
seem normally to have imagined that their
pre-eminence would last for ever. Rome
appeared to its citizens to be destined to be
for all time the mistress of the world. The
Abbasid Khalifs of Baghdad declared that
God had appointed them to rule mankind
until the day of judgement. Seventy years
ago, many people in Britain believed that the
The Fate of Empires
17
empire would endure for ever. Although
Hitler failed to achieve his objective, he
declared that Germany would rule the world
for a thousand years. That sentiments like
these could be publicly expressed without
evoking derision shows that, in all ages, the
regular rise and fall of great nations has
passed unperceived. The simplest statistics
prove the steady rotation of one nation after
another at regular intervals.
The belief that their nation would rule the
world forever, naturally encouraged the
citizens of the leading nation of any period to
attribute their pre-eminence to hereditary
virtues. They carried in their blood, they
believed, qualities which constituted them a
race of supermen, an illusion which inclined
them to the employment of cheap foreign
labour (or slaves) to perform menial tasks
and to engage foreign mercenaries to fight
their battles or to sail their ships.
These poorer peoples were only too happy
to migrate to the wealthy cities of the empire,
and thereby, as we have seen, to adulterate
the close-knit, homogeneous character of the
conquering race. The latter unconsciously
assumed that they would always be the
leaders of mankind, relaxed their energies,
and spent an increasing part of their time in
leisure, amusement or sport.
In recent years, the idea has spread widely
in the West that ‘progress’ will be automatic
without effort, that everyone will continue to
grow richer and richer and that every year
will show a ‘rise in the standard of living’. We
have not drawn from history the obvious
conclusion that material success is the result
of courage, endurance and hard work—a
conclusion nevertheless obvious from the
history of the meteoric rise of our own
ancestors. This self-assurance of its own
superiority seems to go hand-in-hand with
the luxury resulting from wealth, in
undermining the character of the dominant
race.
XXVIII The welfare state
When the welfare state was first introduced
in Britain, it was hailed as a new high-water
mark in the history of human development.
History, however, seems to suggest that the
age of decline of a great nation is often a
period which shows a tendency to
philanthropy and to sympathy for other
races. This phase may not be contradictory
to the feeling described in the previous
paragraph, that the dominant race has the
right to rule the world. For the citizens of the
great nation enjoy the role of Lady Bountiful.
As long as it retains its status of leadership,
the imperial people are glad to be generous,
even if slightly condescending. The rights of
citizenship are generously bestowed on every
race, even those formerly subject, and the
equality of mankind is proclaimed. The
Roman Empire passed through this phase,
when equal citizenship was thrown open to
all peoples, such provincials even becoming
senators and emperors.
The Arab Empire of Baghdad was equally,
perhaps even more, generous. During the
Age of Conquests, pure-bred Arabs had
constituted a ruling class, but in the ninth
century the empire was completely
cosmopolitan.
State assistance to the young and the poor
was equally generous. University students
received government grants to cover their
expenses while they were receiving higher
education. The State likewise offered free
medical treatment to the poor. The first free
public hospital was opened in Baghdad in
The Fate of Empires
18
the reign of Harun al-Rashid (786-809), and
under his son, Mamun, free public hospitals
sprang up all over the Arab world from Spain
to what is now Pakistan.
The impression that it will always be
automatically rich causes the declining
empire to spend lavishly on its own
benevolence, until such time as the economy
collapses, the universities are closed and the
hospitals fall into ruin.
It may perhaps be incorrect to picture the
welfare state as the high-water mark of
human attainment. It may merely prove to
be one more regular milestone in the lifestory
of an ageing and decrepit empire.
XXIX Religion
Historians of periods of decadence often
refer to a decline in religion, but, if we
extend our investigation over a period
covering the Assyrians (859-612 B.C.) to our
own times, we have to interpret religion in a
very broad sense. Some such definition as
‘the human feeling that there is something,
some invisible Power, apart from material
objects, which controls human life and the
natural world’.
We are probably too narrow and
contemptuous in our interpretation of idol
worship. The people of ancient civilisations
were as sensible as we are, and would
scarcely have been so foolish as to worship
sticks and stones fashioned by their own
hands. The idol was for them merely a
symbol, and represented an unknown,
spiritual reality, which controlled the lives of
men and demanded human obedience to its
moral precepts.
We all know only too well that minor
differences in the human visualisation of this
Spirit frequently became the ostensible
reason for human wars, in which both sides
claimed to be fighting for the true God, but
the absurd narrowness of human
conceptions should not blind us to the fact
that, very often, both sides believed their
campaigns to have a moral background.
Genghis Khan, one of the most brutal of all
conquerors, claimed that God had delegated
him the duty to exterminate the decadent
races of the civilised world. Thus the Age of
Conquests often had some kind of religious
atmosphere, which implied heroic selfsacrifice
for the cause.
But this spirit of dedication was slowly
eroded in the Age of Commerce by the action
of money. People make money for
themselves, not for their country. Thus
periods of affluence gradually dissolved the
spirit of service, which had caused the rise of
the imperial races.
In due course, selfishness permeated the
community, the coherence of which was
weakened until disintegration was
threatened. Then, as we have seen, came the
period of pessimism with the accompanying
spirit of frivolity and sensual indulgence, byproducts
of despair. It was inevitable at such
times that men should look back yearningly
to the days of ‘religion’, when the spirit of
self-sacrifice was still strong enough to make
men ready to give and to serve, rather than
to snatch.
But while despair might permeate the
greater part of the nation, others achieved a
new realisation of the fact that only readiness
for self-sacrifice could enable a community
to survive. Some of the greatest saints in
history lived in times of national decadence,
raising the banner of duty and service
against the flood of depravity and despair.
The Fate of Empires
19
In this manner, at the height of vice and
frivolity the seeds of religious revival are
quietly sown. After, perhaps, several
generations (or even centuries) of suffering,
the impoverished nation has been purged of
its selfishness and its love of money, religion
regains its sway and a new era sets in. ‘It is
good for me that I have been afflicted,’ said
the psalmist, ‘that I might learn Thy
Statutes.’
XXX New combinations
We have traced the rise of an obscure race
to fame, through the stages of conquest,
commercialism, affluence, and intellectualism,
to disintegration, decadence and
despair. We suggested that the dominant
race at any given time imparts its leading
characteristics to the world around, being in
due course succeeded by another empire. By
this means, we speculated, many successive
races succeeded one another as superpowers,
and in turn bequeathed their
peculiar qualities to mankind at large.
But the objection may here be raised that
some day the time will come when all the
races of the world will in turn have enjoyed
their period of domination and have
collapsed again in decadence. When the
whole human race has reached the stage of
decadence, where will new energetic conquering
races be found?
The answer is at first partially obscured by
our modern habit of dividing the human race
into nations, which we seem to regard as
water-tight compartments, an error responsible
for innumerable misunderstandings.
In earlier times, warlike nomadic nations
invaded the territories of decadent peoples
and settled there. In due course, they
intermarried with the local population and a
new race resulted, though it sometimes
retained an old name. The barbarian
invasions of the Roman Empire probably
provide the example best known today in the
West. Others were the Arab conquests of
Spain, North Africa and Persia, the Turkish
conquests of the Ottoman Empire, or even
the Norman Conquest of England.
In all such cases, the conquered countries
were originally fully inhabited and the invaders
were armies, which ultimately settled
down and married, and produced new races.
In our times, there are few nomadic
conquerors left in the world, who could
invade more settled countries bringing their
tents and flocks with them. But ease of travel
has resulted in an equal, or probably an even
greater, intermixture of populations. The
extreme bitterness of modern internal political
struggles produces a constant flow of
migrants from their native countries to
others, where the social institutions suit
them better.
The vicissitudes of trade and business
similarly result in many persons moving to
other countries, at first intending to return,
but ultimately settling down in their new
countries.
The population of Britain has been
constantly changing, particularly in the last
sixty years, owing to the influx of immigrants
from Europe, Asia and Africa, and the exit of
British citizens to the Dominions and the
United States. The latter is, of course, the
most obvious example of the constant rise of
new nations, and of the transformation of
the ethnic content of old nations through this
modern nomadism.
The Fate of Empires
20
XXXI Decadence of a system
It is of interest to note that decadence is
the disintegration of a system, not of its
individual members. The habits of the
members of the community have been
corrupted by the enjoyment of too much
money and too much power for too long a
period. The result has been, in the
framework of their national life, to make
them selfish and idle. A community of selfish
and idle people declines, internal quarrels
develop in the division of its dwindling
wealth, and pessimism follows, which some
of them endeavour to drown in sensuality or
frivolity. In their own surroundings, they are
unable to redirect their thoughts and their
energies into new channels.
But when individual members of such a
society emigrate into entirely new surroundings,
they do not remain conspicuously
decadent, pessimistic or immoral among the
inhabitants of their new homeland. Once
enabled to break away from their old
channels of thought, and after a short period
of readjustment, they become normal
citizens of their adopted countries. Some of
them, in the second and third generations,
may attain pre-eminence and leadership in
their new communities.
This seems to prove that the decline of any
nation does not undermine the energies or
the basic character of its members. Nor does
the decadence of a number of such nations
permanently impoverish the human race.
Decadence is both mental and moral
deterioration, produced by the slow decline
of the community from which its members
cannot escape, as long as they remain in
their old surroundings. But, transported
elsewhere, they soon discard their decadent
ways of thought, and prove themselves equal
to the other citizens of their adopted country.
XXXII Decadence is not physical
Neither is decadence physical. The citizens
of nations in decline are sometimes
described as too physically emasculated to be
able to bear hardship or make great efforts.
This does not seem to be a true picture.
Citizens of great nations in decadence are
normally physically larger and stronger than
those of their barbarian invaders.
Moreover, as was proved in Britain in the
first World War, young men brought up in
luxury and wealth found little difficulty in
accustoming themselves to life in the frontline
trenches. The history of exploration
proves the same point. Men accustomed to
comfortable living in homes in Europe or
America were able to show as much
endurance as the natives in riding camels
across the desert or in hacking their way
through tropical forests.
Decadence is a moral and spiritual disease,
resulting from too long a period of wealth
and power, producing cynicism, decline of
religion, pessimism and frivolity. The
citizens of such a nation will no longer make
an effort to save themselves, because they
are not convinced that anything in life is
worth saving.
XXXII Human diversity
Generalisations are always dangerous.
Human beings are all different. The variety
in human life is endless. If this be the case
with individuals, it is much more so with
nations and cultures. No two societies, no
two peoples, no two cultures are exactly the
same. In these circumstances, it will be easy
The Fate of Empires
21
for critics to find many objections to what
has been said, and to point out exceptions to
the generalisations.
There is some value in comparing the lives
of nations to those of individuals. No two
persons in the world are identical. Moreover
their lives are often affected by accidents or
by illness, making the divergences even more
obvious. Yet, in fact, we can generalise about
human life from many different aspects. The
characteristics of childhood, adolescence,
youth, middle and old age are well known.
Some adolescents, it is true, are prematurely
wise and serious. Some persons in middle
age still seem to he young. But such
exceptions do not invalidate the general
character of human life from the cradle to
the grave.
I venture to submit that the lives of nations
follow a similar pattern. Superficially, all
seem to be completely different. Some years
ago, a suggestion was submitted to a certain
television corporation that a series of talks
on Arab history would form an interesting
sequence. The proposal was immediately
vetoed by the director of programmes with
the remark, “What earthly interest could the
history of medieval Arabs have for the
general public today?”
Yet, in fact, the history of the Arab imperial
age—from conquest through commercialism,
to affluence, intellectualism, science and
decadence—is an exact precursor of British
imperial history and lasted almost exactly
the same time.
If British historians, a century ago, had
devoted serious study to the Arab Empire,
they could have foreseen almost everything
that has happened in Britain down to 1976.
XXXIV A variety of falls
It has been shown that, normally, the rise
and fall of great nations are due to internal
reasons alone. Ten generations of human
beings suffice to transform the hardy and
enterprising pioneer into the captious citizen
of the welfare state. But whereas the life
histories of great nations show an unexpected
uniformity, the nature of their falls
depends largely on outside circumstances
and thus shows a high degree of diversity.
The Roman Republic, as we have seen, was
followed by the empire, which became a
super-state, in which all the natives of the
Mediterranean basin, regardless of race,
possessed equal rights. The name of Rome,
originally a city-state, passed from it to an
equalitarian international empire.
This empire broke in half, the western half
being overrun by northern barbarians, the
eastern half forming the East Roman or
Byzantine Empire.
The vast Arab Empire broke up in the
ninth century into many fragments, of which
one former colony, Moslem Spain, ran its
own 250-year course as an independent
empire. The homelands of Syria and Iraq,
however, were conquered by successive
waves of Turks to whom they remained
subject for 1,000 years.
The Mameluke Empire of Egypt and Syria,
on the other hand, was conquered in one
campaign by the Ottomans, the native
population merely suffering a change of
masters.
The Spanish Empire (1500-1750) endured
for the conventional 250 years, terminated
only by the loss of its colonies. The homeland
of Spain fell, indeed, from its high estate of a
The Fate of Empires
22
super-power, but remained as an independent
nation until today.
Romanov Russia (1682-1916) ran the
normal course, but was succeeded by the
Soviet Union.
It is unnecessary to labour the point, which
we may attempt to summarise briefly. Any
regime which attains great wealth and power
seems with remarkable regularity to decay
and fall apart in some ten generations. The
ultimate fate of its component parts,
however, does not depend on its internal
nature, but on the other organisations which
appear at the time of its collapse and succeed
in devouring its heritage. Thus the lives of
great powers are surprisingly uniform, but
the results of their falls are completely
diverse.
XXXV Inadequacy of our historical
studies
In fact, the modern nations of the West
have derived only limited value from their
historical studies, because they have never
made them big enough. For history to have
meaning, as we have already stated, it must
be the history of the human race.
Far from achieving such an ideal, our
historical studies are largely limited to the
history of our own country during the
lifetime of the present nation. Thus the timefactor
is too short to allow the longer
rhythms of the rise and fall of nations even to
be noticed. As the television director
indicated, it never even crosses our minds
that longer periods could be of any interest.
When we read the history of our own
nation, we find the actions of our ancestors
described as glorious, while those of other
peoples are depicted as mean, tyrannical or
cowardly. Thus our history is (intentionally)
not based on facts. We are emotionally
unwilling to accept that our forbears might
have been mean or cowardly.
Alternatively, there are ‘political’ schools of
history, slanted to discredit the actions of
our past leaders, in order to support modern
political movements. In all these cases,
history is not an attempt to ascertain the
truth, but a system of propaganda, devoted
to the furtherance of modern projects, or the
gratification of national vanity.
Men can scarcely be blamed for not
learning from the history they are taught.
There is nothing to learn from it, because it
is not true.
XXXVI Small nations
The word ‘empires’ has been used in this
essay to signify nations which achieve the
status of great powers, or super-powers, in
the jargon of today—nations which have
dominated the international scene for two or
three centuries. At any given time, however,
there are also smaller states which are more
or less self-contained. Do these live the same
‘lives’ as the great nations, and pass through
the same phases?
It seems impossible to generalise on this
issue. In general, decadence is the outcome
of too long a period of wealth and power. If
the small country has not shared in the
wealth and power, it will not share in the
decadence.
XXXVII The emerging pattern
In spite of the endless variety and the
infinite complications of human life, a
general pattern does seem to emerge from
these considerations. It reveals many
successive empires covering some 3,000
years, as having followed similar stages of
The Fate of Empires
23
development and decline, and as having, to a
surprising degree, ‘lived’ lives of very similar
length.
The life-expectation of a great nation, it
appears, commences with a violent, and
usually unforeseen, outburst of energy, and
ends in a lowering of moral standards,
cynicism, pessimism and frivolity.
If the present writer were a millionaire, he
would try to establish in some university or
other a department dedicated solely to the
study of the rhythm of the rise and fall of
powerful nations throughout the world.
History goes back only some 3,000 years,
because before that period writing was not
sufficiently widespread to allow of the
survival of detailed records. But within that
period, the number of empires available for
study is very great.
At the commencement of this essay, the
names of eleven such empires were listed,
but these included only the Middle East and
the modern nations of the West. India, China
and Southern America were not included,
because the writer knows nothing about
them. A school founded to study the rise and
fall of empires would probably find at least
twenty-four great powers available for
dissection and analysis.
The task would not be an easy one, if
indeed the net were cast so wide as to cover
virtually all the world’s great nations in 3,000
years. The knowledge of language alone, to
enable detailed investigations to be pursued,
would present a formidable obstacle.
XXXVIII Would it help?
It is pleasing to imagine that, from such
studies, a regular life-pattern of nations
would emerge, including an analysis of the
various changes which ultimately lead to
decline, decadence and collapse. It is
tempting to assume that measures could be
adopted to forestall the disastrous effects of
excessive wealth and power, and thence of
subsequent decadence. Perhaps some means
could be devised to prevent the activist Age
of Conquests and Commerce deteriorating
into the Age of Intellect, producing endless
talking but no action.
It is tempting to think so. Perhaps if the
pattern of the rise and fall of nations were
regularly taught in schools, the general
public would come to realise the truth, and
would support policies to maintain the spirit
of duty and self-sacrifice, and to forestall the
accumulation of excessive wealth by one
nation, leading to the demoralisation of that
nation.
Could not the sense of duty and the
initiative needed to give rise to action be
retained parallel with intellectual development
and the discoveries of natural science?
The answer is doubtful, though we could
but try. The weaknesses of human nature,
however, are so obvious, that we cannot be
too confident of success. Men bursting with
courage, energy and self-confidence cannot
easily be restrained from subduing their
neighbours, and men who see the prospect of
wealth open to them will not readily be
prevented from pursuing it.
Perhaps it is not in the real interest of
humanity that they should be so prevented,
for it is in periods of wealth that art,
architecture, music, science and literature
make the greatest progress.
Moreover, as we have seen where great
empires are concerned, their establishment
may give rise to wars and tragedies, but their
periods of power often bring peace, security
and prosperity to vast areas of territory. Our
The Fate of Empires
24
knowledge and our experience (perhaps our
basic human intellects) are inadequate to
pronounce whether or not the rise and fall of
great nations is the best system for the best
of all possible worlds.
These doubts, however, need not prevent
us from attempting to acquire more
knowledge on the rise and fall of great
powers, or from endeavouring, in the light of
such knowledge, to improve the moral
quality of human life.
Perhaps, in fact, we may reach the
conclusion that the successive rise and fall of
great nations is inevitable and, indeed, a
system divinely ordained. But even this
would be an immense gain. For we should
know where we stand in relation to our
human brothers and sisters. In our present
state of mental chaos on the subject, we
divide ourselves into nations, parties or
communities and fight, hate and vilify one
another over developments which may
perhaps be divinely ordained and which
seem to us, if we take a broader view,
completely uncontrollable and inevitable. If
we could accept these great movements as
beyond our control, there would be no
excuse for our hating one another because of
them.
However varied, confusing and contradictory
the religious history of the world may
appear, the noblest and most spiritual of the
devotees of all religions seem to reach the
conclusion that love is the key to human life.
Any expansion of our knowledge which may
lead to a reduction in our unjustified hates is
therefore surely well worth while.
XXXIX Summary
As numerous points of interest have arisen
in the course of this essay, I close with a brief
summary, to refresh the reader’s mind.
(a) We do not learn from history because
our studies are brief and prejudiced.
(b) In a surprising manner, 250 years
emerges as the average length of national
greatness.
(c) This average has not varied for 3,000
years. Does it represent ten generations?
(d) The stages of the rise and fall of great
nations seem to be:
The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
The Age of Conquests
The Age of Commerce
The Age of Affluence
The Age of Intellect
The Age of Decadence.
(e) Decadence is marked by:
Defensiveness
Pessimism
Materialism
Frivolity
An influx of foreigners
The Welfare State
A weakening of religion.
(f) Decadence is due to:
Too long a period of wealth and power
Selfishness
Love of money
The loss of a sense of duty.
(g) The life histories of great states are
amazingly similar, and are due to internal
factors.
(h) Their falls are diverse, because they are
largely the result of external causes.
(i) History should be taught as the history
of the human race, though of course with
emphasis on the history of the student’s own
country.

[The Heartland Plan and the same section in The Albany Plan Re-Visited offer solution to some of these problems. Ex. the article creating a federal university from which the federal government must get its statistics and facts solves some of the problems listed above as does the Article on federal citizenship. Another example is the section that requires the death penalty for official corruption.

Along with this essay, should be read Chittum’s Civil War Two and Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed.]

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August 18, 2016

Mine Worker Pension Fund to be Bailed Out by YOU, [c]

[The following may be found in .pdf at: http://thf-reports.s3.amazonaws.com/2016/IB4600.pdf . In its original form, the charts are readable and the format is reader friendly. Now, as to why it is here:

As already explained in its proper place in the document, if the UMWA pension fund is bailed out, then more money that that spent on the entire defense budget will be spent bailing out underfunded union pension plans. This will lead to the bailing out of public sector pension plans, like the teachers in all of the states, especially California, Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts. Also the various police, fire, administrative staff, clerks, janitors, and any and all public employees. It means that those states who have voluntarily bankrupted themselves, will be bailed out.

Consider the following:

1. the deals made to fund these pensions was made by the properly elected union leaders, and the managers of the various industries;
2. As in the UMWA situation, consider how the interference of the various government entities, especially the EPA and FDA, have ruined so many businesses that those businesses cannot fund their pensions. Notice how the various regulations ruined the automotive industry and contributed to the failed UAW pension fund and how that contributed to the Clinton/sub-prime HUD meltdown in 2008;
3. consider how this violates constitution article IV ( might be VI, I don’t have a copy to hand ) prohibiting federal government messing with contracts; and,
4. did YOU have anything to do with these various contractual commitments? I did not. Under what legal or moral proposition should we be held to a contract that we were not party to? What is the difference between this and someone who buys a car and gets a lemon? Isn’t that person’s remedy to sue the dealer with whom he had that contract for sale? What legal or moral concept drags me into that problem?

Y’all need to contact your federal legislators and demand that they commit to NOT bailing these people, or any others similarly situated, out!]

ISSUE BRIEF
Why a Coal Miner Pension Bailout Could Open the Door to a
$600 Billion Pension Bailout for All Private Unions
Rachel Greszler
No. 4600 | August 15, 2016
Congress is looking to pass legislation that would
use taxpayer dollars to bail out the overpromised,
underfunded pension plan of the United Mine
Workers of America (UMWA). Such an unprecedented
move would send the message that Congress
will stand behind sending trillions of dollars in overpromised,
underfunded public and private pension
obligations across the country. The federal government
already provides a backstop for failed union
and other private pension plans by insuring them
through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
(PBGC). Congress should avoid bailing out select
pension plans at all costs and should instead reform
the PBGC so that it can meet its obligations without
a taxpayer bailout.
Coal Miner Bailout Just Tip of the
Iceberg
The UMWA pension plan is massively underfunded.
It has promised $5.6 billion more in pension
benefits than it will be able to pay.1 Although
the UMWA pension plan is among the worst-funded
pension plans, it represents only one of more than
1,300 multiemployer (union) pension plans across
the U.S. Almost all of these plans have made promises
they cannot keep.
According to the PBGC, a whopping 96 percent of
all multiemployer plans have funding ratios of less
than 60 percent—meaning they have less than 60
percent of the funds necessary to pay promised benefits.
2 In total, multiemployer plans have promised
over $600 billion more than they are estimated to be
able to pay.3
If Congress passes legislation to bail out the
UMWA pension plan with nearly a half a billion dollars
a year, what will stop it from passing legislation
to bail out the other 1,200 plans that have more than
$600 billion in unfunded promises? If Congress
forces taxpayers to bail out private union plans, why
not also private non-union plans that have $760 billion4
in unfunded liabilities, and public plans that
have as much as $4 trillion to $5 trillion5 in unfunded
liabilities?
UMWA Is Not Unique
Some policymakers argue that the UMWA is
unique—that the federal government was somehow
involved in the promises made to UMWA workers
and that the bailout would come from a coal-related
fund. The only thing unique about a UMWA bailout,
however, is that it would mark the first time in history
that Congress would force federal taxpayers to
bail out the unfunded pension promises of private
unions.
The notion that the government was somehow
involved in promises made to mine workers comes
from President Harry Truman’s intervention in
a 1946 coal-mining strike, including the government’s
involvement in an agreement that established
the UMWA health and welfare programs.
While the federal government helped to facilitate
This paper, in its entirety, can be found at
http://report.heritage.org/ib4600
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 546-4400 | heritage.org
Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views
of The Heritage Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage
of any bill before Congress.
2
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
the establishment of the UMWA’s health and pension
plans, it was the union and its plan trustees—
not the federal government—that vigorously fought
to pay out benefits to retirees who did not earn
those benefits. And, it was the union and its plan
trustees—not the federal government—that consistently
promised pensions and health care benefits
as part of employees’ total compensation packages
and then failed to collect the funds necessary to pay
those benefits.
The Money Will Come from Taxpayers,
Not Just a Coal Fund
Neither policymakers nor the public should be
fooled by the claim that the $490 million per year
UMWA bailout would be paid by the existing Abandoned
Mine Land (AML) reclamation fund (AML).
The AML fund was established in 1977 exclusively
to cover the clean-up costs of damage caused by coal
mines prior to the federal government’s increased regulation.
6 The proposed UMWA pension bailout would
allow the UMWA to use interest from the AML fund
not only for its unfunded retiree health care costs (as
already allowed), but also for its unfunded pensions.
As Senator Mike Enzi (R–WY) pointed out in a recent
floor speech, this would be akin to allowing the massively
underfunded pension plan of the Central States
trucking union to access the highway trust fund.7
Regardless, it is unlikely that much, if any, of
the $490 million per year in pension bailout costs
would come from the AML fund. In recent years, the
entirety of interest earned on the AML fund, plus
hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars, has
gone to the UMWA for its unfunded, yet gold-plated,
retiree health care costs, leaving nothing for a
potential pension bailout. Moreover, the Administration’s
most recent budget included a request for
$363 million in taxpayer funds to “strengthen the
health care and pension funds” of UMWA retirees.8
Clearly, taxpayers—not a coal fund—would be on the
hook for the nearly half-billion dollars a year UMWA
pension bailout.
A Pension Backstop Already Exists
When a multiemployer pension plan runs out of
funds, it turns to the PBGC, which provides financial
assistance to the plan to cover insured benefits
as well as the plan’s expenses. Virtually all private
pension plans are required to purchase PBGC
insurance. The PBGC covers up to $12,870 per year
in pension benefits for a worker with 30 years of
service.9
In 2015, the PBGC paid $103 million to about
54,000 retirees of failed multiemployer pension
plans.10 This pales in comparison, however, to what
the PBGC’s liabilities will be over the coming decade
1. According to the UMWA’s form 5500 filing for the year ended December 2014, the plan has $5.6 billion in “current value” unfunded liabilities,
with assets of $4.165 billion and liabilities of $9.735 billion.
2. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, “Data Book Listing,” Table M-13, Plans, Participants and Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans by
Funding Ratio (2013) Multiemployer Program, http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/2014-data-tables-final.pdf?source=govdelivery&utm_
medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery (accessed July 19, 2016).
3. Ibid., Table M-9, Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans (1980–2013) Multiemployer Program.
4. Ibid., Table S-44, Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans (1980-2013) Single-Employer Program.
5. Joe Luppino-Esposito, “Promises Made, Promises Broken 2014: Unfunded Liabilities Hit $4.7 trillion,” American Legislative Exchange Council,
November 12, 2014, https://www.alec.org/article/promises-made-promises-broken-2014-unfunded-liabilities-hit-4-7-trillion/
(accessed July 21, 2016).
6. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “Reclaiming Abandoned Mine Lands: Title IV of the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act,” May 21, 2015, http://www.osmre.gov/programs/AML.shtm (accessed July 25, 2016).
7. Mike Enzi, “Supporting Pensions with Taxpayer Dollars Is a Slippery Slope,” speech on the Senate floor, July 12, 2016,
http://www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ContentRecord_id=9F7D8774-13DE-4869-B684-7786212FB111
(accessed July 21, 2016).
8. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “The United States Department of the Interior Budget Justification and Performance
Information Fiscal Year 2016,” https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/budget/appropriations/2016/upload/FY2016_OSMRE_
Greenbook.pdf (accessed July 21, 2016).
9. The PBGC’s multiemployer program provides benefits based on a formula including earned benefits and years of service. This translates into
maximum benefits of: $4,290 per year for workers with 10 years of service; $8,580 for workers with 20 years of service; $12,870 for workers
with 30 years of service; and $17,160 for workers with 40 years of service. The levels are not indexed for inflation.
10. PBGC, 2015 Annual Report, http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/2015-annual-report.pdf (accessed July 21, 2016).
3
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
and beyond as an increasing number of multiemployer
pension plans—including some very large
ones—become insolvent.
Under ordinary circumstances, when the UMWA
plan becomes insolvent sometime within the next
decade, the PBGC would begin making payments to
the plan to cover its insured benefits and expenses.11
If Congress intervenes by bailing out the UMWA
pension plan, its beneficiaries would receive 100 percent
of promised benefits, instead of the lower PBGC
guarantee. And, the UMWA would get off scot-free—
with taxpayers and other coal-mining companies
footing the bill for their unfunded promises.
Meanwhile, other multiemployer plans that
become insolvent and do not receive special-interest
bailouts would first receive cuts down to the PBGC’s
11. The UMWA estimates it will be insolvent in 2025, but more reasonable assumptions project an earlier insolvency.
IB 4600 heritage.org
SOURCES: Author’s calculations based on the UMWA’s pension benefits for a 62-year-old worker who retires in 2016 with 30 years of work
history. Data on UMWA’s pension eligibility are from UMWA Health and Retirement Funds, Pension Eligibility Requirements,
http://www.umwafunds.org/Pension-Survivor-Health/Pages/Eligibility-Requirements.aspx (accessed March 9, 2016). Data on pension benefit
cuts are based on PBGC’s guaranteed level and U.S. Government Accountability O•ce, “Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face
Urgent Challenges,” testimony before the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Committee on Education and the
Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives, March 5, 2013, http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652687.pdf (accessed March 10, 2016).
Mine Worker Bailout Would Unfairly Preserve UMWA Pensions
While Other Pensions Face Massive Cuts
CHART 1
By bailing out the
insolvent UMWA
pension plan, the
full benefit would
remain intact at
$24,246 per year.
However, if another pension
plan that oers similar benefits
becomes insolvent, the PBGC
would take over payments and
benefits would be cut to a
maximum of $12,780 per year.
And if the PBGC itself becomes
insolvent, as is projected to occur
by 2025, pensions paid by the
PBGC would be cut by an
additional 90 percent or more,
leaving only $1,278 per year.
$1,278
$24,246 $24,246
$12,780
UMWA BAILOUT OTHER SIMILAR PENSION PLAN
4
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
guaranteed level, and then, when the PBGC becomes
insolvent at its estimated date of 2025, benefits
would be cut even further, down to mere pennies on
the dollar in promised benefits.
Congress’s Priority: Reforming the PBGC
Congress has no role in fulfilling the unfunded
promises of private pension plans. It does have a role,
however, in providing private pension insurance
through the PBGC. While the PBGC is a government
entity, it is not taxpayer-financed. It operates with
the premiums that it collects from participating
employers and unions. To prevent taxpayers from
bailing out private pension promises, it must remain
self-financed.
The PBGC is supposed to protect pensioners
from a total loss of promised benefits if their company
or pension plan becomes bankrupt, but its current
financial situation offers little insurance. For
a whole host of reasons, the PBGC’s multiemployer
program is massively underfunded and is projected
to run dry in 2025. Without significant reforms, or
a taxpayer bailout, of the PBGC, its multiemployer
beneficiaries would quickly see their benefits cut by
90 percent or more, leaving those retirees with less
than $100 per month in pension benefits.
Instead of protecting the promises of private
union pension plans, Congress should focus on protecting
the promises it has made through its own
entity, the PBGC. This can be done by ending the
preferential treatment (including funding rules
and assumptions) of multiemployer pension plans;
granting greater authority as well as liability to
plan trustees to encourage proper funding; structuring
the PBGC like a private insurance company,
allowing it to set its own premiums and to charge
variable-rate premiums; allowing the PBGC to take
over failed multiemployer plans as it does failed single-
employer plans; and subjecting multiemployer
pension plans to the same rules as single-employer
pensions.12
—Rachel Greszler is Senior Policy Analyst in
Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data
Analysis, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and
Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation.
12. Rachel Greszler, “Bankrupt Pensions and Insolvent Pension Insurance: The Case of Multiemployer Pensions and the PBGC’s Multiemployer
Program,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 3029, July 30, 2015, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/07/bankruptpensions-
and-insolvent-pension-insurance-the-case-of-multiemployer-pensions-and-the-pbgcs-multiemployer-program.
$52 billion:
Deficit
in 2015
2000 2005 2010 2015
IB 4600 heritage.org
SOURCE: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Table M–1,
“Net Financial Positions of PBGC’s (1980–2015)
Multiemployer Program,” http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/
2014-data-tables-final.pdf (accessed August 3, 2016).
NET FINANCIAL POSITION OF PBGC’S
MULTIEMPLOYER PROGRAM
The PBGC’s multiemployer
program
provides insurance to
private union pension
plans, but it faces
massive deficits and
will be unable to pay
insured benefits
without significant
reforms.
PBGC’s Multiemployer Program:
Massive and Growing Deficits
CHART 2
 ­ billion
€­ billion
‚­ billion
ƒ­ billion
­

August 11, 2016

Dick Morris’ bio of Hillary Clinton [nc]

Dick Morris is a nationally recognized political campaign adviser, analyst and author. He was the senior political adviser to Bill Clinton before and after his occupation of the White House. He was campaign manager of Clinton’s 1996 re-election, and the architect of his successful “triangulation” rhetorical ruse. Clinton’s communications director George Stephanopoulos said of Morris, “No single person had more power over [Bill Clinton].”

This week, in a message entitled “What Bill Left Out, Morris corrected the record regarding Clinton’s glowing remarks about Hillary Clinton, her personal attributes and professional achievements. Morris’s insights into the Clintons are priceless.

What follows is a transcript of Morris’s comments:

“Bill Clinton talked at length about Hillary’s idealistic work in college and law school, but he omits that she was defending the Black Panthers who killed security guards; they were on trial in New Haven. She monitored the trial while she was in law school to find evidence that could be grounds for reversal in the event they were convicted.

“That summer she went to work for the True-Haft (SP) law firm in CA, headed by True Haft who is the head of the CA Communist Party and that’s when she got involved with Saul Alinsky, who became something of a mentor for the rest of her life.

“Then Bill says that she went off to Massachusetts and he went to Arkansas, and eventually Hillary followed her heart to join him in Arkansas. He omits that she went to work for the Watergate Committee and was fired from that job for taking home evidence and hiding documents that they needed in the impeachment inquiry. Then she took the DC Bar exam and flunked it. She went to Arkansas because that is the only bar exam she could pass.

“He talked about how in the 1970’s she took all kinds of pro-bono cases to defend women and children. In her memoirs, she cites one which was a custody case and that’s it. In fact, in 1975 she represented a guy accused of raping a 14-year-old girl and got him off by claiming the girl had had fantasies of sex with an older man. In 1980 she gave an interview about it and she joked that she knew the guy was guilty but got him off anyway.

“Then Bill discusses Hillary’s legal career at the Rose Law firm. He doesn’t mention that she made partner when he was elected governor and was only hired when he got elected as attorney general.

“He makes as if it was a public service job — it wasn’t. Her main job was to get state business, and she got tens-of-millions of dollars of state business, then hid her participation and the fees by taking an extra share of non-state business to compensate for the fees on state business that she brought in. Her other job was to call the state banking commissioner any time one of her banks got into trouble to get them off.

“Bill speaks at length how Hillary was a mother, juggling career and family, taking Chelsea to soccer games and stuff — that’s nonsense. Hillary was a mother but Chelsea in the Arkansas governor’s mansion had a staff of nannies and agents to drive her around and people to be with her, and Hillary didn’t have to bother with any of that. All of that was paid for by the state.

“He says she became the warrior in chief over the family finances and that was true, and the result is she learned how to steal.

“She accepted a $100,000 bribe from the poultry industry in return for Bill going easy on regulating them, despite new standards. Jim Blair, the poultry lobbyist, gave her $1,000 to invest in the Futures Market and lined up seven to eight other investors and their winnings were all deposited into Hillary’s account. She made $100,000 in a year and she was out. That essentially was a bribe.

”[She did] a phony real-estate deal for Jim McDougal and the Madison Bank to deceive the federal regulators by pretending someone else was buying the property. She was called before a grand jury in 1995 about that but, conveniently, the billing records were lost, couldn’t be found and there wasn’t proof that she worked on it.

“Bill talks about her work on the health care task force but doesn’t say the reason it didn’t pass was the task force was discredited because the meetings were all held in secret. A federal judge forced them open and fined the task force several hundred thousand dollars because of their secrecy.

“He says that after the health care bill failed in 1994, Hillary went to work on adopting each piece of it piecemeal — mainly health insurance for children.

“That is completely the opposite of the truth. The fact is when that bill failed, I called Hillary and I suggested that she support a proposal by Republican Bob Dole that we cover children, and she said, ‘We can’t just cover one part of this. You have to change everything or change nothing.’ Then in 1997 when I repeated that advice to Bill Clinton, we worked together to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I found a lot of the money for that in the tobacco settlement that my friend Dick Scruggs was negotiating.

“Then Bill extols her record in the U.S. Senate. In fact, she did practically nothing. There were seven or eight bills that she introduced that passed; almost all of which were symbolic — renaming a courthouse, congratulating a high school team on winning the championship. There was only one vaguely substantive bill, and that had a lot of co-sponsors of whom Hillary was just one.

“Then he goes to her record in the State Department and manages to tell that story without mentioning the word Benghazi, without mentioning her secret emails, without mentioning he was getting tens of millions — $220 million in speaking fees in return for favorable actions by the State Department.

“Also totally lacking in the speech was anything about the war on terror — terror is a word you don’t hear at the Democratic Convention.

“Bill says that Hillary passed tough sanctions on Iran for their nuclear program. The opposite is true.

“Every time a tough sanction bill was introduced by Senators Menendez or Kirk, Hillary would send Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman to Capital Hill to testify against it and urge it not to pass, and it was over Hillary’s objections that those sanctions were put into place.

”[Liberal columnist] Maureen Dowd called the speech by Bill Clinton “air brushed.”

“It was a hell of a lot more than that — it was fiction.

(Also see Morris’s comments after Clinton’s DNC acceptance speech. “Its strategy and message will be interdicted by reality at every turn. … She basically has no message. … Her entire campaign is, ‘I’m a woman and I am running against Donald Trump. … She began her speech by saying let’s compromise and work together. Is there any woman in the world less likely to compromise?”)

May 19, 2016

Nine Quotes from Ludwig von Mises [nc]

04/15/2016Tho Bishop

In honor of tax day, a look at the best quotes from Ludwig von Mises on taxation:

1. “Some experts have declared that it is necessary to tax the people until it hurts. I disagree with these sadists.”
Source: Defense, Controls, and Inflation

2. “If the present tax rates had been in effect from the beginning of our century, many who are millionaires today would live under more modest circumstances. But all those new branches of industry which supply the masses with articles unheard of before would operate, if at all, on a much smaller scale, and their products would be beyond the reach of the common man.”
Source: Planning for Freedom

3. “Taxing profits is tantamount to taxing success.
Source: Planning for Freedom

4. “Estate taxes of the height they have already attained for the upper brackets are no longer to be qualified as taxes. They are measures of expropriation.”
Source: Defense, Controls, and Inflation ​

5. “Progressive taxation of income and profits means that precisely those parts of the income which people would have saved and invested are taxed away.”
Source: Economic Policy

6. “The metamorphosis of taxes into weapons of destruction is the mark of present-day public finance.”
Source: Human Action

7. “Taxes are paid because the taxpayers are afraid of offering resistance to the tax gatherers. They know that any disobedience or resistance is hopeless. As long as this is the state of affairs, the government is able to collect the money that it wants to spend.”
Source: Human Action

8. “[T]he system of discriminatory taxation universally accepted under the misleading name of progressive taxation of income and inheritance is not a mode of taxation. It is rather a mode of disguised expropriation of the successful capitalists and entrepreneurs.”
Source: Human Action

9. “Nothing is more calculated to make a demagogue popular than a constantly reiterated demand for heavy taxes on the rich. Capital levies and high income taxes on the larger incomes are extraordinarily popular with the masses, who do not have to pay them.”
Source: Human Action

January 26, 2015

Obamacare in 4 sentences [ nc :-) ]

Great summary by a Notre Dame University engineer………
Here are the 10,535 pages of ObamaCare condensed to 4 simple sentences..
As humorous as it sounds…..every last word is absolutely TRUE!

1. In order to insure the uninsured, we first have to uninsure the insured.

2. Next, we require the newly uninsured to be re-insured.

3. To re-insure the newly uninsured, they are required to pay

extra charges to be re-insured.

4. The extra charges are required so that the original insured,

who became uninsured, and then became re-insured,

can pay enough extra so that the original uninsured can be insured,

so it will be ‘free-of-charge’ to them.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is called “redistribution of wealth”

…or, by its more common name, SOCIALISM,

the politically correct name for COMMUNISM!

January 22, 2015

Education and Class, From The Economist [Applies everywhere, not just U.S.]

Education and class
America’s new aristocracy
As the importance of intellectual capital grows, privilege has become increasingly heritable
Jan 24th 2015 | From the print edition

Timekeeper

WHEN the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination line up on stage for their first debate in August, there may be three contenders whose fathers also ran for president. Whoever wins may face the wife of a former president next year. It is odd that a country founded on the principle of hostility to inherited status should be so tolerant of dynasties. Because America never had kings or lords, it sometimes seems less inclined to worry about signs that its elite is calcifying.
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Thomas Jefferson drew a distinction between a natural aristocracy of the virtuous and talented, which was a blessing to a nation, and an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, which would slowly strangle it. Jefferson himself was a hybrid of these two types—a brilliant lawyer who inherited 11,000 acres and 135 slaves from his father-in-law—but the distinction proved durable. When the robber barons accumulated fortunes that made European princes envious, the combination of their own philanthropy, their children’s extravagance and federal trust-busting meant that Americans never discovered what it would be like to live in a country where the elite could reliably reproduce themselves.
In this section

America’s new aristocracy
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Unblocking the pipes
First—and last—do no harm
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Now they are beginning to find out, (see article), because today’s rich increasingly pass on to their children an asset that cannot be frittered away in a few nights at a casino. It is far more useful than wealth, and invulnerable to inheritance tax. It is brains.

Matches made in New Haven

Intellectual capital drives the knowledge economy, so those who have lots of it get a fat slice of the pie. And it is increasingly heritable. Far more than in previous generations, clever, successful men marry clever, successful women. Such “assortative mating” increases inequality by 25%, by one estimate, since two-degree households typically enjoy two large incomes. Power couples conceive bright children and bring them up in stable homes—only 9% of college-educated mothers who give birth each year are unmarried, compared with 61% of high-school dropouts. They stimulate them relentlessly: children of professionals hear 32m more words by the age of four than those of parents on welfare. They move to pricey neighbourhoods with good schools, spend a packet on flute lessons and pull strings to get junior into a top-notch college.

The universities that mould the American elite seek out talented recruits from all backgrounds, and clever poor children who make it to the Ivy League may have their fees waived entirely. But middle-class students have to rack up huge debts to attend college, especially if they want a post-graduate degree, which many desirable jobs now require. The link between parental income and a child’s academic success has grown stronger, as clever people become richer and splash out on their daughter’s Mandarin tutor, and education matters more than it used to, because the demand for brainpower has soared. A young college graduate earns 63% more than a high-school graduate if both work full-time—and the high-school graduate is much less likely to work at all. For those at the top of the pile, moving straight from the best universities into the best jobs, the potential rewards are greater than they have ever been.

None of this is peculiar to America, but the trend is most visible there. This is partly because the gap between rich and poor is bigger than anywhere else in the rich world—a problem Barack Obama alluded to repeatedly in his state-of-the-union address on January 20th (see article). It is also because its education system favours the well-off more than anywhere else in the rich world. Thanks to hyperlocal funding, America is one of only three advanced countries where the government spends more on schools in rich areas than in poor ones. Its university fees have risen 17 times as fast as median incomes since 1980, partly to pay for pointless bureaucracy and flashy buildings. And many universities offer “legacy” preferences, favouring the children of alumni in admissions.

Nurseries, not tumbrils

The solution is not to discourage rich people from investing in their children, but to do a lot more to help clever kids who failed to pick posh parents. The moment to start is in early childhood, when the brain is most malleable and the right kind of stimulation has the largest effect. There is no substitute for parents who talk and read to their babies, but good nurseries can help, especially for the most struggling families; and America scores poorly by international standards (see article). Improving early child care in the poorest American neighbourhoods yields returns of ten to one or more; few other government investments pay off so handsomely.

Many schools are in the grip of one of the most anti-meritocratic forces in America: the teachers’ unions, which resist any hint that good teaching should be rewarded or bad teachers fired. To fix this, and the scandal of inequitable funding, the system should become both more and less local. Per-pupil funding should be set at the state level and tilted to favour the poor. Dollars should follow pupils, through a big expansion of voucher schemes or charter schools. In this way, good schools that attract more pupils will grow; bad ones will close or be taken over. Unions and their Democratic Party allies will howl, but experiments in cities such as battered New Orleans have shown that school choice works.

Finally, America’s universities need an injection of meritocracy. Only a handful, such as Caltech, admit applicants solely on academic merit. All should. And colleges should make more effort to offer value for money. With cheaper online courses gaining momentum, traditional institutions must cut costs or perish. The state can help by demanding more transparency from universities about the return that graduates earn on their degrees.

Loosening the link between birth and success would make America richer—far too much talent is currently wasted. It might also make the nation more cohesive. If Americans suspect that the game is rigged, they may be tempted to vote for demagogues of the right or left—especially if the grown-up alternative is another Clinton or yet another Bush.

January 12, 2015

The Progressive Racial Narrative and Its Beneficiaries, by Bruce Thornton [nc]

The Progressive Racial Narrative and Its Beneficiaries
January 11, 2015 7:41 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
Debunking the lies about race in America.

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

al_sharpton_speaking_reuters-450x337A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll reveals that nearly 6 in 10 people believe race relations are bad, with 23% saying they are “very bad.” The causes of these perceptions are many, including nationally publicized police killings of two black men, disorderly and violent demonstrators ignoring the facts of the cases to brand the police “racist,” a lazy media neglecting to dig up and then publicize those facts, and a president, Attorney General, and mayor of New York willing to exploit and widen racial division and consort with hustlers like Al Sharpton.

What we see at work in these events is the long established racial narrative in which endemic white racism accounts for all the ills that afflict black people. Not just individual whites harbor this original sin, but our educational, political, social, justice, and economic institutions are racist as well, favoring white people and hence conferring on them “white skin privilege.” The wide scope of racism means that no matter how well meaning towards blacks, or how socially and economically disadvantaged, individual whites cannot purge themselves of racism. Only radical transformation of all our institutions can redeem America from racism.

This fairytale regularly ignores numerous facts. The decline in black poverty, for example, calls into question the notion that there is “institutional racism” warping the economy. Thanks to postwar economic growth, the black poverty rate decreased from 87% in 1940 to 28% today. Similar improvement can be seen in the growth of the black middle class and increases in black home ownership. And the claim that blacks are shut out of the job market is hard to square with the fact that millions of illegal aliens are working in this country, and immigrant entrepreneurs are creating small businesses.

Similarly, the idea that the police are an “occupying army” targeting blacks, a cliché we heard repeatedly during the recent demonstrations over the police shootings in Ferguson and Brooklyn, is exploded by simple statistics that show about 200 blacks a year––most shot while possessing a gun or knife––are killed by police officers, while almost 6,000 a year are killed by other blacks. It’s a strange “army” that endangers itself in order to protect and save the lives of those it’s allegedly “occupying.”

Then there’s the “voter suppression” charge, the assertion that attempts by states to ensure only legal voters cast ballots really are designed to discourage black voters. The increasing numbers of black people registering and turning out to vote belie this claim, as does the much greater number of blacks holding elected office. Indeed, in 2012 the proportion of black voters turning out in the national election was greater than that of white.

The fact is, by global standards the largest number of politically free and well off blacks is in the United States. As for those blacks still mired in dysfunctional communities filled with crime, violence, unemployment, drugs, and fatherless children, those evils do not reflect white racism or a “legacy of slavery.” Rather, they can be traced to what Michael Gerson called the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” the culture of dependence and the erosion of self-reliance and self-responsibility created by government handouts and the liberal narrative of endemic white racism that demeans blacks as helpless victims incapable of improving their lives or being accountable for their actions, since through no fault of their own they are imprisoned by “institutional racism.” And don’t forget progressive government policies that inhibit economic growth, historically the great engine for improving black lives, and the culture-wide degradation of sexual mores and the collapse of traditional marriage.

So cui bono, as the lawyers say, who benefits from this narrative? The federal and state entitlement industry, of course, whose agencies and bureaucrats profit from having a permanent underclass of clients. So too the Democratic Party, which buys black votes with promises to keep the transfers and set-asides flowing. So too the racial grievance industry, that gang of activists, academics, ethnic studies professors, “diversity” consultants, and shakedown artists like Al Sharpton who use black misery as leverage for more power and pelf. So too the leftover leftists, who find in racial discord a weapon for attacking the country that kicked their cherished collectivist ideology into the dustbin of history.

Most black Americans aren’t invested in this narrative. They’re too busy working and raising their families. But let’s not forget the role this narrative plays in camouflaging the privilege of those millions of blacks who live better and have more social clout than millions of white people. By ignoring their economic advantages and brandishing their scars from alleged racist wounds, many in the black upper-middle and upper class, particularly those in education, sports, entertainment, and government, can gain vicarious victim-privilege and hence social leverage. Thus through a spurious claim to racial brotherhood, they plunder and spend the capital of black suffering many of them have never experienced. They then can enjoy a social cachet and a whiff of exotic authenticity that sets them apart from their bland white counterparts, and that gives them an air of gnostic racial wisdom embodied in the cant phrase, “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

The phoniness of this ploy can be seen in the various claims well off blacks make about their personal experiences of racism. In the 90s it was the epidemic of racist cabdrivers refusing to pick up black passengers. That one faded when research showed that many of the cabdrivers were themselves black, and were prudently avoiding the murder and mayhem they often experienced at the hands of black passengers. Then there was the “driving while black” trope, which focused on the disproportionate number of blacks pulled over for traffic violations like speeding. Department of Justice investigations ended up with sanctions imposed on states for “racial profiling.” But the study done of drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike, a much-publicized case of “profiling,” revealed that while blacks were 25% of all speeders, they were 23% of those pulled over. That is, they were underrepresented, not overrepresented, among those stopped.

More recently we have heard affluent, privileged blacks like Eric Holder, and the white father of a half-black son, New York mayor Bill De Blasio, indulge another hackneyed trope, the “talk.” This is the conversation black fathers must have with their sons in order to “train them to be very careful when they have . . . an encounter with a police officer,” as De Blasio said, lest they give a policeman a pretext for the violence incited by their racism. The irony of this claim is that if reflects just how privileged these children are, for people who grow up in the dangerous neighborhoods the police must frequent drink that wisdom in with their mother’s milk. Worse yet, it assumes that a white kid who resists arrest, fights a cop, curses him, or otherwise challenges his authority will be treated with kid gloves. I’ll have to see some hard data before I believe that. The reality is, the biggest danger to a young black man today is not a policeman, but another young black man.

No doubt some blacks have experienced rude cops or cabdrivers, or have been subjected to the other evidence of racism like those Obama claims to have experienced, such as women clutching their purses more closely in an elevator, or locking their car doors at the approach of a black man. But even if true, these slights don’t amount to “systemic racism.” They more likely reflect prejudices, many acquired through unpleasant experiences. If you want to see what real racism looks like, visit this site and peruse its collection of lynching postcards. You’ll see just how much progress has been made over the last half-century.

But facts or even common sense don’t matter when it comes to a narrative with so many beneficiaries, the biggest one being Barack Obama, who never would have become president without it. The saddest part of all this, however, is that the black people truly suffering today aren’t on that list. In the racial narrative, black lives don’t matter.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2015/bruce-thornton/the-progressive-racial-narrative-and-its-beneficiaries/

Copyright © 2015 FrontPage Magazine. All rights reserved.

December 10, 2014

Hillary’s Bad Politics and Worse Ideas, Bruce S. Thornton [nc]

Hillary’s Bad Politics and Worse Ideas
December 10, 2014 7:15 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine
Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Once again Hillary Clinton has given the Republicans some suicidal soundbites they should stash away for 2016 in the likely event she is the Democratic candidate for president. A review of some of her recent statements reveals that Clinton is not just entitled, money-grubbing, unlikeable, unpleasant, and unaccomplished. Nor do they just show that she is a political dunce who has obviously learned nothing from her politically brilliant husband. More seriously, they expose her commitment to failed ideas and dangerous delusions.

First there was the “What difference at this point does it make!” she practically shrieked to Senator Ron Johnson during a January 2013 hearing on the Benghazi debacle that unfolded on September 11, 2012. Clinton had told the grieving parents of the victims during the transfer of remains ceremony at Andrews Air Force base that they died because of “an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” Four Americans, including an ambassador, had been murdered on her watch, but she refused to explain to the Senate why she blamed the hapless maker of a YouTube video, who spent a year in jail.

This evasion is significant, for within hours of the attack it was clear that it had been a carefully coordinated, well-planned assault, not the spontaneous reaction to a video. Soon it also became known that ambassador Stevens had repeatedly requested increased security, but had been denied by officials in the State and Defense Departments. As Secretary of State, Clinton was ultimately responsible for those decisions made by State, as well as for the astonishing failure to notice the escalating violence in the months before the attacks, or the significance of the anniversary of 9/11, or the immediate evidence that the attack was not a spontaneous reaction to a video that had been on YouTube for weeks.

But in her response to all this evidence of negligence and post facto political spin, all she could do was indignantly declare that all these failures were irrelevant. In 2016, this footage of the arm-waving, shrill Clinton transparently trying to misdirect the Senators and the citizens from her patent incompetence should be played and replayed in political ads.

Next came the more recent revelation of her embarrassing economic ignorance, shameless pandering to her left-wing base. At a campaign event in October, attended also by lefty heartthrob Elizabeth Warren, Clinton lectured, “Don’t let anybody, don’t let anybody tell you that, ah, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

Somehow Clinton missed the 1980s, when economic and tax policies that encouraged business investment led to spectacular growth. As the Laffer Center explains,

“According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1982-1999 was one continuous mega-economic expansion. In fact, as it stretched into 2007, this 25 Year Boom saw a tripling in the net wealth of U.S. households and businesses from $20 trillion in 1981 to $60 trillion by 2007. When adjusted for inflation, more wealth was created in this 25-year boom than in the previous 200 years. This sustained economic growth is not only impressive on its own, but even more astonishing as it compares to the period immediately preceding it. In the 10 years from 1972-1982, recessions were deep and recoveries were short. In fact, throughout American history, the nation’s economy has been in recession or depression roughly one-third of the time. But from 1981-2005, the annual growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) in the U.S. was 3.4 percent per year, and 3.8 percent per year during the 1983-1989 Reagan expansion alone.”

Compare that to the performance of Obama’s economic policies over the last 6 years, when intrusive regulatory regimes like Dodd-Frank and a runaway EPA, Obamacare’s highjacking of the health-care industry, the trillion-dollar stimulus squandered on crony socialist projects like “green energy,” and the anti-business rhetoric of Obama’s “you didn’t build that,” have all led to sluggish economic growth, metastasizing debt, declining income for the middle class, an explosion in entitlement spending, and nearly 20 million unemployed and under-employed.

Contrary to Clinton’s Keynesian superstitions and dirigiste magical thinking, what has “failed spectacularly” has been progressive economic policies that think parasitic politicians and unaccountable government bureaucrats can manage a complex, dynamic economic system better than a free market that incentivizes people to actually build businesses that create jobs and increase wealth. And just as spectacularly incompetent is Hillary’s political tin ear that lets her make such a statement just to curry favor with a narrow base of anti-capitalist fundamentalists, when she surely must know that come the 2016 presidential election, those words will be pinned to the Obama albatross sure to be hanging around her neck.

Finally, there is the bizarre statement at Georgetown last week about improving our foreign policy with what she called “smart power”: “Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions.” She then added a banal cliché of modern feminism, suggesting that the lack of women negotiators and signatories was responsible for the failure of many peace treaties. After all, women are naturally more empathetic and sensitive to others’ “point of view,” one of those Victorian stereotypes that feminists used to tell us were sexist insults.

These comments embody everything that is wrong with a modern foreign policy based on Kantian delusions about a global “harmony of interests,” the notion that all peoples are just like us and want all the same goods such as peace, prosperity, political freedom, and respect for human rights. If they behave differently, it’s because they just don’t know these goods are in their best interests, or they have been traumatized by history, particularly the depredations of Western colonialism, imperialism, and capitalist exploitation, which are the causes of their violent aggression and brutality. Thus if we “understand” and “empathize” with the roots of our enemies’ behavior, they will see the light and abandon aggression and tyranny.

This is the same delusion that Obama based his foreign policy on, as evidenced by his infamous “apology tour,” on which he donned the hair shirt of Western sin and groveled before foreign audiences. It’s the application to foreign affairs of the two-bit psychologizing that dominates the public schools, where boosting self-esteem and “empathizing” with punks and bullies are the favored mechanisms for teaching and civilizing young people. It utterly lacks any understanding of the tragic constants of human nature and the wisdom accumulated by the human race since the ancient Greeks and Hebrews––that, as Machiavelli said, “all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.”

For all her alleged foreign policy toughness, Clinton’s philosophy embodies the bad utopian ideals that have enabled much of the disorder afflicting the world since their spectacular failure in preventing World War I. We hear the same delusions in the words of Neville Chamberlain after Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria in March 1938, when he told the House of Commons, “We should take any and every opportunity to try to remove any genuine and legitimate grievance that may exist,” and then imagined telling Hitler, “The best thing you can do is to tell us exactly what you want for your Sudeten Deutsch.” Such blind “empathy” and “understanding” and “respect” for Germany’s “grievances,” of course, in 6 months culminated in the debacle of Munich and the devastating sequel of World War II.

Contrary to Clinton and Obama, enemies like Vladimir Putin, ISIS, Bashar al Assad, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, the Ayatollah Khamenei, and Xi Jinping are not the global village’s wayward teenagers “acting out” because they don’t know their own best interests and suffer from insufficient self-esteem and “respect.” They are hard, brutal men, vicious and ruthless, who know exactly what they want, and who possess beliefs alien to Western ideals like liberal democracy, human rights, tolerance, and a preference for diplomatic words and “mutual understanding and respect.” In their “perspective” and “point of view,” violence is a tool of international relations, and a legitimate instrument for achieving their aims and interests. And they have nothing but contempt for our schoolmarmish empathy and respect, which they correctly interpret as civilizational weakness and a failure of morale. All they respect is force. That’s the most important truth we need to “understand.”

These 3 statements reveal political beliefs and character flaws that should automatically disqualify Hillary Clinton from being president. And even if we attribute them to rank ambition and venal opportunism rather than sincere belief, their sheer political stupidity and lack of prudence bespeak a mind and character unfit for leading the most powerful country on the planet.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://www.frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/bruce-thornton/hillarys-bad-politics-and-worse-ideas/

Copyright © 2014 FrontPage Magazine. All rights reserved.

November 25, 2014

When a Country goes Bust, The Economist Explains [c]

The Economist explains
What happens when a country goes bust
Nov 24th 2014, 23:50 by S.N.

Timekeeper

FROM the days when monarchs over-borrowed for their mercantile adventures, to Argentina’s recent failure to pay its creditors, countries have long run into trouble paying back what they have borrowed. Spain’s 16th-century king, Philip II, reigned over four of his country’s defaults. Greece and Argentina have reneged on their commitments to bondholders seven and eight times respectively over the past 200 years. And most countries have defaulted at least once in their history. But what precisely happens when countries stop paying what they owe?

When a country fails to pay its creditors on time, it is said to go into “default”, the national equivalent of going bankrupt. But sovereign defaults are quite different from business bankruptcies as it is far harder for creditors to repossess the assets of a sovereign entity than to repossess the assets of a company (an unarmed Argentinian naval vessel detained in Ghana for ten weeks in 2012 was an exception). In the first instance, to curry favour in international markets, defaulting countries tend to restructure their debt rather than simply refusing to pay anything at all. But these so-called “haircuts”, where the original value of a bond is reduced, can be much more painful for the holders of government bonds than a simple clip of the scissors. After its $81 billion default in 2001, Argentina offered to pay its creditors a third of what it owed—93% of the debt was eventually swapped for performing securities in 2005 and 2010. But the remainder, which is held by vulture funds and other investors, is still in dispute. These “holdouts” are waiting for $1.3 billion plus interest. And when Greece defaulted in 2012, bondholders were forced to take hits as high as 50%. In less severe cases, countries may choose to restructure their debt by requesting more time to pay. This has the effect of reducing the present value of the bond—so it isn’t entirely pain-free for investors. Some suggest that this is the right course of action for Ukraine as it struggles to balance its immediate domestic priorities against its obligations to bondholders.

Defaults can also be very painful for the offending country, particularly if they are unexpected and disorderly. Domestic savers and investors, anticipating a fall in the value of the local currency, will scramble to withdraw their money from bank accounts and move it out of the country. To avoid bank-runs and precipitous currency depreciation, the government may shut down banks and impose capital controls. As punishment for default, capital markets will either impose punitive borrowing rates or refuse to lend at all. And credit-rating agencies will no doubt warn against investing in the country. But as history shows, in most countries yield-hungry lenders will eventually start lending again so long as they are adequately rewarded for the risk they are taking on. Moreover, credit-default swaps—financial instruments which act as a form of insurance against sovereign and corporate defaults—allow bondholders to hedge their risk. But not all defaults are the same: Argentina defaulted again this year by refusing to pay $1.3 billion plus interest to the “holdouts” from 2001.

Critically, there is no international law or court for settling sovereign defaults, which helps explain why they are so varied in length and severity. More international regulation has been proposed—including powers to prevent minority holders from hijacking the process—but such conditions ultimately remain up to the issuing country. The first bond issuances since the new proposals (by Kazakhstan and Vietnam) include these clauses. Other countries might follow suit, but this doesn’t resolve the $900 billion of bonds outstanding that were issued under the old rules. Like any messy divorce, drawn out negotiations around defaults can be costly for all parties involved. Working towards better pre-nuptial terms might not be such a bad idea.

[Not mentioned, is that the domestic GDP has historically shrunk between 7 and 19%, with corresponding increase in box 6 of the employment stats, meaning REAL unemployment, not the misleading box 3 stats released by the gov’t.]

August 13, 2014

Secession: The Intermediate Argument, by and (c) Justplainbill

Secession: The Intermediate Argument
Posted: 14 August 2014
Introduction:

Fair Warning, this post is a relatively long post of several pages. It is not that I want to bore you. It is that the subject matter is not amenable to much more shortening.

When someone tells you that solving incredibly complex problems is easy or that there IS a quick solution, or they have the answer to all problems “in a nutshell,” and that person is not Jesus the Christ, then the odds are that they want you to buy something or vote them into office and “just trust them”. Think of “Hope and Change” as the mantra, yet not one reasonable suggestion is offered beyond “just trust me”.

For those uninterested in true argument or debate, there is a short post supporting the position of secession. This new post actually gives reasons, answers and the reasoned benefits of secession!

It may take a while for you to get to the end, but it is worth it if you really do want to preserve American Values. Just as an example, in the 1770’s, the supporting arguments for secession were published in pamphlets of scores of pages. As a standard academic ma-neuver, I am incorporating herein, two of the most important, Common Sense and The Rights of Man, both by Thomas Payne, by reference. Truly, y’all who are interested in free-dom, liberty, equality (ya, equality, not affirmative action or some other pseudonym for discrimination, bigotry and legalized theft – read the five virtues post for more), and pri-vate property & personal wealth, regardless of what you may think of these arguments, you should have and read more than once, both of those pamphlets.

With Dan Greenfield and Fred-on-Everything making the obvious points on Execu-tive Branch Scandals and Illegal Aliens Invading; Mark Levin and Sean Hannity professing Originialist Constitutionalism; Taxihack Depressions (on wordpress.com) reporting active black ops; Michael Savage and Glenn Beck talking Survivalism, John Beck, PhD proving visually the profound uselessness of most federal programs, and with nothing reasonable coming from “the ivy covered halls ofacademia”, except appeasement and the surrender of Western Civilization to Transnational Industrial Feudalism, occasionally called Statism, I have decided to enter as “a voice of reason,” even though this will not read as “reason” on the first or even the third reading.

This is not as emotional as you think, the conclusions are both reasonable and rea-soned.

Posted on this blog (www.justplainbill.wordpress.com) is a book list. There have been several good books, including Gasparino’s The Sellout, Jared Diamond’s Collapse, Brion McClanahan’s The Founding Fathers’ Guide to the Constitution, and Pauline Maier’s Ratification, The People Debate the Constitution, 1787 – 1788, published since the last update.

Of immediate interest, and y’all should have this anyway, is the leather-bound pock-et edition of The Constitution of the United States of America with the Declaration of Inde-pendence, FALL RIVER PRESS © 2012, NYC NY ISBN 978-1-4351-4553-5, interestingly enough, printed and bound in China. Common Sense is also available through the same publisher, in a similar leather bound booklet.

Y’all’s reference library should also have Edwin Meese III’s, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, ISBN 978-1-59698-001-3, if for no other reason than to see how the original intent of The Founders has been corrupted by the United States Supreme Court, almost since the beginning. Y’all should have it anyway as it is a comprehensive and understandable, at least to those with a 10th grade education, guide to what is NOW the law of the land as interpreted by SCOTUS, ignominiously ignored by congress, and implemented by the executive branch. As conflicted as SCOTUS has made it, Professor Maier’s work, Ratification – noted above, offsets the chaos, for those interested; otherwise, we are back to, understandably, secession, moreover, the 1776 kind of secession, too!

Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian Wars, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, de Tocqueville’s De-mocracy in America, and Freehling’s two works, Nullification, and Secession, (both having disappeared from book shelves during “The Clinton Years”), with Shelby Foote’s The Civil War: a narrative, are still the most important starting places for understanding the back-ground of why The Red States must secede.

This Secession MUST BE before the funded national debt exceeds twenty trillion U.S. dollars, (20T USD or $20,000,000,000,000.00) and the unfunded debt exceeds ninety trillion U.S. dollars (90T USD or $90,000,000,000,000.00). This debt crisis is on a national economy of less than fourteen trillion U.S dollars (14T USD or $14,000,000,000,000.00). I explain this statement later.

This is a debt to asset ratio of worse than 1:6!!!

Dodd-Franks’ asset tests (reserves) and the Basil III tests, used to determine the solvency of banks, would have declared The United States Bankrupt years ago, like Greece, closed it down, and sold off all of its assets and property, at bargain basement prices, probably less than ten cents on the dollar, to cover those debts; which is an absurdity. None-the-less, the standard that these pissant politicians apply to others, they fail to apply to themselves as they garner billions of dollars from the public treasury for themselves and their associates.

A simple glance at the accumulation of money by Nancy Pelosi, Dodd, Franks, the DNC contributor/ owners of Solyndra, and the Reid Family in Nevada, and the methods used, prove this point.

And, because of these things, we are left with Revolution/ Civil War, a Constitutional Convention, economic collapse and bankruptcy with an unemployment rate approaching 50%, delayed social implosion and its resulting anarchy to tyrannical governments, or Secession, my personal option if done before the debt becomes irre-deemable.

Argument:

I

The Preamble to The Constitution of The United States of America is NOT law. It is a statement of purpose. [We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America]. Notice the words emphasized by capitalization, and the sentence structure, notice that the constitution is FOR the United States. Notice that throughout the constitution, the word ‘state’ is capitalized as ‘State,’ thus proving the independence and sovereignty of each State; proving that they are not a subordinate division devised for the purposes of ease of suppression, oppression, and repression.

This is a statement of intent, not law, and not to be construed as law.

The Preamble is one of two looking glasses, through which we should be scrutinizing every activity of the federal government. If any action of the federal government does not further one of these stated interests, it should fail as violating the IXth and Xth Amendments. If those proposing such illegal actions are in federal government, those people should be deemed untrustworthy and unreliable by every citizen, and treated as such.

The second looking glass is that collection of works known as The Anti-Federalist Papers. The Anti-Federalist Papers were those arguments used against the ratification of the original seven articles. The Federalist Papers, predominantly written by Alexander Hamilton, ESQ., with contributions by James Madison, ESQ., and a handful by John Jay, ESQ., later the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, is a set of circular and specious reasoning, often used to justify or explain various clauses of the constitution.

Chronologically, and logically, The Federalist Papers should be ignored as having been displaced by The Bill of Rights. The sequence of events are: failure of The Articles of Confederation, the failed Annapolis Convention, the successful Philadelphia Convention, presentation to the states for ratification, argument where initially the press pushed The Federalist Papers and suppressed The Anti-Federalist Papers, the prospect of ratification failure, and then the acceptance of The Bill of Rights as the cost of ratification. The Federalist Papers are arguments for ratification WITHOUT THE TEN AMENDMENTS of The Bill of Rights. Thus, in order to interpret this constitution, it is The Anti-Federalist Papers which must be first looked to for understanding, and The Federalist Papers to be used ONLY when they are either not in conflict with the Anti-Federalist Papers, or where the AFP’s are silent on the subject.

Thus, more than one-half of all constitutional issues decided by The Supreme Court, by The Congress, and by The Executive, have been founded on the false premises of The Federalist Papers. The methods available to correct this are either that congress review ALL of these decisions and over-rule them by legislation, and thereby face a SCOTUS revolt, this revolt based on decisions such as Holy Trinity Church, (included below), and The Federalist Papers themselves, or SCOTUS, on its own Motion review and over-rule these rulings.

The likelihood of SCOTUS emasculating itself are nil and less than nil, especially giv-en Justice Bader-Ginsburg’s recent sexist ramblings and Justice Kagen’s published igno-rance of American History.

During George Washington’s presidency, The Executive frequently declared legisla-tive bills as unconstitutional. The understanding then was that congress would reconsider what President Washington sent them and either re-write or drop the bill. President Washington frequently took the opportunity to place his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, at odds writing responses to congress, then he would pick the one that suited his point of view, and return the bill to congress with the appropriate response. Hamilton frequently trumped Jefferson, thus, the Jobber High Federalist rutted road was ridden, and not the green pathway of the Yeoman-Farmer.

Congress will do nothing to change this, as members of congress are too intimately involved in accumulating personal wealth and power under this system, I will explain elsewhere how this dysfunction functions. The likes of Jackson, Rangel, Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, &c., will do nothing to jeopardize their own personal positions, even unto total de-struction of the society around them. There is a book, Throw them All Out, which details the dirty but legal transactions involved; consider the recent rash of convictions for corruption amongst the political aristocracy and their families.

Arguments made to have another constitutional convention or add 27+ amend-ments, the amending process as defined in Article V of the constitution, fail for several reasons. The first is, as noted elsewhere on this blog, that the electoral process has failed utterly. It has been corrupted to a point beyond cure. The election of Al Franken and the corruption in Noxubee County MS are the standard and not the exceptions such that fair representation, unbiased national interest, and altruism would be non-existent at this convention. The second major defense is the same as that made in 1860: the regional interests will suppress the national ones. The cliché, “All politics are local”, is too true to be ignored.

Only through the Red States seceding are all of those bad SCOTUS decisions removed from law.

A consideration of historical context and technology intrudes at this point. When originally ratified, the congress was designated to sit for only a few months out of the year, and, that it sit several months after the polling occurs because of primitive transportation technology. In 1788, there was no electricity and the steam engine, “Fulton’s Folly”, still years away. Bluntly, there was NO SUCH THING AS A LAME DUCK SESSION as we now know it, as congress had recessed and would not return until the Spring. Recess appointments were few and far between, but understandable when congress could be months away from sitting. Only through secession will Lame Ducks and Recess Appointments be eliminated! They are too ingrained into the political corruption of both major parties to be done away with in any other fashion.

With electricity, electronics, jet transportation, I-Phones, I-Glasses, internet access, &c., the reasons for lame duck and recess appointments completely disappear. With seces-sion and a new constitution, polling can take place on the 3rd Saturday of the 1st month of each quarter; certification of the election can take place within 5 working days; and a re-striction on laws and appointments during those 5 days included in the constitution, thereby completely eliminating the egregious, self-serving, irresponsibility of passing an unwanted law or giving the wrong person an appointment, when the next government would not do those things, especially if the issues surrounding those laws and appointments are what the election was about. Think about it: John Marshall and his entire line of High Federalist SCOTUS rulings would not exist if this had been the law in 1800!

Secession cures this disease.

I-a

There are seven Articles to the 17 September 1787 Constitution of The United States of America. Before 1866, “These United States” were what we were. A Union of In-dependent Nations with each State having its own constitution, not answerable beyond those restrictions explicit in the constitution, to a Federal Government, but to its citizens, and thus free to organize and live free, unoppressed, with the right to self-realization uninhibited by those living thousands of miles away.

The Federal Government, according to the IXth and Xth Amendments,(enacted as ten of twelve proposed Amendments, currently known as The Bill of Rights, on Wednes-day, 4 March 1789), was to be a junior partner in the triumvirate of, the federal govern-ment, We The People, and The States. [Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. *** Amendment X: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.]

The ten sections of Article I of the 1787 Constitution establish, define, and restrict the Congress of These United States of America. They create the bicarmel legislature with the “lower” house as the’ house of commons,’ or of “We The People”, and the “upper” house that of THE STATES; not that of an electoral majority of we the people on an extended appointment of exalted, and aristocratic, position.

The XVIIth Amendment effectively eviscerates Article I §3 [The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years, and each Senator shall have one Vote. … .] and clearly violates both the IXth and Xth Amendments. It reduces State Sovereignty to nil, with ONLY Nullification +/or Secession, as a response to an overbearing or out of control federal government. [Shelby Foote has a decent discussion of this in The Civil War: a narrative both in the ante-bellum section and in the section discussing the aftermath of Antietam.] One only need look to the effects of “The Dream Act” and its complete abandonment of the Southern Border and the Governor of Texas having to call up his state’s militia to attempt to protect his citizenry, their lives and their society and private property & wealth.

The discussion of the effect of reducing the senate to little more than a House of Lords, was on partisan lines, with the typical political result: In the short term, it helped the majority party, in the long term it has afflicted the taxpayer with trillions of dollars of unnecessary, unwanted, and unconstitutional burdens, both social and economic. The very effect of having this House of Lords has been constant gridlock, with, for all of the yammering on the subject, little, if any, compromise in the legislative process. The purpose of the senate as put forth in McClanahan’s book was to act as a brake on the impetuousness of the House of Representatives, AND to REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL STATES!

With the senators elected by the general population instead of by the states’ legislatures, the senate no longer represents the States, but is now irrelevant. It reduces to near zero, the political strength of the citizens of the individual states and clumps them into a rural vs urban sewer of issue conflicts, winnable only by that group procreating the most rapidly, and, history shows us, destroying economic efficiency through socialist “safety net” programs, instead of the necessary self-reliance/ self-responsible of the Judeo-Christian Ethos.

This same purpose, protecting the interests of the States, is better served by the process of Nullification. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison saw, and agreed to this, when they wrote and put forth The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Nullification, (there is a post on this blog discussing Nullification more fully), has been used as recently as 2014 by the various states. Three examples are California nullifying federal immigration law by creating sanctuary cities, Colorado nullifying federal illicit drug laws by legalizing the recreational use of Cannabis and the 2010 rejection of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (aka PPACA or “Obamacare”) by the citizens of Missouri (by a margin of 70% – 30%).

Nullification as currently used, is another argument in favor of secession due to Article IV, [§1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and Judicial Proceedings of every other State. And, the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved and the effects thereof. … .] Nullification is acceptable in California and Colorado, but not Missouri, ever wonder why?

Please note where and under what circumstances nullification is acceptable and not acceptable. In point of fact, legally and morally, SCOTUS should have taken this into account when ruling on various aspects of PPACA. The failure of SCOTUS to perform within the law, in and of itself, should be reason enough for secession. Due to various XVIIIth Century SCOTUS rulings, not only is tenure for life a facet of being a federal judge, but one may be suffering from dementia or extreme alcoholism, yet remain on the bench, AND THAT JUDGE OR JUSTICE’S RULINGS ARE STILL BINDING!

Thus, by their own actions, both SCOTUS and the entire senate have defeated the purpose of the constitution. Secession is the least objectionable response to such irresponsibility, to this assault on personal Faith, private property and personal wealth.

The need for the upper house to be placed, as originally intended by The Founders, back to the citizen-taxpayers of each, and every individual, INDEPENDENT, State, is shown every time a party official prevents national work from being performed. The current institution is nothing more than a millionaires’ club, with its purpose naught more than self-perpetration, and making their bubba’s rich. The “Black Hole” in Boston is an excellent example of this, as is the constant raiding of the Transportation Fund for projects like “light rail”, instead of roads and bridges, which was what the original enabling was for.

Consider further this little tidbit. The money for the Federal Transportation Fund is from a tax on gasoline. The reasoning was that since cars and trucks would be using the roads and bridges, car and truck owners should pay for the bridges and roads. Now, the gasoline tax must be raised so that members of congress can buy construction workers’ votes by spending the money on less effective projects that are more expensive like “light rail”. Interestingly enough, the 9 Aug 14 issue of The Economist, has an article on this very subject.

As to Secession, the Stanford Convention of 1814, where the New England States voted to remain in the Union, provided that The War of 1812 be ended, is only one of several secession conventions. Dr. Freehling’s work is excellent for those who actually want to research the issue. Suffice it to say that, the next secession was when Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party so controlled the federal government that the South was so heavily taxed for “economic improvement,” (canals & railroads, special loans to industry – think Solyndra), and the benefits of all of these taxes given to the Northern states, that South Carolina did hold a convention and start the secession process. Former president John Q. Adams, then a senator from Massachusetts, intervened, and South Carolina did not secede and Jackson’s Tax Law was repealed! Think Obamacare!

Shortly thereafter, the third party candidate, Abraham Lincoln got elected to the executive, and the seven Deep South states seceded. Lincoln, arguably the worst president this country has ever had, [know anybody else who not only caused a civil war costing as much as The War of 1861 did in both lives and wealth; violate the constitution so many ways through executive decree {instituted an unconstitutional raising of an army, fired on States’ militias, took and hanged innocent hostages as a means of controlling citizens in occupied territories, instituted a draft without an act of congress, created an income tax specifically prohibited by the constitution – not made legal in this country until 3 February 1913 with the questionable ratification of the XVIth Amendment, invaded the Sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia, piratically boarded British commercial vessels and kidnapping private citizens under the protection of The Crown, and on and on} – BTW, Lincoln freed NO slaves, the XIIIth Amendment did that, and the discussion by his own cabinet as to the constitutionality of his Emancipation Proclamation shows it to be unconstitutional as it is not allowed even within the executive’s war powers, AS IT DEALS WITH THE CONFISCATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY W/O DUE PROCESS (!!!), AN ISSUE ALREADY DECIDED BY SCOTUS, Scott vs Sanford, THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS NO SUCH AUTHORITY!!!], in direct violation to the constitution, congress was NOT in session, started to raise a Standing Army and threatened to “cross” Virginia with it in order to put down the legally seceding states.

Virginia and the three border states, then held secession conventions and decided to secede from the union. For the results of Lincoln’s unconstitutional acts, I direct your attention back to Mr. Foote’s excellent work. His discussion of how Missouri did not secede yet Lincoln’s general, Frèmont, invaded anyway, treating Missourians as subjugated serfs, the treatment of occupied territories by such union generals as Butcher Butler in New Orleans and the confiscation of private property sold for personal gain, are enlightening, to say the least.

Point being, secession was and is legal. Further proof, is that in 1854, then Repre-sentative from Illinois, that same A. Lincoln, made a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives declaring so, and that he understood the law to be so. And, consider that although called The American Revolution of 1776, it was, in both fact and law, a secession from the Hanoverian Crown!

A last point on Article I, the “just and proper” enabling clause, is always interpreted through the dark glass of the specious Federalist Papers. Since it has been shown that it should be viewed through both The Preamble and The Anti-Federalist Papers, every case that has supported this clause’s use to over-reach and extend federal authority, should be made null and void. Only through secession can all of those laws and SCOTUS decisions be removed.

I – b

Ok, here’s the simple view and clearly why the federal government must be limited to federal issues ONLY!!

A Congressman from Detroit wants special tax privileges for certain constituents. Lady Speaker wants an extension to an Interstate to go over land to which she and her husband have options to buy. They swap votes, each voting for the other’s special situation. The result:
A special section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), based on the section of the constitution stating that the congress should be doing things to help commerce and science, is amended to include that any money lost from the start-up of a Hip-Hop/ Rap Record Label, shall be written off the investor’s Gross An-nual Income at 50:1. Thus, for every dollar lost on said record label start-up, the investor can take off $50.00 of income. The result is a boom of record labels in Detroit, creating proprie-tary jobs for in-laws, family, and friends, an economically mis-direction of economic resources, and an incredibly favorable tax break for those specific investors.

Balancing this congressional support for advancing commerce and science, Madame Speaker, knowing months in advance of the public exactly where the unnecessary Interstate extension will go, exercises her options to buy hundreds of acres of land at $180/acre, and then sells it to The Department of Transportation for $1,800/acre.

Both the Congressman from Detroit and the Congresswoman from San Francisco, have personally, AND LEGALLY, profited from these acts of congress. We, the taxpayers, have lost. We have lost in the one case by being over-charged for the land, and in the other in that those “losses” have reduced the “investors’” tax payments.
Is this simple enough for you?

II

Article II establishes, defines, authorizes, and restricts, The Executive Branch.

In a full-blown argument including Article II, discussion of presidential over-reach, appointing of bubba’s, failure to enforce the law, &c., would be gone into. However, with all of the public discussion, or lack thereof, regarding The Obama Administration and its scandals, its appointments of racists and bigots such as Perez and Holder; scandals such as NSA spying on US citizens, the IRS, Benghazi, Hillary & Kerry, the dropping of the New Black Panther Voting Violation law suit, its failure to enforce the Mississippi Federal Court Decision regarding the Sheriff of Noxubee County, the as yet unexhausted abuse of the military, the continuing exercise of executive authority to change passed legislation without returning to the legislature for a re-write, the “Dream Act” executive order, the deaths of Federal Agents by foreigners, &c. I see no such need. The only way to re-write The Executive and get rid of all of the entrenched civil servants like Lois Lerner, is through secession.

Let us be more clear: Obama has appointed over three dozen ACLU and La Raza attorneys to the Justice Department Civil Rights Division, how impartial will they be, when J. Christian Adams’ book Injustice: the Obama Justice Department, already shows how bad things are in the DoJ. The evidence mounts.

And, as to the whole civil service, the over One Million of Them, what shall be done now? How many of them are Lois Lerners?

Bluntly, if even one is a Lois Lerner, the integrity of the whole system fails. Only se-cession cures the cancer of the Obamacratic Bureaucracy. Or, do you really think that Lois Lerner was (she got to retire with full pension and benefits) the only rotten apple in the bureaucracy, or that only the IRS, NSA, CIA, SSA, HUD, OPM, NLRB, ACE, Medicare, and the VA, are the only really bad federal agencies? Mmm, wait a minute, doesn’t that leave ONLY the Military as honest? And, hasn’t Obama fired so many generals and admirals that the only people appointed to flag positions are those with good records on gender, race, and affirmative action, pretty much leaving combat skills out of the promotion equation? Or, did I miss something in the recent speech by The Commandant of The Marine Corps (Barry, the P is silent!) condemning current Executive Policies?

III

The failure of The Supreme Court of the United States, created by Article III, to follow even the most basic of The Rules of Contract and Statutory Construction, that every person who has completed their first year of law school, not only understands the rule but the WHY the rule exists reasoning, is, in and of itself, reason to secede. The failure to follow the most simple of the rules of law, proves beyond any doubt that The Federal Judiciary is incapable of being impartial, of rendering a constitutionally grounded ruling, or even of acting on the surface in a non-partisan, reasoned judgmental manner.

When PPACA was ruled constitutional as a tax and CJ Roberts declared that the duty of SCOTUS is not to make law, but to interpret law in accordance with the intent of congress, he was correct. That he completely ignored the affirmed and boldly broadcast intent of congress, was NOT correct. Madame Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, had declared openly, and had printed in The Congressional Record, the official source and record of congressional intent, that there was not to be a severability clause in PPACA. She said outright that PPACA was an all or nothing bill, and was to be an all or nothing law. When SCOTUS ruled one iota of the law unconstitutional, the will of congress was that then the entire law was to be unconstitutional!

But there is so much more!

The chain of Marshall Cases beginning with Marbury vs Madison, (~1803) all in vio-lation of a clear reading of the constitution, has as its purpose a re-write of the constitution along High Federalist lines, and gives SCOTUS a higher footing than the other two branches, when the original intent was that it be the least of the three branches. The overt end of that line is the following, and it is still law, Shepardize it if you like. It has been “restricted” and “narrowed” but never the less, it is still good law. The covert end of these rulings has not been reached. The gross failure to follow the simplest of the rules of construction, the severability clause, proves SCOTUS is still seeking absolute dominance over government.

Rector, et al, Holy Trinity Church vs United States
143 US 457 (1892)
“(@ 12 SCT 511) It must be conceded that the act of the corporation is within the letter of (the law) … (@ 12 SCT 512) It is a familiar rule that a thing may be within the letter of the statute and yet not within the statute, because not within its spirit nor within the intention of its makers. This has been often as-serted, and the Reports are full of cases illustrating its application. This is not the substitution of the will of the judge for that of the legislator; for frequently words of general meaning are used in a statute, words broad enough to include an act in question, and yet a consideration of the whole legislation, or of the circum-stances surrounding its enactment, or of the absurd results which follow from giving such broad meaning to the words, makes it unreasonable to believe that the legislator intended to include the particular act.”

Emphasis added.

It is important to note the historical context of this decision, especially with the court using the illogical reasoning that it expresses above.
In 1892 there was a Federal Labor law that stated that no enterprise could em-ploy a foreigner for any position whatsoever in these United States if there was an American able and willing to do that job.
Holy Trinity Church is the Episcopal Church located at Wall & Church Streets in New York City. It was originally Anglican a.k.a. Church of England (C of E), but, as did most Anglican Churches in 1776, vote to distance itself from The Crown. Holy Trinity Church is where Alexander Hamilton is buried. It is where the power elite of old families of New York City, and the early Federalists, belonged, worshipped, and congregated. It is where the business people attended. Currently, it owns ALL of the land from Wall Street south and collects all of the rents therefrom. As a church, it pays no taxes but supports various politicians and approved charities.
In 1888, Holy Trinity Church decided to employ a new bell ringer. The Elders de-cided to hire a German to do it. They did in fact know that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of New Yorkers ready, willing and able to do the job. They did not care, and they did in fact know that they were breaking the law, at least according to the syllabus.
And, the Supremes decided to keep John Marshall’s usurpation of power alive and well, the Constitution of the United States notwithstanding.

[page taken from The Albany Plan Re-Visited © 2012 William S. Klocek]

IV

Article IV is one of the most egregiously and violently violated articles of the constitution. [§1 Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Act, Records, and Judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved and the Effect thereof. §2 The Citizens of each State be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. … . §3 New States … . §4 The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of government, and shall protect each of them from Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.]

(I must pause and catch my breath every time that I proofread this essay when I get to this point. Ah-ha, not better, should probably go get a scotch & water, no ice.)

Just a little bit here, as once you read the very few points that I make, y’all will be putting forth many more of your own, and realize that secession is the least bloody way of getting rid of this.

For decades, the only two places an American could get a divorce were Mexico and the State of Nevada. For Nevada, you went to Reno, rented a room for six weeks to establish CITIZENSHIP through meeting the residency requirements, then filed for a “no fault” divorce and it was routinely granted. Ta-da! The divorce became good worldwide!!!

First problem, as SSA and Medicaid became rights, the residency requirement limit-ing access to State Aid, was dissolved by SCOTUS, as residency requirements somehow infringed on a magically implied constitutional right to mobility. This issue as a national issue is still unresolved.

Second problem, now that California and New York have decided to grant Illegal Aliens driver’s licenses, these new license holders may now travel legally everywhere within the federal jurisdiction, regardless of the rights and laws of the other 48 states. Note also the invasion all along our Southern border and how the feds are not protecting our citizens.

Third problem, these NY & CA driver’s licenses are Legal Acts within the meaning of Article IV. THEY ARE NOW USABLE AS GOVERNMENT ISSUED LICENSES, WHICH MAY BE USED TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN ALL 50 STATES!!! Think that I’m joking? Look at how the ACLU and La Raza have prevented the use of photo ID’s to register to vote and as proof of citizenship at voting precincts. Magically, to denote citizenship or lack thereof on these licenses will, by federal court ruling, be discrimination, thus, all driver’s licenses MUST be the same, and thus, automatic amnesty and FULL citizenship!

Now, consider this, if any State pass a law that CA or NY licenses are not valid forms of identification, do you really think that the NAACP, La Raza, or the ACLU, will sit idly by? What federal court won’t declare such a law unconstitutional simply on a clear reading of Article IV???

Do I really need to go into the problems with PPACA, abortion laws, right to work laws, DMV laws, tax laws, landlord-tenant laws, &c.? Or do you think that you can pick up your local paper, or listen to your local talk radio, and see the problems with how Article IV has been interpreted and abused? Hasn’t Breitbart reported more than a dozen illegal alien crimes this week alone, including child molestation and vehicular manslaughter?

V

I’m going to pass on the rest of the articles, except to point out that Article V is the amending article, and the post on this blog regarding how The XIVth Amendment has never been ratified pretty much covers all of that, and Article VI §1 is about debts made before the constitution was ratified, but that Article VI §2 is the so often abused and intentionally misinterpreted “supremacy” clause. As pointed out earlier, this clause should be viewed through the two glasses of the preamble and the AFP, and has not been. Article VII is that this constitution shall go into effect as between them when nine of the 13 STATES ratify it.

VI

I should probably go into the amendments, there are 27 of them, but there are only a few of immediate concern. We are constantly talking about The 1st Amendment, which deals with various freedoms including that of religion and assembly. One point, it applies to rules and laws made by The Federal Government and was put in to specifically prevent the feds from doing things like the PPACA forcing people to pay taxes that violate their religious beliefs. Keep in mind that Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had State religions into the 1840’s. Those states collected taxes that paid for the salaries of preachers and their estates, so much for the supremacy clause and freedom of religion.

The 2nd Amendment as intended by The Founders gives non-felons the right to bear arms. A quick look at the time and how The Minute Men were formed, organized, supplied, and supported, proves this without any doubt. However, for those of you who do not believe this, elsewhere is a complete essay on the federal law that defines the militia. Simply put, ALL healthy males, except for a very limited set of exemptions – primarily the “essential” personnel groups of federally elected officials and certain bureaucrats- between the ages of 16 and 48 (the ages may have changed as I haven’t looked since I wrote the original essay), are The Militia. Ya, and some women, too, but you need to read the law to see who. AND, each and every member of this militia is supposed to know basic drill/ The Landing Party Manual, a basic knowledge of infantry tactics, basic marksmanship, and to have and maintain a RIFLE! Yupper, Federal Law states this! Under this federal law, who among you are un-convicted felons?

And, a quick aside as to a peculiar point of history and The 2nd Amendment: After Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the hatred between the races, as pointed out by Shelby Foote’s book, caused by The Emancipation Proclamation, caused the creation of the KKK, which went about keeping the former slaves in check, mostly through violence, particularly murder. The National Rifle Association was created to buy arms, GIVE THEM to former slaves, and train them in their use, so that they may protect themselves from such terrorism.

Last point in here, the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments are the ‘criminal rights’ amendments. Originally designed to protect ALL citizens from the over-reach of the federal judiciary and congress, they have been misinterpreted to protect only criminals. Think about it, only criminals are granted Due Process. PPACA is a tax that the taxpayer cannot individually challenge. YOU CANNOT challenge the feds when the IRS takes everything away through a mistake. YOU CANNOT challenge the feds when the DEA breaks into your home when they meant to break in next door. YOU CANNOT challenge the EPA when they declare that all standing water is protected by The Clean Air Act, thus they have authority on your driveway even though that puddle will evaporate. Under The Patriot Act, you cannot challenge a warrantless search. And, the list goes on and on.

Epilogue and Conclusion

There are other things to consider, but with all of the above, where else can you go? National Bankruptcy, Civil War, a perverted Constitutional Convention, Anarchy to Tyranny, or Secession, which one is actually reasonable and workable?

But what benefits derive from secession?

1

The first and most urgent benefit from a Red State Secession is that of immediate and complete control over the National Debt.

The Red States will take 1/3rd of the debt, or a projected $6T, leaving the industry heavy and, if allowed to be, completely energy independent blue states with $12T. No real change is apparent at this point. OH! COME LOOK AND SEE!!! The $83T of UNFUNDED DEBT immediately disappears through operation of Contract Law through rescission and novation!!! Simply put, because the legal entity known as The United States of America dis-appears, except for the total national debt, all contracts and promises made by it also dis-appear. Magic! Harry Potter couldn’t do it better. Don’t believe me? Consider how when someone dies, his estate pays off what debt it can, but once unprotected assets are used up, the rest of the debt is simply written off. Here, the new entities, blue and red, accept their proportionate share of that debt, but, as in death, all of the deceased’s promises are vacated as un-executable.

Thus, there is NO MORE unfunded debt. Magic!

2

Next, as noted many times above, all of the laws and court decisions of The Union are no longer applicable to The Red States. And, because of the secession, The Blue States MUST review ALL of those laws and decisions for current applicability to them! Gosh and Golly, two win-win situations in a row, I wonder if there are any more to be had.

3

The Red States will write a new constitution. One applicable to the Times! One that will include electricity, electronics, medicine, &c. in it. This convention would have over 238 years of U.S. AND WORLD HISTORY to guide it. It could start with The Albany Plan, The Virginia Plan, The New York Plan, The Heartland Plan, and The Rhode Island Plan as well as Hagehot’s British Constitution as initial proposals, and then put together a truly workable federal government that would leave local issue to the locals, and make certain that the new federal government dealt ONLY WITH FEDERAL ISSUES. Hmm, three good reasons in a row.

4

By secession, the economic circumstances of North America would change almost instantly for the better. Yupper, Canada, The Red States, The Blue States, Mexico, Central America, and The Caribbean would instantly become the most dynamic economic machine through the forced renegotiation of all trade agreements. The XL Pipeline would immedi-ately be started, Pass Christian MS, Pascagoula MS, Tampa FL, Vera Cruz MX, Hispaniola, and Cuba, could start building new, environmentally safe, refineries. NAFTA would be re-done to require uniform enforcement. Unemployment should drop to 3% average throughout the entire region while labor force involvement should jump to 69%. Nuclear Fusion plants would be planned and built. A standardized rail system from Point Barrow to Panama City Panama would be built. Stabilization of currency would be immediate.

5+

How much more do you want? Taxation would be rationalized and evened out. Education throughout would be standardized and equalized. Private property and wealth would be protected, which could be done now if only the various governments would im-plement the laws currently on the books.

6+

Borders would be closed and protected. An intelligent and uniform foreign policy would be emplaced.

7+

More? How about true freedom of religion? How about being protected against terrorist attacks, like the Boston Marathon, by terrorists, instead of useless assaults on our persons by an ineffective TSA?
Secession, secession, secession, and secession BEFORE THE NATIONAL DEBT GOES PAST $18t AND THE UNFUNDED $83T

Secession!

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