Tag Archives: History

Illuminati Training Video

English: The full text of the English renditio...

Georgia Guidestones, Elbert County, Georgia, U.S.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well…I’m not sure whether this is real or not but it certainly goes along with much that I have observed over the years. If it is real we as people need to reconcile ourselves to the battle for our very souls because these people want to enslave all of us for their vision of a better world. And BTW check out the Georgia Guidestones if you want to know what the plan is that he keeps mentioning in the video. (E)






The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.  It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” ~Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

American Soldiers Are WAKING UP!! SUPPORT OF TAKING AMERICA BACK!!! (StopTheRobbery2)

This war needs to end! Warning-some Language




US soldiers come clean about atrocities in Iraq



American soldier “I killed innocent people”



Read This and Then Tell Me How Much We Should Be Focusing on ISLAM


War Is Not Far from Us and Is the Midwife of the Chinese Century

Leading CCP official argues for exterminating U.S. population

Aug 08, 2005

The following is a transcript of a speech believed to have been given by Mr. Chi Haotian, Minster of Defense and vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission. Independently verifying the authorship of the speech is not possible. It is worth reading because it is believed to set out the CCP’s strategy for the development of China. The speech argues for the necessity of China using biological warfare to depopulate the United States and prepare it for a future massive Chinese colonization. “The War Is Not Far from Us and Is the Midwife of the Chinese Century” was published on February 15, 2005 on http://www.peacehall.com and was published on http://www.boxun.com on April 23, 2005. This speech and a related speech, “The War Is Approaching Us” are analyzed in The Epoch Times original article “The CCP’s Last-ditch Gamble: Biological and Nuclear War.”

Text of the speech:Comrades,

I’m very excited today, because the large-scale online surveysina.com that was done for us showed that our next generation is quite promising and our Party’s cause will be carried on. In answering the question, “Will you shoot at women, children and prisoners of war,” more than 80 percent of the respondents answered in the affirmative, exceeding by far our expectations [1].

Today I’d like to focus on why we asked sina.com to conduct this online survey among our people. My speech today is a sequel to my speech last time [2], during which I started with a discussion of the issue of the three islands [3], mentioned that 20 years of the idyllic theme of “peace and development” had come to an end, and concluded that modernization under the saber is the only option for China’s next phase. I also mentioned we have a vital stake overseas. Today, I’ll speak more specifically on these two issues.

The central issue of this survey appears to be whether one should shoot at women, children and prisoners of war, but its real significance goes far beyond that. Ostensibly, our intention is mainly to figure out what the Chinese people’s attitude towards war is: If these future soldiers do not hesitate to kill even non-combatants, they’ll naturally be doubly ready and ruthless in killing combatants. Therefore, the responses to the survey questions may reflect the general attitude people have towards war.

Actually, however, this is not our genuine intention. The purpose of the CCP Central Committee in conducting this survey is to probe people’s minds. We wanted to know: If China’s global development will necessitate massive deaths in enemy countries, will our people endorse that scenario? Will they be for or against it?

As everybody knows, the essence of Comrade Xiaoping’s [4] thinking is “development is the hard truth.” And Comrade Jintao [5] has also pointed out repeatedly and empathetically that “development is our top priority,” which should not be neglected for even a moment. But many comrades tend to understand “development” in its narrow sense, assuming it to be limited to domestic development. The fact is, our “development” refers to the great revitalization of the Chinese nation, which, of course, is not limited to the land we have now but also includes the whole world.

Why do we put it this way?

Defense Minster Chi Haotian (Jonathan Utz/AFP/Getty Images)

Both Comrade Liu Huaqing [6], one of the leaders of the old generation in our Party, and Comrade He Xin [7], a young strategist for our Party, have repeatedly stressed the theory regarding the shift of the center of world civilization. Our slogan of “revitalizing China” has this way of thinking as its basis. You may look into the newspapers and magazines published in recent years or go online to do some research to find out who raised the slogan of national revitalization first. It was Comrade He Xin. Do you know who He Xin is? He may look aggressive and despicable when he speaks in public, with his sleeves and pants all rolled up, but his historical vision is a treasure our Party should cherish.In discussing this issue, let us start from the beginning.

As everybody knows, according to the views propagated by the Western scholars, humanity as a whole originated from one single mother in Africa. Therefore, no race can claim racial superiority. However, according to the research conducted by most Chinese scholars, the Chinese are different from other races on earth. We did not originate in Africa. Instead, we originated independently in the land of China. The Peking Man at Zhoukoudian that we are all familiar with represents a phase of our ancestors’ evolution. “The Project of Searching for the Origins of the Chinese Civilization” currently undertaken in our country is aimed at a more comprehensive and systematic research on the origin, process and development of the ancient Chinese civilization. We used to say, “Chinese civilization has had a history of five thousand years.” But now, many experts engaged in research in varied fields including archeology, ethnic cultures, and regional cultures have reached consensus that the new discoveries such as the Hongshan Culture in the Northeast, the Liangzhu Culture in Zhejiang province, the Jinsha Ruins in Sichuan province, and the Yongzhou Shun Emperor Cultural Site in Human province are all compelling evidence of the existence of China’s early civilizations, and they prove that China’s rice-growing agricultural history alone can be traced back as far as 8,000 to 10,000 years. This refutes the concept of “five thousand years of Chinese civilization.” Therefore, we can assert that we are the product of cultural roots of more than a million years, civilization and progress of more than ten thousand years, an ancient nation of five thousand years, and a single Chinese entity of two thousand years. This is the Chinese nation that calls itself, “descendents of Yan and Huang,” the Chinese nation that we are so proud of. Hitler’s Germany had once bragged that the German race was the most superior race on Earth, but the fact is, our nation is far superior to the Germans.

During our long history, our people have disseminated throughout the Americas and the regions along the Pacific Rim, and they became Indians in the Americas and the East Asian ethnic groups in the South Pacific.

We all know that on account of our national superiority, during the thriving and prosperous Tang Dynasty our civilization was at the peak of the world. We were the center of the world civilization, and no other civilization in the world was comparable to ours. Later on, because of our complacency, narrow-mindedness, and the self-enclosure of our own country, we were surpassed by Western civilization, and the center of the world shifted to the West.

In reviewing history, one may ask: Will the center of the world civilization shift back to China?

Comrade He Xin put it in his report to the Central Committee in 1988: If the fact is that the center of leadership of the world was located in Europe as of the 18th Century, and later shifted to the United States in the mid 20th Century, then in the 21st Century the center of leadership of the world will shift to the East of our planet. And, “the East” of course mainly refers to China.

Actually, Comrade Liu Huaqing made similar points in early 1980s. Based on an historical analysis, he pointed out that the center of world civilization is shifting. It shifted from the East to Western Europe and later to the United States; now it is shifting back to the East. Therefore, if we refer to the 19th Century as the British Century, and the 20th century as the American Century, then the 21st Century will be the Chinese Century.

To understand conscientiously this historical law and to be prepared to greet the advent of the Chinese Century is the historical mission of our Party. As we all know, at the end of the last century, we built the Altar to the Chinese Century in Beijing. At the very moment of the arrival of the new millennium, the collective leadership of the Party Central Committee gathered there for a rally, upholding the torches of Zhoukoudian, to pledge themselves to get ready to greet the arrival of the Chinese Century. We were doing this to follow the historical law and setting the realization of the Chinese Century as the goal of our Party’s endeavors.

Later, in the political report of our Party’s Sixteenth National Congress, we established that the national revitalization be our great objective and explicitly specified in our new Party Constitution that our Party is the pioneer of the Chinese people. All these steps marked a major development in Marxism, reflecting our Party‘s courage and wisdom. As we all know, Marx and his followers have never referred to any communist party as a pioneer of a certain people; neither did they say that national revitalization could be used as a slogan of a communist party. Even Comrade Mao Zedong, a courageous national hero, only raised high the banner of “the global proletarian revolution,” but even he did not have the courage to give the loudest publicity to the slogan of national revitalization.

We must greet the arrival of the Chinese Century by raising high the banner of national revitalization. How should we fight for the realization of the Chinese Century? We must borrow the precious experiences in human history by taking advantage of the outstanding fruition of human civilization and drawing lessons from what happened to other ethnic groups.

The lessons include the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well as the defeats of Germany and Japan in the past. Recently there has been much discussion on the lessons of the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, so I will not dwell on them here. Today I’d like to talk about the lessons of Germany and Japan.

As we all know, Nazi Germany also placed much emphasis on the education of the people, especially the younger generation. The Nazi party and government organized and established various propaganda and educational institutions such as the “Guiding Bureau of National Propaganda,” “Department of National Education and Propaganda,” “Supervising Bureau of Worldview Study and Education,” and “Information Office,” all aimed at instilling into the people’s minds, from elementary schools to colleges, the idea that German people are superior, and convincing people that the historical mission of the Arian people is to become the “lords of earth” that “rule over the world.” Back then the German people were much more united than we are today.

Nonetheless, Germany was defeated in utter shame, along with its ally, Japan. Why? We reached some conclusions at the study meetings of the Politburo, in which we were searching for the laws that governed the vicissitudes of the big powers, and trying to analyze Germany and Japan’s rapid growth. When we decide to revitalize China based on the German model, we must not repeat the mistakes they made.

Specifically, the following are the fundamental causes for their defeat: First, they had too many enemies all at once, as they did not adhere to the principle of eliminating enemies one at a time; second, they were too impetuous, lacking the patience and perseverance required for great accomplishments; third, when the time came for them to be ruthless, they turned out to be too soft, therefore leaving troubles that resurfaced later on.

Let’s presume that back then Germany and Japan had been able to keep the United States neutral and had fought a protracted war step by step on the Soviet front. If they had adopted this approach, gained some time to advance their research, eventually succeeded in obtaining the technology of nuclear weapons and missiles, and launched surprise attacks against the United States and the Soviet Union using them, then the United States and the Soviet Union would not have been able to defend themselves and would have had to surrender. Little Japan, in particular, made an egregious mistake in launching the sneak strike at Pearl Harbor. This attack did not hit the vital parts of the United States. Instead it dragged the United States into the war, into the ranks of the gravediggers that eventually buried the German and Japanese fascists.

Of course, if they had not made these three mistakes and won the war, history would have been written in a different fashion. If that had been the case, China would not be in our hands. Japan might have relocated their capital to China and ruled over China. Afterwards, China and the whole of Asia under Japan’s command would have brought into full play the oriental wisdom, conquered the West ruled by Germany and unified the whole world. This is irrelevant, of course. No more digressions.

So, the fundamental reason for the defeats of Germany and Japan is that history did not arrange them to be the “lords of the earth,” for they are, after all, not the most superior race.

Ostensibly, in comparison, today’s China is alarmingly similar to Germany back then. Both of them regard themselves as the most superior races; both of them have a history of being exploited by foreign powers and are therefore vindictive; both of them have the tradition of worshipping their own authorities; both of them feel that they have seriously insufficient living space; both of them raise high the two banners of nationalism and socialism and label themselves as “national socialism”; both of them worship “one state, one party, one leader, and one doctrine.”

And yet, if we really are to make a comparison between Germany and China, then, as Comrade Jiang Zemin put it, Germany belongs to “pediatrics”—too trivial to be compared. How large is Germany’s population? How big is its territory? And how long is its history? We eliminated eight million Nationalist troops in only three years. How many enemies did Germany kill? They were in power for a transient period of little more than a dozen years before they perished, while we are still energetic after being around for more than eighty years. Our theory of the shifting center of civilization is of course more profound than the Hitler’s theory of “the lords of the earth.” Our civilization is profound and broad, which has determined that we are so much wiser than they were.

Our Chinese people are wiser than the Germans because, fundamentally, our race is superior to theirs. As a result, we have a longer history, more people, and larger land area. On this basis, our ancestors left us with the two most essential heritages, which are atheism and great unity. It was Confucius, the founder of our Chinese culture, who gave us these heritages.

These two heritages determined that we have a stronger ability to survive than the West. That is why the Chinese race has been able to prosper for so long. We are destined “not to be buried by either heaven or earth” no matter how severe the natural, man-made, and national disasters. This is our advantage.

Take response to war as an example. The reason that the United States remains today is that it has never seen war on its mainland. Once its enemies aim at the mainland, they enemies would have already reached Washington before its congress finishes debating and authorizes the president to declare war. But for us, we don’t waste time on these trivial things. Comrade Deng Xiaoping once said, “The Party’s leadership is prompt in making decisions. Once a decision is made, it is immediately implemented. There’s no wasting time on trivial things like in capitalist countries. This is our advantage.” Our Party’s democratic centralism is built on the tradition of great unity. Although fascist Germany also stressed high-level centralism, they only focused on the power of the country’s executive, but ignored the collective leadership of the central group. That’s why Hitler was betrayed by many later in his life, which fundamentally depleted the Nazis of their war capacity.

What makes us different from Germany is that we are complete atheists, while Germany was primarily a Catholic and Protestant country. Hitler was only half atheist. Although Hitler also believed that ordinary citizens had low intelligence, and that leaders should therefore make decisions, and although German people worshipped Hitler back then, Germany did not have the tradition of worshipping sages on a broad basis. Our Chinese society has always worshipped sages, and that is because we don’t worship any god. Once you worship a god, you can’t worship a person at the same time, unless you recognize the person as the god’s representative like they do in Middle Eastern countries. On the other hand, once you recognize a person as a sage, of course you will want him to be your leader, instead of monitoring and choosing him. This is the foundation of our democratic centralism.

The bottom line is, only China, not Germany, is a reliable force in resisting the Western parliament-based democratic system. Hitler’s dictatorship in Germany was perhaps but a momentary mistake in history.

Maybe you have now come to understand why we recently decided to further promulgate atheism. If we let theology from the West into China and empty us from the inside, if we let all Chinese people listen to God and follow God, who will obediently listen to us and follow us? If the common people don’t believe Comrade Hu Jintao is a qualified leader, question his authority, and want to monitor him, if the religious followers in our society question why we are leading God in churches, can our Party continue to rule China?

Germany’s dream to be the “lord of the earth” failed, because ultimately, history did not bestow this great mission upon them. But the three lessons Germany learned from experience are what we ought to remember as we complete our historic mission and revitalize our race. The three lessons are: Firmly grasp the country’s living space, firmly grasp the Party’s control over the nation, and firmly grasp the general direction toward becoming the “lord of the earth.”

Next, I’d like to address these three issues.

The first issue is living space. This is the biggest focus of the revitalization of the Chinese race. In my last speech, I said that the fight over basic living resources (including land and ocean) is the source of the vast majority of wars in history. This may change in the information age, but not fundamentally. Our per capita resources are much less than those of Germany’s back then. In addition, economic development in the last twenty-plus years had a negative impact, and climates are rapidly changing for the worse. Our resources are in very short supply. The environment is severely polluted, especially that of soil, water, and air. Not only our ability to sustain and develop our race, but even its survival is gravely threatened, to a degree much greater than faced Germany back then.

Anybody who has been to Western countries knows that their living space is much better than ours. They have forests alongside the highways, while we hardly have any trees by our streets. Their sky is often blue with white clouds, while our sky is covered with a layer of dark haze. Their tap water is clean enough for drinking, while even our ground water is so polluted that it can’t be drunk without filtering. They have few people in the streets, and two or three people can occupy a small residential building; in contrast, our streets are always crawling with people, and several people have to share one room.

Many years ago, there was a book titled Yellow Catastrophes. It said that, due to our following the American style of consumption, our limited resources would no longer support the population and society would collapse, once our population reaches 1.3 billion. Now our population has already exceeded this limit, and we are now relying on imports to sustain our nation. It’s not that we haven’t paid attention to this issue. The Ministry of Land Resources is specialized in this issue.

But the term “living space” (lebensraum) is too closely related to Nazi Germany. The reason we don’t want to discuss this too openly is to avoid the West’s association of us with Nazi Germany, which could in turn reinforce the view that China is a threat. Therefore, in our emphasis on He Xin’s new theory, “Human rights are just living rights,” we only talk about “living,” but not “space,” so as to avoid using the term “living space.” From the perspective of history, the reason that China is faced with the issue of living space is because Western countries have developed ahead of Eastern countries. Western countries established colonies all around the world, therefore giving themselves an advantage on the issue of living space. To solve this problem, we must lead the Chinese people outside of China, so that they could develop outside of China.

The second issue is our focus on the leadership capacity of the ruling party. We’ve done better on this than their party. Although the Nazis spread their power to every aspect of the German national government, they did not stress their absolute leadership position like we have. They did not take the issue of managing the power of the party as first priority, which we have. When Comrade Mao Zedong summarized the “three treasures” of our party’s victory in conquering the country, he considered the most important “treasure” to be developing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and strengthening its leadership position.

We have to focus on two points to fortify our leadership position and improve our leadership capacity.

The first is to promote the “Three Represents” theory [8], stressing that our Party is the pioneer of the Chinese race, in addition to being the pioneer of the proletariat. Many citizens say in private, “We never voted for you, the Communist Party, to represent us. How can you claim to be our representatives?”

There’s no need to worry about this issue. Comrade Mao Zedong said that if we could lead our allies to victory and make them benefit, they would support us. Therefore, as long as we can lead the Chinese people outside of China, resolving the lack of living space in China, the Chinese people will support us. At that time, we don’t have to worry about the labels of “totalitarianism” or “dictatorship.” Whether we can forever represent the Chinese people depends on whether we can succeed in leading the Chinese people out of China.

The second point, whether we can lead the Chinese people out of China, is the most important determinant of the CCP’s leadership position.

Why do I say this?

Everyone knows that without the leadership of our Party, China would not exist today. Therefore, our highest principle is to forever protect our Party’s leadership position. Before June 4, we realized vaguely that as long as China’s economy is developed, people would support and love the Communist Party. Therefore we had to use several decades of peacetime to develop China’s economy. No matter what -isms, whether it is a white cat or a black cat, it is a good cat if it can develop China’s economy. But at that time, we did not have mature ideas about how China would deal with international disputes after its economy is developed.

Comrade Xiaoping said then that the main themes in the world were peace and development. But the June 4 riot gave our Party a warning and gave us a lesson that is still fresh. The pressure of China’s peaceful evolution makes us reconsider the main themes of our time. We see that neither of these two issues, peace and development, have been resolved. The western oppositional forces always change the world according to their own visions; they want to change China and use peaceful evolution to overturn the leadership of our Communist Party. Therefore, if we only develop the economy, we still face the possibility of losing control.

That June 4 riot almost succeeded in bringing a peaceful transition; if it were not for the fact that a large number of veteran comrades were still alive and at a crucial moment they removed Zhao Ziyang and his followers, then we all would have been put in prison. After death we would have been too ashamed to report to Marx. Although we have passed the test of June 4, after our group of senior comrades pass away, without our control, peaceful evolution may still come to China like it did to the former Soviet Union. In 1956, they suppressed the Hungarian Incident and defeated the attacks by Tito’s revisionists of Yugoslavia, but they could not withstand Gorbachev thirty some years later. Once those pioneering senior comrades died, the power of the Communist Party was taken away by peaceful evolution.

After the June 4 riot was suppressed, we have been thinking about how to prevent China from peaceful evolution and how to maintain the Communist Party’s leadership. We thought it over and over but did not come up with any good ideas. If we do not have good ideas, China will inevitably change peacefully, and we will all become criminals in history. After some deep pondering, we finally come to this conclusion: Only by turning our developed national strength into the force of a fist striking outward—only by leading people to go out —can we win forever the Chinese people’s support and love for the Communist Party. Our Party will then stand on invincible ground, and the Chinese people will have to depend on the Communist Party. They will forever follow the Communist Party with their hearts and minds, as was written in a couplet frequently seen in the countryside some years ago: “Listen to Chairman Mao, Follow the Communist Party!” Therefore, the June 4 riot made us realize that we must combine economic development with preparation for war and leading the people to go out! Therefore, since then, our national defense policy has taken a 180 degree turn and we have since emphasized more and more “combining peace and war.” Our economic development is all about preparing for the need of war! Publicly we still emphasize economic development as our center, but in reality, economic development has war as its center! We have made a tremendous effort to construct “The Great Wall Project” to build up, along our coastal and land frontiers as well as around large and medium-sized cities, a solid underground “Great Wall” that can withstand a nuclear war. We are also storing all necessary war materials. Therefore, we will not hesitate to fight a Third World War, so as to lead the people to go out and to ensure the Party’s leadership position. In any event, we, the CCP, will never step down from the stage of history! We’d rather have the whole world, or even the entire globe, share life and death with us than step down from the stage of history!!! Isn’t there a ‘nuclear bondage’ theory? It means that since nuclear weapons have bound the security of the entire world, all will die together if death is inevitable. In my view, there is another kind of bondage, and that is, the fate our Party is tied up with that of the whole world. If we, the CCP, are finished, China will be finished, and the world will be finished.

Our Party’s historical mission is to lead the Chinese people to go out. If we take the long view, we will see that history led us on this path. First, China’s long history has resulted in the world’s largest population, including Chinese in China as well as overseas. Second, once we open our doors, the profit-seeking western capitalists will invest capital and technology in China to assist our development, so that they can occupy the biggest market in the world. Third, our numerous overseas Chinese help us create the most favorable environment for the introduction of foreign capital, foreign technology and advanced experience into China. Thus, it is guaranteed that our reform and open-door policy will achieve tremendous success. Fourth, China’s great economic expansion will inevitably lead to the shrinkage of per-capita living space for the Chinese people, and this will encourage China to turn outward in search for new living space. Fifth, China’s great economic expansion will inevitably come with a significant development in our military forces, creating conditions for our expansion overseas. Even since Napoleon’s time, the West has been has been alert for the possible awakening of the sleeping lion that is China. Now, the sleeping lion is standing up and advancing into the world, and has become unstoppable!

What is the third issue we should clinch firmly in order to accomplish our historical mission of national renaissance? It is to hold firmly onto the big “issue of America.”

Comrade Mao Zedong taught us that we must have a resolute and correct political orientation. What is our key, correct orientation? It is to solve the issue of America.

This appears to be shocking, but the logic is actually very simple.

Comrade He Xin put forward a very fundamental judgment that is very reasonable. He asserted in his report to the Party Central Committee: The renaissance of China is in fundamental conflict with the western strategic interest, and therefore will inevitably be obstructed by the western countries doing everything they can. So, only by breaking the blockade formed by the western countries headed by the United States can China grow and move towards the world!

Would the United States allow us to go out to gain new living space? First, if the United States is firm in blocking us, it is hard for us to do anything significant to Taiwan and some other countries! Second, even if we could snatch some land from Taiwan, Vietnam, India, or even Japan, how much more living space can we get? Very trivial! Only countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the vast land to serve our need for mass colonization.

Therefore, solving the “issue of America” is the key to solving all other issues. First, this makes it possible for us to have many people migrate there and even establish another China under the same leadership of the CCP. America was originally discovered by the ancestors of the yellow race, but Columbus gave credit to the white race. We the descendants of the Chinese nation are entitled to the possession of the land! It is said that the residents of the yellow race have a very low social status in United States. We need to liberate them. Second, after solving the “issue of America,” the western countries in Europe would bow to us, not to mention to Taiwan, Japan and other small countries. Therefore, solving the “issue of America” is the mission assigned to CCP members by history.

I sometimes think how cruel it is for China and the United States to be enemies that are bound to meet on a narrow road! Do you remember a movie about Liberation Army troops led by Liu Bocheng and Deng Xiaoping? The title is something like “Decisive Battle on the Central Plains.” There is a famous remark in the movie that is full of power and grandeur: “The enemies are bound to meet on a narrow road, only the brave will win!” It is this kind of fighting to win or die spirit that enabled us to seize power in Mainland China. It is historical destiny that China and United States will come into unavoidable confrontation on a narrow path and fight each other! The United States, unlike Russia and Japan, has never occupied and hurt China, and also assisted China in its battle against the Japanese. But, it will certainly be an obstruction, and the biggest obstruction! In the long run, the relationship of China and the United States is one of a life-and-death struggle.

One time, some Americans came to visit and tried to convince us that the relationship between China and United States is one of interdependence. Comrade Xiaoping replied in a polite manner: “Go tell your government, China and the United States do not have such a relationship that is interdependent and mutually reliant.” Actually, Comrade Xiaoping was being too polite, he could have been more frank, “The relationship between China and United States is one of a life-and-death struggle.” Of course, right now it is not the time to openly break up with them yet. Our reform and opening to the outside world still rely on their capital and technology, we still need America. Therefore, we must do everything we can to promote our relationship with America, learn from America in all aspects and use America as an example to reconstruct our country.

How have we managed our foreign affairs in these years? Even if we had to put on a smiling face in order to please them, even if we had to give them the right cheek after they had hit our left cheek, we still must endure in order to further our relationship with the United States. Do you remember the character of Wuxun in the movie the “Story of Wuxun”? In order to accomplish his mission, he endured so much pain and suffered so much beating and kicking! The United States is the most successful country in the world today. Only after we have learned all of its useful experiences can we replace it in the future. Even though we are presently imitating the American tone “China and United States rely on each other and share honor and disgrace,” we must not forget that the history of our civilization repeatedly has taught us that one mountain does not allow two tigers to live together.

We also must never forget what Comrade Xiaoping emphasized “refrain from revealing the ambitions and put others off the track.” The hidden message is: we must put up with America; we must conceal our ultimate goals, hide our capabilities and await the opportunity. In this way, our mind is clear. Why have we not updated our national anthem with something peaceful? Why did we not change the anthem’s theme of war? Instead, when revising the Constitution this time, for the first time we clearly specified “March of the Volunteers” is our national anthem. Thus we will understand why we constantly talk loudly about the “Taiwan issue” but not the “American issue.” We all know the principle of “doing one thing under the cover of another.” If ordinary people can only see the small island of Taiwan in their eyes, then you as the elite of our country should be able to see the whole picture of our cause. Over these years, according to Comrade Xiaoping’s arrangement, a large piece of our territory in the North has been given up to Russia; do you really think our Party Central Committee is a fool?

To resolve the issue of America we must be able to transcend conventions and restrictions. In history, when a country defeated another country or occupied another country, it could not kill all the people in the conquered land, because back then you could not kill people effectively with sabers or long spears, or even with rifles or machine guns. Therefore, it was impossible to gain a stretch of land without keeping the people on that land. However, if we conquered America in this fashion, we would not be able to make many people migrate there.

Only by using special means to “clean up” America will we be able to lead the Chinese people there. This is the only choice left for us. This is not a matter of whether we are willing to do it or not. What kind of special means is there available for us to “clean up” America? Conventional weapons such as fighters, canons, missiles and battleships won’t do; neither will highly destructive weapons such as nuclear weapons. We are not as foolish as to want to perish together with America by using nuclear weapons, despite the fact that we have been exclaiming that we will have the Taiwan issue resolved at whatever cost. Only by using non-destructive weapons that can kill many people will we be able to reserve America for ourselves. There has been rapid development of modern biological technology, and new bio weapons have been invented one after another. Of course we have not been idle; in the past years we have seized the opportunity to master weapons of this kind. We are capable of achieving our purpose of “cleaning up” America all of a sudden. When Comrade Xiaoping was still with us, the Party Central Committee had the perspicacity to make the right decision not to develop aircraft carrier groups and focus instead on developing lethal weapons that can eliminate mass populations of the enemy country.

From a humanitarian perspective, we should issue a warning to the American people and persuade them to leave America and leave the land they have lived in to the Chinese people. Or at least they should leave half of the United States to be China’s colony, because America was first discovered by the Chinese. But would this work? If this strategy does not work, then there is only one choice left to us. That is, use decisive means to “clean up” America, and reserve America for our use in a moment. Our historical experience has proven that as long as we make it happen, nobody in the world can do anything about us. Furthermore, if the United States as the leader is gone, then other enemies have to surrender to us.

Biological weapons are unprecedented in their ruthlessness, but if the Americans do not die then the Chinese have to die. If the Chinese people are strapped to the present land, a total societal collapse is bound to take place. According to the computation of the author of Yellow Peril, more than half of the Chinese will die, and that figure would be more than 800 million people! Just after the liberation, our yellow land supported nearly 500 million people, while today the official figure of the population is more than 1.3 billion. This yellow land has reached the limit of its capacity. One day, who knows how soon it will come, the great collapse will occur any time and more than half of the population will have to go.

We must prepare ourselves for two scenarios. If our biological weapons succeed in the surprise attack [on the United States], the Chinese people will be able to keep their losses at a minimum in the fight against the United States. If, however, the attack fails and triggers a nuclear retaliation from the United States, China would perhaps suffer a catastrophe in which more than half of its population would perish. That is why we need to be ready with air defense systems for our big and medium-sized cities. Whatever the case may be, we can only move forward fearlessly for the sake of our Party and state and our nation’s future, regardless of the hardships we have to face and the sacrifices we have to make. The population, even if more than half dies, can be reproduced. But if the Party falls, everything is gone, and forever gone!

In Chinese history, in the replacement of dynasties, the ruthless have always won and the benevolent have always failed. The most typical example involved Xiang Yu the King of Chu, who, after defeating Liu Bang, failed to continue to chase after him and eliminate his forces, and this leniency resulted in Xiang Yu’s death and Liu’s victory (during the war between Chu and Han, just after the Qin Dynasty (221-206BC) was overthrown). Therefore, we must emphasize the importance of adopting resolute measures. In the future, the two rivals, China and the United States, will eventually meet each other in a narrow road, and our leniency to the Americans will mean cruelty toward the Chinese people.    Here some people may want to ask me: what about the several millions of our compatriots in the United States? They may ask: aren’t we against Chinese killing other Chinese?

These comrades are too pedantic; they are not pragmatic enough. If we had insisted on the principle that the Chinese should not kill other Chinese, would we have liberated China? As for the several million Chinese living in the United States, this is of course a big issue. Therefore in recent years, we have been conducting research on genetic weapons, i.e. those weapons that do not kill yellow people. But producing a result with this kind of research is extremely difficult. Of the research done on genetic weapons throughout the world, the Israeli’s is the most advanced. Their genetic weapons are designed to target Arabs and protect the Israelis. But even they have not reached the stage of actual deployment. We have cooperated with Israel on some research. Perhaps we can introduce some of the technologies used to protect Israelis and remold these technologies to protect the yellow people. But their technologies are not mature yet, and it is difficult for us to surpass them in a few years. If it has to be five or ten years before some breakthroughs can be achieved in genetic weapons, we cannot afford to wait any longer.

Old comrades like us cannot afford to wait that long, for we don’t have that much time to live. Old soldiers of my age may be able to wait for five or ten more years, but those from the period of the Anti-Japanese War or the few old Red Army soldiers cannot wait any longer. Therefore we have to give up our expectations about genetic weapons. Of course, from another perspective, the majority of those Chinese living in the United States have become our burden, because they have been corrupted by the bourgeois liberal values for a long time and it would be difficult for them to accept our Party’s leadership. If they survived the war, we would have to launch campaigns in the future to deal with them, to reform them. Do you still remember that when we had just defeated the Koumintang (KMT) and liberated Mainland China, so many people from the bourgeois class and intellectuals welcomed us so very warmly, but later we had to launch campaigns such as the “suppression of the reactionaries” and “Anti-Rightist Movement” to clean them up and reform them? Some of them were in hiding for a long time and were not exposed until the Cultural Revolution. History has proved that any social turmoil is likely to involve many deaths. Maybe we can put it this way: death is the engine that moves history forward. During the period of Three Kingdoms [9], how many people died? When Genghis Khan conquered Eurasia, how many people died? When Manchu invaded the interior of China, how many people died? Not many people died during the 1911 Revolution, but when we overthrew the Three Great Mountains [10], and during the political campaigns such as “Suppression of reactionaries,” “Three-Anti Campaign,” and “Five-Anti Campaign” at least 20 million people died. We were apprehensive that some young people today would be trembling with fear when they hear about wars or people dying. During wartime, we were used to seeing dead people. Blood and flesh were flying everywhere, corpses were lying in heaps on the fields, and blood ran like rivers. We saw it all. On the battlefields, everybody’s eyes turned red with killing because it was a life-and-death struggle and only the brave would survive.

It is indeed brutal to kill one or two hundred million Americans. But that is the only path that will secure a Chinese century, a century in which the CCP leads the world. We, as revolutionary humanitarians, do not want deaths. But if history confronts us with a choice between deaths of Chinese and those of Americans, we’d have to pick the latter, as, for us, it is more important to safeguard the lives of the Chinese people and the life of our Party. That is because, after all, we are Chinese and members of the CCP. Since the day we joined the CCP, the Party’s life has always been above all else! History will prove that we made the right choice.

Now, when I am about to finish my speech, you probably understand why we conducted this online survey. Simply put, through conducting this online survey we wanted to know whether the people would rise against us if one day we secretly adopt resolute means to “clean up” America. Would more people support us or oppose us? This is our basic judgment: if our people approve of shooting at prisoners of war, women and children, then they would approve our “cleaning up” America. For over twenty years, China has been enjoying peace, and a whole generation has not been tested by war. In particular, since the end of World War II, there have been many changes in the formats of war, the concept of war and the ethics of war. Especially since the collapse of the former Soviet Union and Eastern European Communist states, the ideology of the West has come to dominate the world as a whole, and the Western theory of human nature and Western view of human rights have increasingly disseminated among the young people in China. Therefore, we were not very sure about the people’s attitude. If our people are fundamentally opposed to “cleaning up” America, we will, of course, have to adopt corresponding measures.

Why didn’t we conduct the survey through administrative means instead of through the web? We did what we did for a good reason.

First of all, we did it to reduce artificial inference and to make sure that we got the true thoughts of the people. In addition, it is more confidential and won’t reveal the true purpose of our survey. But what is most important is the fact that most of the people who are able to respond to the questions online are from social groups that are relatively well-educated and intelligent. They are the hard-core and leading groups that play a decisive role among our people. If they support us, then the people as a whole will follow us; if they oppose us, they will play the dangerous role of inciting people and creating social disturbance.

What turned out to be very comforting is they did not turn in a blank test paper. In fact, they turned in a test paper with a score of over 80. This is the excellent fruition of our Party’s work in propaganda and education over the past few decades.

Of course, a few people under the Western influence have objected to shooting at prisoners of war and women and children. Some of them said, “It is shocking and scary to witness so many people approving of shooting at women and children. Is everybody crazy?” Some others said, “The Chinese love to label themselves as a peace-loving people, but actually they are the most ruthless people. The comments are resonant of killing and murdering, sending chills to my heart.”

Although there are not too many people holding this kind of viewpoint and they will not affect the overall situation in any significant way, but we still need to strengthen the propaganda to respond to this kind of argument.

That is to vigorously propagate Comrade He Xin’s latest article, which has already been reported to the central government. You may look it up on the website.

If you get on the website using key words to search, you will find out that a while ago, comrade He Xin pointed out to the Hong Kong Business News during an interview that: “The US has a shocking conspiracy.” According to what he had in hand, from September 27 to October 1, 1995, the Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachëv Foundation, funded by the United States, gathered 500 of the world’s most important statesmen, economic leaders and scientists, including George W. Bush (he was not the US president at the time), the Baroness Thatcher, Tony Blair, Zbigniew Brzezinski, as well as George Soros, Bill Gates, futurist John Naisbitt, etc., all of the world’s most popular characters, in the San Francisco Fairmont hotel for a high-level round table conference, discussing problems about globalization and how to guide humanity to move forward into the 21st century. According to what He Xin had in hand, the outstanding people of the world in attendance thought that in the 21st century a mere 20% of the world’s population will be sufficient to maintain the world’s economy and prosperity, the other 80% or 4/5 of the world’s population will be human garbage unable to produce new values. The people in attendance thought that this excess 80% population would be a trash population and “high-tech” means should be used to eliminate them gradually.

Since the enemies are secretly planning to eliminate our population, we certainly cannot be infinitely merciful and compassionate to them. Comrade He Xin’s article came out at the right time, it has proven the correctness of our tit for tat battle approach, has proven Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s great foresight to deploy against the United States military strategy.

Certainly, in spreading Comrade He Xin’s views, we cannot publish the article in the party newspapers, in order to avoid raising the enemy’s vigilance. He Xin’s conversation may remind the enemy that we have grasped the modern science and technology, including “clean” nuclear technology, gene weapons technology as well as biological weapons technology, and we can use powerful measures to eliminate their population on a large-scale.

The last problem I want to talk about is of firmly seizing the preparations for military battle.

Currently, we are at the cross road of moving forward or backward. Some comrades saw problems flooding everywhere in our country—the corruption problem, the state-owned enterprise problem, the bank’s bad accounts problem, environmental problems, society security problems, education problems, the AIDS problem, various appeals problem, even the riots problem. These comrades vacillated in the determination to prepare for the military battle. They thought; they should first grab the political reform problem, that is, our own political reform comes first. After resolving the domestic problems, we can then deal with the foreign military battle problem.

This reminds me of the crucial period in 1948 in the Chinese revolution. At that time, the People’s Liberation Army’s “horses were drinking water” in Yangtze River, but they faced extremely complex situations and difficult problems everywhere in the liberated areas, and the central authority received emergency reports daily. What to do? Should we stop to manage rear areas and internal matters first before moving forward, or press on to pass the Yangtze River with one vigorous effort? Chairman Mao, with his extraordinary wisdom and mettle, gave the marching order “Carry on the revolution to the end,” and liberated all of China. The previously thought “serious” conflicting problems were all resolved in this great forward moving revolutionary wave.

Now, it seems like we are in the same critical period as the “horses were drinking water” in the Yangtze River days in the revolutionary era, as long as we firmly seize the most basic principle of preparing for the military battle. The central committee believes, as long as we resolve the United States problem at one blow, our domestic problems will all be readily solved. Therefore, our military battle preparation appears to aim at Taiwan, but in fact is aimed at the United States, and the preparation is far beyond the scope of attacking aircraft carriers or satellites.

Marxism pointed out that violence is the midwife for the birth of the new society. Therefore war is the midwife for the birth of China’s century. As war approaches, I am full of hope for our next generation.

*     *     *Notes:

[1] Sina.com is one of the largest on-line media corporations in China. The on-line survey was launched by sina.com’s branch Sina Military (jczs.sina.com.cn). It started on February 2 and ended on March 1, 2004 and there were 31,872 persons who filled out the survey. The web page for this on-line survey is at “http://jczs.sina.com.cn/2004-02-02/1644180066.html” but this page has been removed and cannot be viewed.

The question was “If you are a solider, and if are under the orders of your commanding officers, will you shoot at women, children and prisoners of war?” 34% of the visitors answered they would shoot under any circumstances even without permission from their commanding officer. 48.6% of the visitors replied that they would shoot when the lives of themselves or their companies are threatened. Only 3.8% of the participants held they would not shoot under any circumstances. Those who agreed to shoot were mostly under the age of 25.

[2] “War Is Approaching Us”

[3] “Three islands” refer to Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands, and Spratly Islands.

[4] Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997). Officially, Deng was the leader of the CCP and China from 1978-89. Actually, after Mao’s death in 1976 Deng became the de facto leader of China until Deng finally died in 1997.

[5] Hu Jintao (1942-). Leader of the “fourth generation” of CCP officials. In 2003, Hu became President of the People’s Republic of China.

[6] Liu Huaqing (1916-). Commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy from 1982 through 1988, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission (until 1997). Liu is considered to be responsible for the PLA’s modernization efforts.

[7] He Xin (1949-). Senior Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

[8] “Three Represents” states that the CCP represents the requirement to develop advanced productive forces, an orientation towards advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China. It was put forward by Jiang Zemin, former Chinese president.

[9] Three Kingdoms refer to Wei, Shu, and Wu, three countries that overlapped the land of China during the period A.D. 220-80.

[10] “Three great mountains” were said according to the CCP to have weighed on the backs of the Chinese people—imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic-capitalism.

The original Chinese article is available at: http://epochtimes.com/gb/5/8/1/n1003911.htm

Inside the Bohemian Grove

Originally written in 1989 for Spy magazine this article captures much of the weirdness of The Bohemian Grove. These folks are not who you thought or maybe still think they are.

Masters of the Universe Go to Camp: Inside the Bohemian Grove

by Philip Weiss
Spy Magazine, November 1989

MONTE RIO is a depressed Northern California town of 900 where the forest is so thick that some streetlights stay on all day long. Its only landmark is a kick-ass bar called the Pink Elephant, but a half-mile or so away from “the Pink,” in the middle of a redwood grove, there is, strangely enough, a bank of 16 pay telephones. In midsummer the phones are often crowded. On July 21 of this year Henry Kissinger sat at one of them, chuffing loudly to someone — Sunshine, her called her, and Sweetie — about the pleasant distractions of his vacation in the forest.

“We had jazz concert,” Kissinger said. “We had rope trick. This morning we went bird-watching.”

Proudly Kissinger reeled off the names of some of his fellow campers: “Nick Brady and his brother is here.” (Brady was the U.S. Treasury Secretary at the time.) “Tom Johnson is here.” (Then the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, who had copies of his newspaper shipped up every day.) “That Indian is here, Bajpai.” (He meant Shankar Bajpai, former ambassador to the U.S.) “Today they had a Russian.”

The Russian was the physicist Roald Sagdeev, a member of the Soviet Supreme Council of People’s Deputies, who had given a speech to Kissinger and many other powerful men too. George Shultz, the former secretary of State, wearing hiking boots, had listened while sitting under a tree. Kissinger had lolled on the ground, distributing mown grass clippings across his white shirt, being careful not to set his elbow on one of the cigar butts squashed in the grass, and joking with a wiry, nut-brown companion.

The woman on the line now asked about the friend. “Oh, Rocard is having a ball.” Kissinger was sharing his turtleneck with Rocard, for nights amid the redwoods grew surprisingly cool. The two of them were camping in Mandalay, the most exclusive bunk site in the encampment, the one on the hill with the tiny cable car that carries visitors up to the compound.

Meanwhile, Kissinger had been offering Rocard advice: “I told him, ‘Do anything you want, hide in the bushes — just don’t let them see you.'” Rocard was Michel Rocard, the prime minister of France, and this was a secret trip. No one was supposed to know he was peering up at ospreys and turkey vultures and hearing Soviet speakers along with former American secretaries of State and the present secretary of the Treasury. And David Rockefeller too. And Dwayne Andreas, the chairman of Archer-Daniels-Midland. Merv Griffin. Walter Cronkite.

No one was supposed to know that Rocard himself would be speaking the next day down at the lake, under the green speakers’ parasol. As orange dragonflies coupled dazzlingly over the water, as bullfrogs sounded, Rocard would lean forward and say, “Because you are such an astonishing group of men, I can speak privately.” It was a devilishly charming thing to say, calculated to flatter the men of the Bohemian Grove.

Every summer for more than a century, the all-male Bohemian Club of San Francisco has led a retreat into a redwood forest 70 miles north of the city, four and a quarter square miles of rugged, majestic terrain that members consider sacred. The religion they consecrate is right-wing, laissez-faire and quintessentially western, with some Druid tree worship thrown in for fun. The often bizarre rites have elevated what was once a provincial club for San Franciscans embarrassed by the rude manners of the Wild West into the most exclusive club in the United States, with 2,300 members drawn from the whole of the American establishment and a waiting list 33 years long.

In the first 50 years of the club’s existence the Bohemian Grove was comparatively accessible to outsiders, but in the 1930s, as the club gained influence and its redwoods provided a haven for Republican presidents, it grew quite secretive about its rituals and membership — you won’t even find the Grove on public maps. [This is not entirely accurate; “Bohemian Grove” is labeled as such on USGS topographic maps. — GWD.] This has been especially true in the last ten years as Bohemia’s stunning roster has waxed ever more statusy, as Kissinger and Rockefeller and Nick Brady have joined, drawing the attention of left-wing protesters, scholars of elites, and reporters. Th encampment has become the primary watering hole for Republican administration officials, defense contractors, press barons, old-line Hollywood figures, establishment intellectuals and a handful of German speaking men in lederhosen. What the Bois de Boulogne was to the ancien regime, the Grove is to America’s power class. Ronald Reagan and George Bush are members. So are Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon — though club directors are said to be miffed at Nixon, a longtime Bohemian Grover, who’s still listed as sleeping in Cave Man, one of the Grove’s 119 curiously and sometimes appropriately named camps.

Today the Grove is stocked with Reaganites. Former Defense secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, former attorney general William French Smith and former Transportation secretary Drew Lewis are all members. At the encampment last July, Al Haig was there, along with three other former secretaries of State: Kissinger, Shultz and William P. Rogers (Rogers as a guest of former national security adviser William P. Clark’s). James A. Baker III, the current secretary of State, is also a member, but he couldn’t make it this year. The right-wing Hoover Institution at Stanford attended in full force and brought along the president of Washington’s Heritage Foundation. William F. Buckley Jr. and Malcolm Forbes held court.

Big business shows up: Thomas Watson Jr. of IBM, billionaire John Kluge of Metromedia. Former Bank of America chairman Samuel Armacost brought IBM chairman John F. Akers, Bechtel chairman S. D. Bechtel Jr. brought Amoco chairman Richard Morrow. Noted and hoary writers and personalities are members: Herman Wouk, Art Linkletter, Fred Travalena. Scenting power, press lords skip in from all over the country: Joe Albritton, former owner of The Washington Star; Charles E. Scripps and Otto Silha of Cowles Media; the McClatchys of the McClatchy chain; and David Gergen of U.S. News & World Report all obey the Bohemian command of keeping the goings-on from their readers.

Every spring for many years now, Bohemian Club presidents have formally summoned such men to the Grove with great effusion:

“Brother Bohemians: The Sun is Once Again in the Clutches of the Lion, and the encircling season bids us to the forest — there to celebrate… the awful mysteries!”

“Bohemians come! Find home again in the Grove! Burn CARE and hurl his ashes, whirling, from our glade!”

“Come out Bohemians! come out and play, come with all the buoyant impetuous rush of youth!”

And this year, when president George Elliott wrote, more drably, “Around campfires large and small, warm hospitality awaits you. Of course you must be with us,” I heard his summons, too.

It was a good time to visit the Grove. The country was still steeped in the aw-shucks authoritarianism of the Reagan years, and if there is any place to study the culture of our ruling class it is here among the Grove’s benevolent, string-tie aristocracy. Also, it seemed possible that Ronald Reagan himself might make a triumphant return to his longtime camp, Owl’s Nest. While president he had avoided the Grove, a custom Nixon cemented in 1971 when he canceled a speech planned for the lakeside in the secret encampment after the press insisted on covering it.

For me, the trick was getting in. A guest card was out of the question: club bylaws have stated that a member-sponsor’s application “shall be in writing and shall contain full information for the guidance of the Board in determining the merits and qualifications of the proposed guest.” No, Section 8, Article XVIII was too fine a screen for me. And my attempts to get a job as a waiter or a valet in one of the camps failed.

In the end I entered by stealth. Some observers of the Grove had warned that security was too good; they’d sniff me out quickly. I might last three hours before they put me in the Santa Rosa jail for trespassing. Lowell Bergman, a producer with 60 Minutes who used to hunt rabbits in the nearby hills, remembered a fire road leading into the site near the Guerneville waste-treatment plant but said they’d spot me sneaking in. Others mentioned barbed wire and electronic monitoring devices at places where the Grove abuts Monte Rio, and helicopters patrolling the “ridge roads” that traverse the 1,000-foot hills and form the Grove’s perimeter. One day I drove up to the front gate and got a daunting glimpse of what looked like the Grove sheriff, a barrel like figure in a Smokey the Bear hat. A set of checkpoints like the Berlin Wall seemed to stretch out behind him.

But by then I’d made my connection, My driver was Mary Moore, an Earth Mother type with long silvery-blond hair who is the most active member of a distinctly Californian left-wing group called the Bohemian Grove Action Network. Moore agreed to help me get in, providing me with a sort of underground railroad. She put at my service a mountain guide who demanded only that I keep the methods he devised for me confidential. He had a keen geographical sense and a girlfriend who described a plan to seed magic crystals at the Grove gates to make them open of their own accord so that Native American drummers could walk in.

We didn’t do it that way, but it turned out that Grove security isn’t quite what it’s reputed to be. The sociologists who had studied the place were right; there was no real security. Reporters seeking to write about the Grove had rarely been inside, and then usually for only a few hours at a time, but I was determined to have a good, long look, so I took care to blend. I outfitted myself in conservative recreational wear — a pressed plaid shirt, PermaPrest chinos, Top Siders, a sport jacket — I always carried a drink, and I made it a point to have that morning’s Wall Street Journal or New York Times under my arm when I surfaced (though television is against the rules, newspapers are sold at the Grove Civic Center). Thus equipped, I came and went on 7 days during the 16-day encampment, openly trespassing in what is regarded as an impermeable enclave and which the press routinely refers to as a heavily guarded area. Though I regularly violated Grove rule 20 (“Members and guests shall sign the register when arriving at or departing from the Grove”), I was never stopped or questioned. (Another rule forbade cameras outside one’s own camp. I waited till my last day to bring one in.) Indeed, I was able to enjoy most pleasures of the Grove, notably the speeches, songs, elaborate drag shows, endless toasts, pre-breakfast gin fizzes, round-the-clock “Nembutals” and other drinks — though I didn’t sleep in any of the camps or swim naked with likeminded Bohemians in the Russian River at night.

My imposture included misrepresenting myself in conversation with other campers, and my story kept changing as I learned more about how life inside was organized. I said I was a guest of Bromley camp, where unsortable visitors end up. At 33, 1 was one of the youngest Bohemians, but I was welcome almost as a policy matter. “We looked around and saw we were becoming an old-men’s club,” a member said, explaining recent efforts to recruit fresh blood. Being from New York was fine; the Grove limits retreat guests to out-of-staters (though clamoring by well-connected Californians to visit the forest has resulted in the rise of the June “Spring Jinks” weekend). I used my real name. No one inside acted suspicious, but paranoia about the Grove seemed justified, and I brought along my own version of cyanide: Interol, a tranquilizer used by actors to counteract stage fright. One day a member asked if I was related to a Bohemian named Jack Weiss. “No, but I’ve heard a lot about him and I’d like to meet him.” “You can’t,” he said. “He’s dead.” After that I began working a dead West Coast relative’s promise to have me out to the Grove one summer into a shaggy-dog story about my invitation.

In this way I managed to drop in on the principal events of the encampment, right up to the final Saturday, July 29, 12:30 p.m., when I attended a Lakeside Talk whose giver was, intriguingly, the only one not identified in the program of events. “Speaker: To Be Announced,” it said, raising the question of what dignitary might be thought more important than Prime Minister Rocard, who was listed as the speaker on the middle Saturday.

My first full-strength dose of Bohemian culture took place two weeks earlier, the first Saturday night, when after a long day in the Grove I took a seat on the grassy lakeside among 1,500 ocher men for the encampment’s famously surreal opening ritual. As the magic hour of 9:15 approached, a helicopter from a network newsmagazine circled frantically far above the darkened forest, searching out a spectacle lit at that point only by the hundreds of cigars whose smokers had ignited them in defiance of the California Forest Service’s posted warnings. My neighbor suggested that someone ought to “shoot the fucker down,” flashing the press hatred that prevails in Bohemia.

“My friends don’t understand this,” a pudgy 35-year-old in front of me confided to his companion. “I know that if they could see it, they would see how terrific it is. It’s like great sex…”

It was the sort of analogy I was to hear often in the nearly 60 hours I spent inside the Grove.

The friend and I leaned closer. “It’s more than it’s cracked up to be. You can’t describe it,” he explained. Then everyone hushed as a column of hooded figures carrying torches emerged solemnly from the woods 100 yards away, bearing a corpse down to the water.

You know you are inside the Bohemian Grove when you come down a trail in the woods and hear piano music from amid a group of tents and then round a bend to see a man with a beer in one hand and his penis in the other, urinating into the bushes. This is the most gloried-in ritual of the encampment, the freedom of powerful men to pee wherever they like, a right the club has invoked when trying to fight government anti-sex discrimination efforts and one curtailed only when it comes to a few popular redwoods just outside the Dining Circle. Tacked to one of these haplessly postprandial trees is a sign conveying the fairy-dust mixture of boyishness and courtliness that envelops the encampment: Gentlemen please! No pee pee here!

Everything in the encampment is sheltered by redwoods, which admit hazy shafts of sunlight, and every camp has a more or less constant campfire sending a soft column of smoke into the trees. The walled camps are generally about 100 feet wide and stretch back up the hillside, with wooden platforms on which members set up tents. Bohemians sleep on cots in these tents, or, in the richer camps, in redwood cabins. The camps are decorated with wooden or stone sculptures of owls, the Grove symbol. Members wash up in dormitory-style bathrooms and eat breakfast and dinner collectively in the Dining Circle, a splendid outdoor arena with fresh wood chips covering the ground and only the sky above. It never rains when the encampment is on.

During the day, idleness is encouraged. There are few rules, the most famous one being “Weaving Spiders Come Not Here” — in other words, don’t do business in the Grove. The rule is widely ignored. Another, unwritten rule is that everyone drink — and that everyone drink all the time. This rule is strictly adhered to. “His method was to seize a large horse bucket, throw a hunk of ice into it, pour in several bottles of gin and a half a bottle of vermouth, and slosh it all around,” goes one Grove recipe. The traditional 7:00 a.m. gin fizzes served in bed by camp valets set the pace. Throughout the skeet-shooting, the domino-playing and the museum talks, right up through the “afterglows” that follow each evening’s entertainment, everyone is perpetually numbed and loose, but a clubbish decorum prevails just the same. No one throws up. Now and then, though, a Bohemian sits down in the ferns and passes out.

The sense that you are inside an actual club is heightened by all the furnishings that could not survive a wet season outdoors: the stuffed lion on top of Jungle camp; the red lanterns in the trees behind Dragons camp at night, which add to the haunting atmosphere; the paintings of camels, pelicans and naked women that are hung outside; the soft couch in the doorway of Woof camp, and everywhere pianos that, when the encampment is over, go back to the piano warehouse near the front gate. There’s a feeling of both great privilege and rusticity. Bohemians talk about roughing it, but at a privy in the woods near the river, there is a constantly renewed supply of paper toilet-seat covers. And the sand at the Russian River beach is traversed by coconut-fiber mats and rich figured squares cut from the carpets in the “City Club,” the five-story brick Bohemian building in downtown San Francisco.

All day long there is music in the Grove, and at night in some camps there are programs of entertainment: comics, singers, actors. Any Bohemian is welcome at such events. One afternoon, for instance, the Valhalla camp deck was crowded with men drinking Valhalla’s home-brewed beer and listening to singers. They sang from a small stage in front of a redwood on which was hung a framed nineteenth-century engraving. The scene was permeated by a kind of kitsch Black Forest imagery, and the setting seemed very Wagnerian — though the music was sometimes undercut by the soft drumming of tinkling urine off the edge of the porch, where the beer drinkers went one after the other. The deck’s railing posed a dilemma. It was set at crotch level, so you had to sort of crouch.

Then the beer brewer himself came out to sing: “Mandalay,” the song based on the Kipling poem. He was a goateed giant with massive shoulders and a beer gut. Rudyard Kipling, romantic colonialist and exponent of the masculine spirit, is, naturally, one of the Grove’s heroes, and “Mandalay” is a triumphant white man’s-burden song. The brewer finished tearily, his arms high above his head, fists clenched, “Take me back to Mandalay-ah.”

Amid wild applause one man removed a heavily chewed cigar to say, “If that don’t send a chill up your spine, you ain’t a Bohemian.” His friend, a man in a yellow brocade vest, agreed. “He really put the balls into it.”

“Yep, Big Daddy’s in town.”

One reason for the Bohemian Club’s poor public relations is the name it gave to the yearly opening ceremony: The Cremation of Care. The cremation is intended to put the busy men of the club at ease and banish the stress of the outside world, but it arouses critics of the encampment because they interpret it to mean that Bohemians literally don’t care about the outside world. Cremation of Care, they fear, means the death of caring. Demonstrations outside the Grove a few years back often centered around the “Resurrection of Care.”

The cremation took place at the man-made lake that is the center of a lot of Grove social activity. At 9:15 p.m. a procession of priests carrying the crypt of Mr. Dull Care came out of the trees on the east side, along the Grove’s chief thoroughfare, River Road. They wore bright red, blue and orange hooded robes chat might have been designed for the Ku Klux Klan by Marimekko. When they reached the water, they extinguished their torches.

At this point some hamadryads (tree spirits) and another priest or two appeared at the base of the main owl shrine, a 40-foot-tall, moss-covered statue of stone and steel at the south end of the lake, and sang songs about Care. They told of how a man’s heart is divided between “reality” and “fantasy,” how it is necessary to escape to another world of fellowship among men. Vaguely homosexual undertones suffused this spectacle, as they do much of ritualized life in the Grove. The main priest wore a pink-and-green satin costume, while a hamadryad appeared before a redwood in a gold spangled bodysuit dripping with rhinestones. They spoke of “fairy unguents” that would free men to pursue warm fellowship, and I was reminded of something Herman Wouk wrote about the Grove: “Men can decently love each other; they always have, bur women never quite understand.”

Then the crypt of Care was poled slowly down the lake by a black-robed figure in a black gondola, accompanied by a great deal of special effects smoke. Just as the priests set out to torch the crypt, a red light appeared high in a redwood and large speakers in the forest amplified the cackling voice of Care: “Fools! When will ye learn that me ye cannot slay? Year after year ye burn me in this Grove…. But when again ye turn your feet toward the marketplace, am I not waiting for you, as of old?”

With that, Care spat upon the fires, extinguishing them. The priests turned in desperation to the owl. “Oh thou, great symbol of all mortal wisdom, Owl of Bohemia … grant us thy counsel!”

Every year there are new wrinkles on the cremation ceremony. The big improvement this year was to project a sort of hologram onto the owl’s face so that its beak seemed to move. Also, it was Walter Cronkite talking. (Cronkite camps in Hill Billies along with George H.W. Bush, William F. Buckley Jr. and former astronaut and ex-Eastern Air Lines chairman Frank Borman.) Cronkite, as the owl, said that the only way Care could be cremated was to use fire from the Lamp of Fellowship before him, an “eternal” gas flame that burns day and night while the encampment is on.

That did it. Care went up in blazes. Around me the men exploded in huzzahs. Fireworks went off at the lakeside, and a brass band in peppermint-striped jackets and straw boaters came out of the woods playing “There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.”

The sudden appearance of men in striped jackets shows what a bouillabaisse of traditions the Grove is. Bohemian Club literature is pious on this score. It boasts that the Cremation of Care ceremony derives from Druid rites, medieval Christian liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, Shakespearean drama and nineteenth-century American lodge rites.

Early Bohemians were hungry for exaltation and grabbed on to any tradition they could find to dignify their exile in the vulgar West. The club was founded in 1872, just three years after the transcontinental railroad was completed, by a group of newspapermen and artists who plainly felt social anxiety about their surroundings. Early club menus offered dolled-up western dishes such as “boiled striped bass au vin blanc” and “cafe noir.” The club’s “men of talent” (i.e., artists and writers) included writers of a populist bent: Mark Twain, Bret Harte, Henry M. Stanley. Bohemian Jack London was a socialist; Bohemian Henry George, a radical reformer.

But the club’s newspapermen were also socially ambitious, aiming to chronicle California’s rise in the arts and sciences. Bohemian, they agreed in their early annals, didn’t mean an unwashed shirt and poetry; it signified London, the beau monde, men of eminence whose purses were always open to their friends. By such standards, San Francisco businessmen surely looked crude.

Just the same, the club needed such “men of use” to support their activities.

The Bohemian Club’s waiting list, which had first appeared away back in the 1920s, grew to ridiculous lengths. I was told that if a Californian is not admitted before he is 30, he can despair of membership unless he achieves commercial or political prominence. Many older men die waiting. And membership comes dear. The initiation fee for regular voting membership is said to be $8,500, and dues are set at more than $2,000 a year. Because the regular members require entertainment, “men of talent” pay greatly reduced fees. On Wouk’s acceptance, for instance, he was put to work writing a history of the club.

The encampment became controversial in the early Reagan years when reporters, still suffering the hangover of Carter populism, questioned club executive appointees about the club’s sexist practices. The Grove’s keenest adversary is Mary Moore, who lives in a counter cultural shantytown in nearby Occidental. Moore was the 1953 San Luis Obispo County Fiesta queen, but by 1980 she had become, she says, a “woman-identified woman,” and the Grove’s thunderous maleness and what she calls its “closedness” disturbed her. Of course, just about anybody could hate the Grove. With its dense concentration of extravagant war- and money-mongers, it’s an easy object of protest, and 72 left-wing groups eventually joined Moore to form the Bohemian Grove Action Network.

For a while, in the early 1980s, Moore and BGAN thought they might actually liberate the redwoods. In 1984 folk singing demonstrators tried to quarantine the Bohemians inside the Grove because they were so dangerous to the outside world. Fifty people were arrested. Summer after summer BGAN stoked Grove conspiracy theories by getting hold of the guest list. In 1981, for instance, Dan Rostenkowski, Ed Meese and former president of CBS News Van Gordon Sauter attended (Sauter as the guest of former California governor Edmund “Pat” Brown, Jerry’s father). Meese, by the way, is about the only major Reaganite who didn’t end up as a member.

In its obsession with the encampment, BGAN has unwittingly taken on Bohemian traits, becoming a kooky mirror image of the Grove. It wove spidery webs of string across Bohemian Avenue to block the way in. It urged its followers to form “Boho Clubs” to study members so they could be “held accountable by the American People” for participating “in the maintenance of the process of plutocratic patriarchy which threatens the planet Earth with omnicide from the nuclear menace.” When BGAN resurrected Care, it chanted its own hymns: “On a day much like this five score years ago, the first hideous fire was lit in Monte Rio, and sweet Care was banished from this lovely land, and Bohemians reveled upon their shifting sand.”

But by 1985 BGAN’s energies were ebbing. The media’s anti-elitist mood, never all that ferocious, was spent. The reporters that Mary Moore had helped spirit into the Grove for hours at a time had come out with vague, watered-down versions of what went on, or their news organizations had suppressed the accounts. By 1988 the gauntlet of hippies and solarheads and woman-identified women whom the Bohemians had been forced to maneuver their Jags and limos around to get to the gate had disappeared. The Grove was still there.

When I got to Monte Rio, only a couple of signs of protest remained. Moore’s answering machine message asking friends not to call her at her vintage-clothing store in the town of Sebastopol included a denunciation of the Cremation of Care. And inside the Grove the guest list was well guarded. It was posted in a locked glass case during the day, and was removed every night. This was about the highest security I saw inside.

“I’m admitting for the first time in my life having no willpower,” a man was saying to his wife on one of the public phones. He looked bewildered and hung over, and I figured Bohemians were warmly and mysteriously saying to him what they were saying to me: “I can tell this is your first Grove.”

It was just past noon on Sunday, the middle weekend at the encampment — the busiest weekend, with attendance approaching 2,200 men. The most dignified had arrived. On the River Road you heard some small business talk.

“David Jr.’s going into the family business now.”

“He’s got a scruffy beard.”

“Yes, he looks radical, but he doesn’t talk like one.”

“Abby, now, she’s the one who raised her fist at graduation? Had a red fist painted on the back of her gown.”

Of course. The Rockefellers.

“Where was that? Radcliff?”

“You know, they’ve got a lot of liberal faculty.”

“They’re always an the periphery of radicalism.”

“My son was in Santiago, and David sent him letters of introduction to seven leading bankers in seven countries.”

At lakeside the grass was crowded for the day’s talk. Under the green parasol stood General John Chain, commander of the Strategic Air Command, who spoke of the country’s desperate need for the Stealth B-2 bomber. “I am a warrior and that is how I come to you today,” he said. “I need the B-2.”

The important men come out for the Lakeside Talks, and each speaker seems to assume that his audience can actually do something about the issues raised, which, of course, it can. On the first weekend, for instance, Associated Press president Louis Boccardi, addressing his listeners as men of “power and rank,” gave them more details than he said he was willing to give his readers about the plight of Terry Anderson, the Middle East correspondent held hostage since 1985. It was a transparent plea for help.

Other Lakeside speaking is more indulgent. Here Nicholas Brady examined the history of the Jockey Club. Here William Buckley described how he had sat at his desk and cried upon learning of Whittaker Chambers’s death. Here Henry Kissinger made a bathroom pun on the name of his friend Lee Kuan Yew, who was in attendance — the sort of joke that the people of Singapore, whom Lee rules with such authoritarian zeal, are not free to make in public. The speeches are presented as off-the-record — one of the absurdities of Grove life, given that they are open to several thousand people. As the Soviet Sagdeyev said in his speech, “There is no glasnost here.”

After General Chain’s talk, the usual quiet business chatter went on. “Your secretary, I got to tell you, she’s 110 percent,” a dark-haired man said to an older fellow. Three other men discussed a friend of theirs who had left early that morning for New York. One of them seemed puzzled — the friend wasn’t the sort to get going at 7:45 a.m., he noted.

“It was a free ride,” the other friend explained. “Bill Simon had room on his plane.” “Simon doesn’t know he doesn’t have money.”

They all got a big kick out of this. Simon was Treasury secretary in the Ford administration and today is a major savings and loan conglomerateur, active in takeovers. It would seem that this year’s encampment was useful to him. Two weeks later he plunged into Sir James Goldsmith’s battle to take over B.A.T. Industries PLC of England, a deal that could give Simon a toehold in Europe. He was surely influenced by Prime Minister Rocard’s Saturday afternoon Lakeside Talk, in which he dangled the most sanguine business expectations of the new European order.

In 1982 reporters followed German chancellor Helmut Schmidt co the Grove gates, and the front page of the Christian Science Monitor termed the Grove “the West’s hidden summit.” This year Rocard’s visit went unreported. A week after the encampment, a Washington correspondent for a French paper insisted to me that the last time the prime minister had visited the U.S. was a year and a half ago.

“One of the contemporary myths about the Bohemian Club is that it is a gathering and decision-making place for national and international ‘power brokers,”‘ the club’s then-president said in 1980. In fact, the encampment has always had political significance. Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller all stopped in as they geared up for their respective presidential campaigns. Politicians say there is no place like the Grove to help get a campaign rolling. No wonder this year’s guest list included the two biggest congressional bagmen of recent years: Representative Tony Coelho, former chairman of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, and Representative Guy Vanderjagt, his counterpart on the Republican committee. These men were interested in something more than pseudo-Druidic rituals.

The club says it serves as a “refuge” from the strivings of the marketplace, and though it’s true that actual deal-making is discouraged, I heard business being done on all sides. The pay phones were a hub of activity. “Owner slash developer,” a man dictated to his secretary one morning. On the blackboard near the bootblack stand there were phone messages for corporate raider Henry Kravis and Bloomingdale’s chairman Marvin Traub. That day as I sat writing a letter (actually my notes) at the Civic Center, a one-story building in which various amenities (Grove stationery, laundry facilities) are available to Bohemians, I overheard a large fellow in cranberry-colored shorts on the phone, bragging to someone back at the office. “I got slightly inebriated — slightly! — I mean heavily inebriated with the president of the Portland Opera last night. I said we might have a deal for him. They’re going to have Pavarotti there in November. I said when we got back we’d talk about it.”

It was in the phone circle that Henry Kissinger alienated some brother Bohemians on the middle weekend. Wandering into the clearing, he announced to the air, “I have to make two phone calls.” A man finished his call, and Kissinger, ignoring a half-dozen men in line, took the booth and proceeded to retell to a woman, evidently his wife, the Russian speaker’s joke about the KGB’s interrogation of a CIA agent. (The CIA agent denies involvement first in a calamitous ship disaster, then in Chernobyl.” So what are you responsible for,” the KGB asks him. “Your agricultural policy.”) The woman on the line evidently objected to the joke, for Kissinger said, revealing a dovish streak, “Maybe the KGB did write it, but it is not a sign of strength.”

Kissinger’s crusty performance was not appreciated by the men he’d cut in front of in line. One Bohemian, a patrician fellow with silver hair, wheeled in rage, saying, “I’ll be goddamned.” Cutting in line is distinctly un-Bohemian behavior.

Everywhere you hear what is Bohemian and what isn’t Bohemian, One night I wandered into Fore Peak camp and got a lecture from a man named Hugh about Bohemian values as they concerned Fore Peak’s famous drink, a mixture of rum and hot chocolate. Many years ago a doctor called it a Nembutal, and the name stuck, so much so that one Fore Peak camper wears a stethoscope and a white lab coat with Dr. Nembutal stitched on it. Hugh said that an old college friend came to stay in Bohemia and took over the mixing of the drinks. He persisted in putting in too much rum to see how many guys would pass out.

“Hey, knock it off, this is Bohemia,” Hugh had to tell him. He never invited the chum back.

A tenet of Grove life is noncompetitive egalitarianism: all men are equal here. But in fact, class and status differences among camps are pronounced. Just as you have to be sponsored for membership, you have to be sponsored for a camp. The screens get pretty fine. Nonetheless, the ideal of equality is comforting. Among other things, it permits alcoholic failures to feel equal for a few days with their workaholic cousins. Since everyone is supposed to kick back and forget work, it’s the fuck-up’s annual revenge. At Sundodgers camp there is a motto on the mantel: The productive drunk is the bane of all moralists. It tells the productive they can drink, it tells the drunks they’re productive.

A high point of the middle weekend was the performance of The Low Jinks, the Grove’s elaborate musical-comedy show. Over the years the Jinks has become the leading entertainment at the encampment, surpassing the mannered and ponderous Grove Play, which is performed the next weekend. The Jinks is vigorously lowbrow. It takes place on the Field Circle stage, which is wedged in between two camps, Pink Onion (notable for its pink sheets) and Cave Man (notable for big-deal right-wingers and a plaque commemorating Herbert Hoover).

The Field Circle seats are steeply canted; sitting in one feels like being inside a megaphone. The mood was American and bellicose. For a good half hour the band warmed up the audience, playing the fight songs of many California colleges and the armed services and culminating with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Individual melted into group, but what a group: George Shultz was seated below me, and word in the camp was that a year and $75,000 or so had been spent for a production that would be seen just once, just by them. I felt like a member of the greatest nation ever, the greatest gender ever, the greatest generation ever. At such times — at many such times, among strong leaders, deep in the forest — the Grove takes on a certain Germanic übermenschlich feeling.

This year’s Low Jinks was called Sculpture Culture, and the humor was not just lame but circa-1950s college follies lame. Rex Greed, an effeminate gallery owner who sells toilets (“a counterpoint of mass and void”), tries to convince artist Jason Jones Jr. that his future lies in sculptures composed of garbage. When a character describes modern art as “the talentless being sold by the unprincipled to the bewildered,” the crowd’s roar seemed to contain the grief of hundreds of businessmen who have shelled out for headquarters art they do not understand.

The girls were all played by men, and every time they appeared — their chunky legs and flashed buttocks highly visible through tight support hose — the crowd went wild. After one character called the secretaries in the show “heifers,” the audience couldn’t resist breaking into “moos” every time they came back onstage. But the biggest crowd pleaser was Bubbles Boobenheim, a showgirl turned patroness who rubbed her prosthetic behind against the elevator doors at stage left. The doors were used repeatedly for wrong-floor gags. For example, at one point a Little League team came out that included Bohemians Bob Lurie and Peter O’Malley, the real-life owners of the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, in uniform.

When one character; a PR executive, expressed a desire to make his mistress an honest woman, she objected, reminding him of an old Bohemian saying: “If it floats or flies or fools around, don’t buy it, rent it.” The scene brought to mind the reputation for prostitution that hangs around the Grove. From time to time law enforcement has tried unsuccessfully to bring cases against local procurers, and the Bohemian Grove Action Network circulates testimonials by a former paid mistress of a club member (“I only saw him troubled by one thing,” she wrote. “He bought some apple juice company for $1 million and he was fearful he would have to dip into his capital”). One day in the Grove, I tipped a camp valet and he offered some unsolicited information. Hookers came to a certain bar in Monte Rio at ten each night, he said. It was the same bar-lodge-motel where the local police had arrested a man for pandering a few years back. The bust came right after a Lakeside Talk by William Webster, then the FBI director, and the timing suggested it was his doing. But the charges were dropped, and the man is remembered fondly in the Grove. A Bohemian I overheard on the beach one day said that the man’s genius had been in keeping vacationing families in the motel ignorant of the other business going on there, “Now, that’s good management,” he declared, capturing the robust laissez faire spirit of the Grove.

The sexism and racism of the Jinks were of a peculiar sort. Black jokes are out because there are a handful of black members — though one day near the Civic Center I did hear a group of old-timers trying to imitate Jesse Jackson. As for Jews, old membership lists suggest that they have taken a very small part in the club for decades. That leaves women and Hispanics as targets for jokes — such as the one about Bubbles’s protégé Raoul, who painted Puerto Rican flags on the backs of cockroaches.

The Jinks jokes about women were straight out of an old joke book. “My father said if you have a choice between an angry woman and a rabid dog, take the dog,” Jason Jones Jr. said. “It’s already got a fur coat and the license is a lot cheaper.” And Rex Greed said, “The only difference between rape and rapture is salesmanship.” The sensibility of the Grove recalls an era before the surgeon general’s report on smoking, before the death of God and duty, before the advent of cholesterol and Sandra Day O’Connor (whose husband, John, bunks in Pelicans camp). The mood is reminiscent of high school. There’s no end to the pee-pee and penis jokes, suggesting that these men, advanced in so many other ways, were emotionally arrested sometime during adolescence.

The most striking prop in The Low Jinks was a sculpture of a female torso whose breasts and buttocks had both been attached to the front, an improvement that looked vaguely hostile. And all the talk about male fellowship often sounds just like a college freshman’s version of No Gurls Allowed, an institutional escape from women, from their demands, aggressions and vapors. At certain times of the year women are allowed to enter the Grove — but only under “chaperonage,” according to a 1980 statement by the club president. Chaperonage for adult women. It’s another Bohemian wee-wee word, something you haven’t heard since you were 14.

The club’s nemesis here is the state of California, which keeps chipping away at the Grove’s maleness, lately threatening to take away its liquor license and its tax-exempt status because it discriminates against women. The state has established a beachhead at the Grove’s front office, a hundred yards outside the main gate, where, under legal pressure, seven women have been employed. Inside the Grove there is a feeling of mournful inevitability about the day women will join the encampment. Bohemians talk about how much it will muddle things. “It would screw everything up, excuse the pun,” said an old-timer sipping a drink by the river. “There’d be a lot more preening and peacocking than there already is,” a big gay Bohemian told me. Members have cited their privilege to walk about in “various states of undress.” And former California governor Pat Brown has said publicly, many times, that the presence of women would keep Bohemians from enjoying their hallowed freedom to pee.

The peeing is ceaseless and more than a little exhibitionistic. Everyone talks about it. Bohemian reminiscences describe such bizarre initiation rites as escorting new members to the redwood at which one of the founders “did his morning ablutions.” The Owl Hoots, which are poster-size cartoons racked up each day near the Camp Fire Circle, are filled with pissing pictures. One featured a spurious design for a commemorative stamp of club member U.S. Postmaster General Anthony Frank relieving himself on a redwood.

“Are you going to show it?” I heard a 50-ish Bohemian, the “captain” of Pow Wow camp, call out one day as young George went to pee off the deck. “Most of it. At least six inches.” Came the reply: “Now, don’t be modest, George.” A screen door creaked on a little house farther up the hill, and a Bohemian named Richard poked his head out, emerging from his siesta. “Do it counterclockwise, Dickie, that’s best,” the captain called out. “Oh, I’ve had my hand off it for two minutes now,” Richard protested. “There’s a lot of wasted time.”

This dick-fussing often manifests itself as that starkest of male nostalgias, the hankering for the punctual erections of boyhood. According to 1979 figures, the average age of Bohemians is 55. Impotence is on many people’s minds. The poster outside Monkey Block camp advertising this year’s Grove play, Pompeii, featured a gigantic erection under a toga. The set for the play included a wall inscription in Latin meaning “Always hard.” One day I was at the Grove beach when a Bohemian discovered that a friend’s sunscreen was supposed to impede aging.

“You got it too late.” The owner of the lotion sighed. “Well, I should give up putting it on my face and arms and spray it on my prick — see if that’ll do any good.”

Bohemian discourse is full of oblique organ worship as well. There’s all the redwood talk. Bohemians rhapsodize endlessly about towering shafts and the inspiration they give men. I love this tree as the most sound, upright and stately redwood in the grove. Let my friends remember me by it when i am gone, reads a plaque left by a Bohemian at the base of a 301-footer.

Other references aren’t so subtle. Late in the Low Jinks the elevator doors opened and a man came out wearing a rubber Henry Kissinger mask. He had a dumpy body a lot like Kissinger’s. A “heifer” asked him why he was there. The man peeled off the mask to reveal that he really was Kissinger, and he said in his familiar gravelly accent, “I am here because I have always been convinced that the Low Jinks is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” (This joke is funny because Kissinger was famous for saying that “power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”)

The encampment got even looser as the third and last weekend approached. The fairy unguents were wearing off; after two weeks the place stopped looking so magical and began to seem as ordinary as a tree-house. The non-famous hard-core Bohemians were more in evidence now, men who wore owls in various forms — owl belt buckles, brass owl bolo ties, denim shirts embroidered with owls. Wooziness was pervasive. At his Lakeside Talk, Malcolm Forbes said that Khrushchev knows the Soviets “are in over their heads,” and even as the name Gorbachev was murmured throughout the audience, Forbes rambled on, dotty and heedless, 25 years out-of-date.

At Faraway camp a guy beckoned me into the camp to enjoy “a little orange juice.” It tasted like lighter fluid sprinkled with mint flakes. “What’s in this?” Oh, just a little orange juice,” the host repeated, smiling. “What do you call this?” I asked another Farawayer. “I call it dangerous,” he said and told of how a dropped cigar had once ignited a batch.

The men of Faraway had captured the rearranged-woman’s-torso sculpture from the Low Jinks and now displayed it against a wall, having wedged a fern leaf in “her” crack. Meanwhile, the racked-up Owl Hoots drawings dubbed the sculpture the “statue of Piece” and pictured a Bohemian commenting that she would be “fun to dance with.” Several of the Hoots jokes were at the expense of the homeless. One cartoon had a camper at Bromley turning away a filthy guy with a bag of cans. “This is for the campless, not the homeless,” he was saying.

The jokes fit right into the Grove’s Ayn Rand R&R mood. “My grandmother always said, ‘You can find sympathy in the dictionary,'” a guy with a cigar said, walking on the River Road. I’d made it in that day for breakfast at the Dining Circle, the most lavish meal of the Bohemian day, an experience redolent of moneyed western ease. The rough wooden tables were piled with perfect fruit. As I sat down a great glistening arc of melon was slid before me. Today they were offering Alaskan cod, sautéed lamb kidneys, eggs, French toast, bacon, sausages. The encampment’s rules about dealing with waiters reinforce the heartless but egalitarian values of the Grove. Tipping the help is strictly forbidden, but so is reprimanding them. It’s easy to imagine that many early Bohemians started out as laborers and had to remind more aristocratic visitors that social mobility was a cherished ideal. In the Grove’s Club Med-like plan, the meals are covered in the fee for the encampment, which, judging from schedules I’d seen from two years back, ran about $850 on top of annual dues.

A waiter in a red jacket dropped an uneaten chunk of the bright red cod into a waste bin, and the Bohemians at my table talked about presidents. It looked as though Richard Nixon would once again not show. One old-timer said that Nixon was feuding with the board of directors. He was waiting to be asked to give a Lakeside Talk, but the club wasn’t going to invite him until he had shown them the respect of visiting Cave Man camp for a weekend or so. In my informant’s opinion, there was bad blood; Nixon’s resignation 15 years ago had offended the club’s honor — it had been so un-Bohemian. The feud was unfortunate because Nixon and the club went back a long way. In 1953, when he was vice president, Nixon led a ceremony honoring Herbert Hoover’s 40th year as a Bohemian. It took place at the Waldorf-Astoria, in a room piled with redwood bark and branches shipped to Manhattan from the Grove. In 1971, when the press corps forced him to cancel his speech at the Grove, President Nixon had wired the club to say, “Anyone can be president of the United States, but few have any hope of becoming president of the Bohemian Club.”

Meanwhile, the Bohemians’ new favorite son had arrived in camp the night before. One of the waiters had heard whorehouse piano music coming from Owl’s Nest, and he said Ronald Reagan liked that kind of music. Rumor had it that Reagan was going to give the next day’s Lakeside Talk. Some said there were Secret Service men guarding the roads and the perimeter. They’d built special platforms in the trees for men with binoculars. I didn’t want to disagree. On hikes I’d taken, my impression had been that the only people patrolling the ten miles of Grove perimeter were a guy at the Guard House on Smith Creek Road who spent a lot of time whittling a walking stick and ancient Bohemians taking the daily 10:00 a.m. open-backed bus tour. Rim rides, the tours were called. Two of the buses bore vanity license plates commemorating the 1989 presidential inauguration — they had the words Kinder and Gentler stamped on them.

In the afternoon I walked up Kitchen Hill Road to Owl’s Nest camp. I wanted to visit the former president. Owl’s Nest is sort of an old Hollywood-corporatist camp. Eddie Albert is there, and United Technologies chieftain Harry J. Gray, who this year had brought along Union Carbide boss Robert D. Kennedy. The camp has a false outer door and two overlapping walls that form an S-shaped entry. Inside, a plump Secret Service guy in a Members Only jacket sat near a giant wooden owl. There were owl figures everywhere, notably a silver owl ice bucket on the bar whose head tilted off cleverly.

I walked over to the Secret Service guy and asked if it was okay to meet the president. He said Reagan would love it and motioned with an open hand toward the deck. Reagan was mixing it up with a bunch of old-timers a few feet away. The first thing I noticed was that he had finally let his hair go gray. Also, he’s not as tall as he looked in office. He wore western gear all the way, a gray-blue checked western shirt, a white braided western belt, cowboy boots and, in his left breast pocket, an Owl’s Nest pin with an owl on it. The getup stood out because it was so fastidious among men who had let themselves go.

We shook hands firmly (his: small, bony) and chatted. Even one-on-one he has that habit of smiling and cocking his head and raising an eyebrow to encourage you. He projects an automatic, almost druggy congeniality. I worked hard to respond in kind (I invented an infant son named Ronald Wilson Weiss). We talked about his guest days at the Grove, before he became a member in 1975 (two months after he left the California governorship, a week after George Shultz joined). I asked him whether it was true that it was at the Grove in 1967 that he, then the new governor, had assured Nixon that he wouldn’t challenge him outright for the Republican nomination in 1968.

Reagan didn’t get the question the first time around. He pitched himself forward in his seat with a puzzled look, still trying to be genial. I repeated myself, and he said, “Yes, yes, that’s true,” in the famous furry voice. Then an old friend came up and snagged his attention.

By the time I got back into the central camp ground, they’d announced the next day’s Lakeside Talk. The mystery was over. Comments by Ronald Wilson Reagan, said placards on the wooden signboards. By the time the talk was over, the posters had all been lifted by souvenir-seeking Bohemians.

As dinner began that night, people were already sitting down on the redwood benches at the main stage for the Grove play (despite the poster, a humorless enactment of the destruction of Pompeii). Everything felt peaceful and sweet, like death, the good things they say about it: the end to striving, & sunlight-dappled heavenliness. Music sounded softly. A bagpiper walked in the woods by himself squeezing out a melancholy song, a brass band played “Sweet Georgia Brown” in Cliff Dwellers camp, and in Band Camp a young guitarist and an old pianist experimented with the Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing.”

Nearby, a young member of the cast dressed as a woman pulled apart purplish gossamer robes to pee. The popular redwoods between the Dining and Camp Fire Circles now reeked of urine and wore what looked to be a permanent skirt of wet, blackened soil. For a while I thought the bar of salt bracketed on one tree by the lake was an experimental effort to neutralize uric acids before they hit the roots. It turned out to be only a deer lick.

Down by the lake I saw three men lying on the ground, talking. When they got up to go to dinner, one hugged another around the middle from behind and trudged up the bank with him that way, laughing. “Honey, I lost my ring and I want to sell the house,” the third one said, mocking a homecoming speech.

At dinner I sat across from a young broker who shared his wine with me and complained about his girlfriend. The meal (tournedos of beef) was festive and communal. The long tables are lit by gas pipes that spring from the ears of wooden owl silhouettes three feet above the table, a half dozen of these per table. Wine gets passed around (though members must sign for the bottles on a chit). Old friends move among the tables, kissing one another, and a ruddy Bohemian gets up on a bench and, as his friends cheer him on, removes his cap and opens his mouth to sing. Great intimacy is achieved in song.

The physical aspect of Bohemian male bonding can’t be overlooked. Even 100-year-old Grove annals have a homoerotic quality, with references to “slender, young Bohemians, clad in economical bathing suits.” Nudity was more common then. Today AIDS has put a damper on the Grove’s River Road pickup scene, which Herb Caen used to write about in his San Francisco Chronicle gossip column. Just the same, a man on his own often gets invited back to camps by gay Bohemians. The weirdest approach I experienced came from a tall redhead in western wear, a fourth-generation Californian. He wandered up with a beer in his hand as I sat reading on a bench and, pausing for emphasis, pronounced, “In the beginning the Lord created — cunts.”

When Ronald Reagan came to the green parasol the next day, the organ player broke into “California, Here I Come.” Reagan said that it was good to be back. The Grove had been a major factor in his “homesickness… when you are forced to be away, as I was, for eight years.” The speech was canned and courtly. Though he cursed now and then, he seemed uncomfortable with the word damn, which he said almost sotto voce. He did take a crack at toilet humor:

“You know, I got to take a second to do something naughty here, since this is an all-stag arrangement. You know how many times we’ve been in someone’s home, and we’ve wanted to go to the powder room, and we’ve maybe said, ‘Excuse me, I’ve got to powder my nose.’ Well, a man did that at a party, and his hostess said, when he came back, she said, ‘You must have the longest nose in the world.’ He said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘Your fly’s open.'”

Polite laughter.

The only surprises came when he took questions. He got rousing applause when he called for greater regulation of the media. “You know, the press conferences were adversarial bouts — they were there to trap me in something or other.”

Reagan also came out in favor of four-year terms for congressmen. “You know,” he said, for he started every comment with that phrase, “I haven’t said this publicly before. I would like to make the two-year congressman’s term four years, to reduce the number of elections that we have, because I think that’s one of the reasons that only about 53 percent of the people vote. We’re just overdoing it. There’s a kind of emotional experience with an election year, that between state elections, local elections, and besides, with a two year term, a congressman gets elected and the next day he starts campaigning for the next election.” I wanted to ask Reagan about efforts to desegregate the club. It’s only a matter of time before the club gets sued under either California’s civil rights act or San Francisco’s civil rights ordinance, both of which bar sex discrimination in business establishments. The Bohemians will be hard-pressed to prove that they are a purely private club that falls outside the legal definition of a business, when clearly so many members participate for business-related reasons. Some day the walls will fall, though it’s hard to see why any woman would want to join a crowd of old Republicans chewing cigars and reminiscing about potency.

I wrote “How do you feel about government and legal efforts to force the Club to admit women?” on a piece of Grove stationery and went up to the fellow taking questions from my section, by the giant owl. It was a risk, but then it was my last hour of my first and last Grove. My bags were packed — a camera in one pocket, a tape recorder in the other. Also, I’d tried to grab one of the free Bohemian Club walking sticks from the museum, something I could lean against my office wall with the B/C shield turned out to remind myself that this right-wing fantasia had not been just a dream. But there were none left; Bohemians had taken them all hiking.

The moderator studied the page and asked who I was and what camp I was in. We were a few feet from the Lamp of Fellowship, and after looking me over he said he didn’t know, this was pushing it. He didn’t ask Reagan my question, of course. The rest of the questions were about the world outside the Grove. Then the organist struck up “America the Beautiful” and Reagan left in a red truck, waving.

Later I heard a Bohemian on the River Road saying it had been brave of Reagan to take on all comers, But another Bohemian pointed out it really hadn’t been a big risk. “Who was going to offend the president?” After all, this was Bohemia.

A Soviet Foreign Policy: A Revisionist Perspective

A communist star

Image via Wikipedia

Very interesting view of the Soviets. A view that, even today, is contrary to the traditional anti-communist rhetoric one would hear in a conversation about communism from most “conservatives”. (E)



by Murray N. Rothbard

This excerpt from For a New Liberty was first printed in the Libertarian Review, 1978.

Since World War II, American military and foreign policy, at least rhetorically, has been based upon the assumption of a looming threat of Russian attack – an assumption that has managed to gain public approval for global American intervention and for scores of billions in military expenditures. But how realistic, how well grounded, is this assumption?

First, there is no doubt that the Soviets, along with all other Marxist-Leninists, would like to replace all existing social systems by Communist regimes. But such a sentiment, of course, scarcely implies any sort of realistic threat of attack – just as an ill wish in private life can hardly be grounds for realistic expectation of imminent aggression.

On the contrary, Marxism-Leninism itself believes that victory of Communism is inevitable – not on the wings of outside force, but rather from accumulating tensions and “contradictions” within each society. So that Marxism-Leninism considers internal revolution (or, in the current “Eurocommunist” version, democratic change) for installing Communism to be inevitable. At the same time, it holds any coercive external imposition of Communism to be at best suspect, and at worst disruptive and counterproductive of genuine organic social change. Any idea of “exporting” Communism to other countries on the back of the Soviet military is totally contradictory to Marxist-Leninist theory.

We are not saying, of course, that Soviet leaders will never do anything contrary to Marxist-Leninist theory. But to the extent that they act as ordinary rulers of a strong Russian nation-state, the case for an imminent Soviet threat to the United States is gravely weakened. For the sole alleged basis of such a threat, as conjured up by our Cold Warriors, is the Soviet Union’s alleged devotion to Marxist-Leninist theory and to its ultimate goal of world Communist triumph. If the Soviet rulers were simply to act as Russian dictators consulting only their own nation-state interests, then the entire basis for treating the Soviets as a uniquely diabolic source of imminent military assault crumbles to the ground.

When the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in 1917, they had given little thought to a future Soviet foreign policy, for they were convinced that Communist revolution would soon follow in the advanced industrial countries of Western Europe. When such hopes were dashed after the end of World War I, Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks adopted the theory of “peaceful coexistence” as the basic foreign policy for a Communist state.

The idea was this: As the first successful Communist movement, Soviet Russia would serve as a beacon light and supporter of other Communist parties throughout the world. But the Soviet state qua state would devote itself to peaceful relations with all other countries, and would not attempt to export Communism through interstate warfare. The idea here was not just to follow Marxist-Leninist theory, but also the highly practical course of holding the survival of the existing Communist state as the foremost goal of foreign policy: that is, never to endanger the Soviet State by courting interstate warfare. Other countries would be expected to become Communist by their own internal processes.

Thus, fortuitously, from a mixture of theoretical and practical grounds of their own, the Soviets arrived early at what libertarians consider to be the only proper and principled foreign policy. As time went on, furthermore, this policy was reinforced by a “conservatism” that comes upon all movements after they have acquired and retained power for a length of time, in which the interests of keeping power over one’s nation-state begins to take more and more precedence over the initial ideal of world revolution. This increasing conservatism under Stalin and his successors strengthened and reinforced the nonaggressive, “peaceful-coexistence” policy.

The Bolsheviks, indeed, began their success story by being literally the only political party in Russia to clamor, from the beginning of World War I, for an immediate Russian pullout from the war. Indeed, they went further and courted enormous unpopularity by calling for the defeat of “their own” government (“revolutionary defeatism”).

When Russia began to suffer enormous losses, accompanied by massive military desertions from the front, the Bolsheviks, guided by Lenin, continued to be the only party to call for an immediate end to the war, the other parties still vowing to fight the Germans to the end. When the Bolsheviks came to power, Lenin, over the hysterical opposition of even the majority of the Bolshevik central committee itself, insisted on concluding the “appeasement” peace of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918.

Here Lenin succeeded in taking Russia out of the war, even at the price of granting to the victorious German army all the parts of the Russian Empire it then occupied (including White Russia and the Ukraine). Thus, Lenin and the Bolsheviks began their reign by being not simply a peace party, but virtually a “peace-at-any-price” party.

After World War I and Germany’s defeat, the new Polish state attacked Russia and succeeded in grabbing for itself a large chunk of White Russia and the Ukraine. Taking advantage of the turmoil and civil war within Russia at the end of the world war, various other national groups – Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – decided to break away from the pre–World War I Russian Empire and declare national independence.

While Leninism pays lip service to national self-determination, it was clear to Soviet rulers from the very beginning that the boundaries of the old Russian state were supposed to remain intact. The Red Army reconquered the Ukraine, not only from the Whites, but also from the Ukrainian nationalists and from the indigenously Ukrainian anarchist army of Nestor Makhno.

For the rest, it was clear that Russia, like Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, was a “revisionist” country vis-à-vis the postwar settlement at Versailles: i.e., Lenin, the lodestar of both Russian and German foreign policy was to recapture their pre–World War I borders – what they both considered the “true” borders of their respective states. It should be noted that every political party or tendency in Russia and Germany, whether ruling the state or in opposition, agreed with this aim of full restoration of national territory.

But, it should be emphasized, while Germany under Hitler took strong measures to recapture the lost lands, the cautious and conservative Soviet rulers did absolutely nothing. Only after the Stalin-Hitler pact and the German conquest of Poland did the Soviets, now facing no danger in doing so, recapture their lost territories. Specifically, the Russians repossessed Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the old Russian lands of White Russia and the Ukraine that had been Eastern Poland.

And they were able to do so without a fight. The old, pre–World War I Russia had now been restored with the exception of Finland. But Finland was prepared to fight. Here, the Russians demanded, not the reincorporation of Finland as a whole, but only of parts of the Karelian Isthmus that were ethnically Russian. When the Finns refused this demand, the “Winter War” (1939–1940) between Russia and Finland ensued, which ended with the Finns victorious and conceding nothing.

On June 22, 1941, Germany, triumphant over everyone but England in the west, launched a sudden massive and unprovoked assault on Soviet Russia, an act of aggression aided and abetted by the other pro-German states in Eastern Europe – Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Finland. This German and allied invasion of Russia soon became one of the pivotal facts in the history of Europe since that date.

So unprepared was Stalin for the assault, so trusting was he in the rationality of the German-Russian accord for peace in Eastern Europe, that he had allowed the Russian army to fall into disrepair. So unwarlike was Stalin, in fact, that Germany was almost able to conquer Russia in the face of enormous odds. Since Germany otherwise would have been able to retain control of Europe indefinitely, it was Hitler who was led by the siren call of anti-Communist ideology to throw away a rational and prudent course and launch what was to be the beginning of his ultimate defeat.

World War II and the Soviets

The mythology of the Cold Warriors often concedes that the Soviets were not internationally aggressive until World War II – indeed, they are compelled to assert this point, since most Cold Warriors heartily approve the World War II alliance of the United States with Russia against Germany. It was during and immediately after the war, they assert, that Russia became expansionist and drove its way into Eastern Europe.

What this charge overlooks is the central fact of the German and associated assault upon Russia in June 1941. There is no doubt about the fact that Germany and her allies launched this war. Hence, in order to defeat the invaders, it was obviously necessary for the Russians to roll back the invading armies and conquer Germany and the other warring countries of Eastern Europe. It is easier to make out a case for the United States being expansionist for conquering and occupying Italy and part of Germany than it is for Russia doing so – after all, the United States was never directly attacked by the Germans.

During World War II, the United States, Britain, and Russia – the three major Allies – had agreed on joint three-power military occupation of all the conquered territories. The United States was the first to break the agreement during the war by allowing Russia no role whatever in the military occupation of Italy. Despite this serious breach of agreement, Stalin displayed his consistent preference for the conservative interests of the Russian nation-state over cleaving to revolutionary ideology – by repeatedly betraying indigenous Communist movements.

In order to preserve peaceful relations between Russia and the West, Stalin consistently tried to hold back the success of various Communist movements. He was successful in France and Italy, where Communist partisan groups might easily have seized power in the wake of the German military retreat; but Stalin ordered them not to do so, and instead persuaded them to join coalition regimes headed by anti-Communist parties. In both countries, the Communists were soon ousted from the coalition. In Greece, where the Communist partisans almost did seize power, Stalin irretrievably weakened them by abandoning them and urging them to turn over power to newly invading British troops.

In other countries, particularly ones where Communist partisan groups were strong, the Communists flatly refused Stalin’s requests. In Yugoslavia, the victorious Tito refused Stalin’s demand that Tito subordinate himself to the anti-Communist Mihailovich in a governing coalition; and Mao refused a similar Stalin demand that he subordinate himself to Chiang Kai-shek. There is no doubt that these rejections were the beginning of the later, extraordinarily important schisms within the world Communist movement.

Russia, therefore, governed Eastern Europe as military occupier after winning a war launched against her. Russia’s initial goal was not to Communize Eastern Europe on the backs of the Soviet Army. Her goal was to gain assurances that Eastern Europe would not be the broad highway for an assault on Russia, as it had been three times in half a century – the last time in a war in which over 20 million Russians had been slaughtered.

In short, Russia wanted countries on her border that would not be anti-Communist in a military sense, and that would not be used as a springboard for another invasion. Political conditions in Eastern Europe were such that only in more modernized Finland did non-Communist politicians exist whom Russia could trust to pursue a peaceful line in foreign affairs.

And in Finland, this situation was the work of one far-seeing statesman, the agrarian leader Julio Paasikivi. It was because Finland, then and since, has firmly followed the “Paasikivi line” that Russia was willing to pull its troops out of Finland and not to insist on the Communization of that country – even though it had fought two wars with Finland in the previous six years.

Even in the other Eastern European countries, Russia clung to coalition governments for several years after the war, and only fully Communized them in 1948 – after three years of unrelenting American Cold-War pressure to try to oust Russia from these countries. In other areas, Russia readily pulled its troops out of Austria and out of Azerbaijan.

The cold warriors find it difficult to explain Russian actions in Finland. If Russia is always hell-bent to impose Communist rule wherever it can, why the “soft line” on Finland? The only plausible explanation is that its motivation is security for the Russian nation-state against attack, with the success of world Communism playing a very minor role in its scale of priorities.

Schisms and World Communism

In fact, the Cold Warriors have never been able either to explain or absorb the fact of deep schisms in the world Communist movement. For if all Communists are governed by a common ideology, then every Communist everywhere should be part of one unified monolith, and one which, given the early success of the Bolsheviks, would make them subordinates or “agents” of Moscow.

If Communists are mainly motivated by their bond of Marxism-Leninism, why do we have the deep China-Russia split, in which Russia, for example, keeps one million troops at the ready on the China-Russia frontier? Why is there such enmity between the Yugoslav Communist and the Albanian Communist states? How can there be an actual military conflict between the Cambodian and Vietnamese Communists?

The answer, of course, is that once a revolutionary movement seizes state power, it very quickly begins to take on the attributes of a ruling class, with a class interest in retaining state power. The world revolution begins to pale, in their outlook, to insignificance. And since state elites can and do have conflicting interests in power and wealth, it is not surprising that inter-Communist conflicts have become endemic.

Since their victory over German military aggression in World War II, the Soviets have continued to be conservative in their military policy. Their only use of troops has been to defend their territory in the Communist bloc, rather than to extend it further. Thus, when Hungary threatened to leave the Soviet block in 1956, or Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Soviets intervened with troops – reprehensibly, to be sure, but still acting in a conservative and defensive, rather than expansionist, manner. (The Soviets apparently gave considerable thought to invading Yugoslavia when Tito took that country out of the Soviet bloc, but were deterred by the formidable qualities for guerrilla fighting of the Yugoslav army.) In no case has Russia used troops to extend its bloc or to conquer more territories.

Professor Stephen F. Cohen, director of the program in Russian studies at Princeton, has delineated the nature of Soviet conservatism in foreign affairs in a recent issue of Inquiry:

That a system born in revolution and still professing revolutionary ideas should have become one of the most conservative in the world may seem preposterous. But all those factors variously said to be most important in Soviet politics have contributed to this conservatism: the bureaucratic tradition of Russian government before the revolution; the subsequent bureaucratization of Soviet life, which proliferated conservative norms and created an entrenched class of zealous defenders of bureaucratic privilege; the geriatric nature of the present-day elite; and even the official ideology, whose thrust turned many years ago from the creation of a new social order to extolling the existing one. …

In other words, the main thrust of Soviet conservatism today is to preserve what it already has at home and abroad, not to jeopardize it. A conservative government is, of course, capable of dangerous militaristic actions, as we saw in Czechoslovakia … but these are acts of imperial protectionism, a kind of defensive militarism, not a revolutionary or aggrandizing one. It is certainly true that for most Soviet leaders, as presumably for most American leaders, detente is not an altruistic endeavor but the pursuit of national interests. In one sense, this is sad. But it is probably also true that mutual self-interest provides a more durable basis for detente than lofty, and finally empty, altruism (“Why Detente Can Work,” December 19, 1977).

Similarly, as impeccable an anti-Soviet source as former CIA Director William Colby finds the overwhelming concern of the Soviets in the defensive goal of avoiding another catastrophic invasion of their territory. As Colby testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,

You will find a concern, even a paranoia, over their [the Soviets’] own security. You will find the determination that they shall never again be invaded and put through the kinds of turmoil that they have been under and many different invasions. … I think that they … want to overprotect themselves to make certain that that does not happen.

Even the Chinese, for all their bluster, have pursued a conservative and pacific foreign policy. Not only have they failed to invade Taiwan, recognized internationally as part of China, but they have even allowed the small offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu to remain in Chiang Kai-shek’s hands. No moves have been made against the British and Portuguese-occupied exclaves of Hong Kong and Macao. And China even took the unusual step of declaring a unilateral cease-fire and withdrawal of forces to its border after having triumphed easily over Indian arms in their escalated border war. (See Neville Maxwell, India’s China War [New York: Pantheon Books, 1970].)

Neither is China’s reconquest and suppression of national rebellion in Tibet a valid point against our thesis. For Chiang Kai-shek as well as all other Chinese have for many generations considered Tibet as part of Greater China, and China was here acting in the same conservative, nation-state manner as we have seen has guided the Soviets.

Avoiding A Priori History

There is still one thesis common to Americans and even to some libertarians that may prevent them from absorbing the analysis of this chapter: the myth propounded by Woodrow Wilson that democracies must inevitably be peace-loving while dictatorships are inevitably warlike. This thesis was of course highly convenient for covering Wilson’s own culpability for dragging America into a needless and monstrous war. But there is simply no evidence for this assumption.

Many dictatorships have turned inward, cautiously confining themselves to preying on their own people. Examples range from premodern Japan to Communist Albania to innumerable dictatorships in the Third World today. Uganda’s Idi Amin, perhaps the most brutal and repressive dictator in today’s world, shows no signs whatever of jeopardizing his regime by invading neighboring countries. On the other hand, such an indubitable democracy as Great Britain spread its coercive imperialism across the globe during the 19th and earlier centuries.

The theoretical reason why focusing on democracy or dictatorship misses the point is that statesallstates – rule their population and decide whether or not to make war. And all states, whether formally a democracy or dictatorship or some other brand of rule, are run by a ruling elite. Whether or not these elites, in any particular case, will make war upon another state is a function of a complex interweaving web of causes, including the temperament of the rulers, the strength of their enemies, the inducements for war, public opinion, etc.

While public opinion has to be gauged in either case, the only real difference between a democracy and a dictatorship on making war is that in the former more propaganda must be beamed at one’s subjects to engineer their approval. Intensive propaganda is necessary in any case – as we can see by the zealous opinion-molding behavior of all modern warring states.

But the democratic state must work harder and faster. And also the democratic state must be more hypocritical in using rhetoric designed to appeal to the values of the masses: justice, freedom, national interest, patriotism, world peace, etc. So that in democratic states the art of propaganda the elite uses over its subjects must be a bit more sophisticated and refined. But this, as we have seen, is true of all governmental decisions, not just war or peace.

For all governments – but especially democratic governments – must work hard at persuading their subjects that all of their deeds of oppression are really in their subjects’ best interests. What we have said about democracy and dictatorship applies equally to the lack of correlation between degrees of internal freedom in a country and its external aggressiveness. Some states have proved themselves perfectly capable of allowing a considerable degree of freedom internally while making aggressive war abroad, while others have shown themselves capable of totalitarian rule internally while pursuing a pacific foreign policy. The examples of Idi Amin, Albania, China, Great Britain, etc., apply equally well in this comparison.

In short, libertarians and other Americans must guard against a priori history: in this case, against the assumption that, in any conflict, that state which is more democratic or allows more internal freedom is necessarily or even presumptively the victim of aggression by the more dictatorial or totalitarian state. There is simply no historical evidence whatever for such a presumption.

In deciding on relative rights and wrongs, on relative degrees of aggression, in any dispute in foreign affairs, there is no substitute for a detailed, empirical, historical investigation of the dispute itself. It should occasion no great surprise, then, if such an investigation concludes that a democratic and relatively far freer United States has been more aggressive and imperialistic in foreign affairs than a relatively totalitarian Russia or China. Conversely, hailing a state for being less aggressive in foreign affairs in no way implies that the observer is in any way sympathetic to that state’s internal record.

It is vital – indeed, it is literally a life-and-death matter – that Americans be able to look as coolly and clear-sightedly, as free from myth, at their government’s record in foreign affairs as they increasingly are able to do in domestic politics. For war and a phony “external threat” have long been the chief means by which the state wins back the loyalty of its subjects. War and militarism were the gravediggers of classical liberalism; we must not allow the state to get away with this ruse ever again.

Reprinted from Mises.org.

Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995) was dean of the Austrian School, founder of modern libertarianism, and chief academic officer of the Mises Institute. He was also editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, and appointed Lew as his literary executor. See his books.

War on Terror-The Real Villain


Shahid Ali Abbasi

War on Terror—the Real Villain!

Opium Mafia! Let me have my say!

(By Shahid Ali Abbasi)

A bird loves the dry, thorny tree having its nest more than a green and fragrant one which is not its home. You can’t resist the impulse of patriotism when your country’s prestige is at stake, but, despite a strong urge of nationalism, I’ll not fall a prey to the arch villain, and will be as objective in my approach as possible because I know the people around the world are currently being hypnotized by that global villain who promotes evil thinking in us in order to achieve his devilish objective. It’s a global conspiracy that outweighs by far the combined gravity of all the global problems including terrorism and global warming. The real enemy is the one that is splitting apart us the humans, causing a fission of hatred, selfishness and prejudice in our hearts and minds; it’s worse than the nuclear fission that only destroys physically. Who that enemy is I don’t know, but I’m sure he’s strong enough to hijack our leaders in minutes—the same leaders who belong to us but the moment they reach higher authority, they cannot stand what Bacon calls ‘greater pains’, and thus are enslaved by that hatred-spreading devil. The point I hold is that the enemy has split us all into two classes: To one belong the politicians, armies and even governments that serve the evil around the globe, regardless of their nationality; and to the other belong all of us—innocent and gullible. This article endeavours to bring into light some crude realities about the present life on earth, trying at the same time to drag the evil monster out of the den. So, naturally, the tone of this article is ‘furious’ I know, but it can’t be written more politely than this, because it aims to awaken the human race to see what\’s usually hidden. I must also say that the publishing of this article will show how independent and daring media is, and to what extent the freedom of expression is allowed.

When I came to London, I realized how superb the British people are (sorry to exclude politicians here). They are immensely humane, and the way they accommodate and respect us (foreigners), I doubt if we could do the same if they (the British) were in our countries. In fact, whatever nationality we as humans have, our hearts do possess a celestial affection for each other. Ask a common Indian or Pakistani citizen if he/she wants a war. Both will say ‘NO!’ We’ve been living together for centuries and despite physical boundaries, we still share a tremendous culture (remember that when you have a common culture, you do have a strong feeling of love towards each other). Ask a common British or American if he/she hates Pakistanis, or if he/she loves war. I’m sure the answer will again be a blatant ‘NO!’ That’s good; that’s what makes us all essentially humans—’paragon of animals’ (Shakespeare). The people around the world are the same: they think and feel alike. Then who is the real villain? I’ll again say ‘I don’t know’ but definitely our politicians and other men of authority know him/her/them. This I guess because they are serving that villain of hatred more than they do us. Let’s have a recent review. The British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron went to India on ‘a trade mission’ and delivered his much-debated speech in Bangalore, India, on 28th July 2010. The speech does prove one thing that in order to be a Prime Minister you must have a certain level of maturity of thought and insight. As a teacher of language and literature, I must appreciate the flowery language that Mr Cameron used to magnetize the Indian trade. He glorified India with many metaphors like calling the country a ‘tiger’ that has been ‘uncaged and its power can be felt around the world’. Then he announced that he’d talk to the Indian Prime Minister about Indian and British cultures. I wish Mr Cameron had studied the cultural connotations associated with ‘tiger’, so had the Indians listening to him: where as a tiger is the symbol of beauty in the west; it’s a symbol of bloodthirstiness and brutality in the east. He also glorified India saying that she is ‘a leading provider of peacekeeping troops to the United Nations’ (I do remember I’d heard the same thing about Pakistan too, a couple of years back). I like it because when you praise the efforts of Indian people, every Pakistani (again I apologize for excluding politicians from both sides of the border), feels proud because despite so many tragic incidents, the people still love each other. Unfortunately, Mr Cameron forgot that Indian and Pakistani people are the masters of splitting the hair, and, I’m sure, even a teen ager would easily declare the speech to be just a ‘flattery’ to attract the Indian business tycoons. Then, finally, Mr Cameron hit the final nail in the coffin by exploiting the nationalistic, patriotic feelings of the Indians. The politician straightaway attacked Pakistan saying, ‘we cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able in any way to promote the export of terror’. I’ve quoted two lines so that you as a reader could see the authoritative arrogance in the very selection of words he used. It was Cameron’s attempt to arouse and exploit the same hatred that we call a legacy of colonization—divide and rule.

Before commenting further, let’s view the latest ‘food cut’ to Afghanistan by Pakistan as a result of Nato’s increasing gruesome liberties inside the Pakistani territory which resulted in our soldiers being killed and the border post destroyed, despite being retaliated politically in past. As a response to this tragedy, General Petraeus says they’d ‘warned’ Pakistan (I must thank Pakistani foreign minister Mr Rehman Malik’s ‘shaking’ reply this time, probably under huge pressure. I don’t say army pressure). In reply to the comments made by Cameron in Bangalore and by Gen. Petraeus, a patriotic Pakistani citizen will not have words more polite than ‘WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TALK TO A SOVEREIGN, NUCLEAR STATE LIKE THAT!?’ If your wits have betrayed you, read the following paragraphs which will sprinkle some cold water on your sleeping face:

Don’t you ever threaten us of war; don’t you ever try to ‘test’ our potential to defend! We ARE under war-like conditions since we got independence in 1947. We fought so many wars, including the one that shattered RUSSIA! Yes, our history is blotched with natural catastrophes as well, and you’ve seen we can stand the worst. So much so that even Nature has to reinvent some more brutal weapons to be used against us. Or maybe she’s training us for the worst. Nuclear weapons? We’ve fought and defeated the enemy with sticks in our short history. Ask those coward disciples of devil on both sides of the border who whisper nasty things in your ears. Don’t you underestimate the Pakistani people!!! We don’t say we can only kill for our country (like you); WE CAN DIE for our motherland too! Remember whole world, if you can’t help us, just leave us alone: we can, as we do, fight the bloody terrorists alone because we’ve got the soldiers that can fight even empty-handed, without fluffy blankets, juices and metals around. Just compare your progress in Afghanistan in 10 years with ours in two three years in the tribal belt. We’ve literally uprooted the terrorists, not for you or anyone else but primarily for our own safety.

I think what some of the renowned defence analysts call the hidden motifs of America are being exposed now—’red in tooth and claw’ (Tennyson). How can you think about stopping the so called ‘energy corridor’ between China and Iran, when you yourself are dependent on a ‘thin’ and ‘fragile’ food root to your troops in Afghanistan? (Rachel Maddow: U.S. testing war against Pakistan on http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/39450283#39450283). How dare you think about ‘testing’ Pakistan’s self-defence and self-esteem!!?? When you ‘failed’ against disorderly, weak opponent like Taliban even after a ten-year strife, how can you think about ‘extending’ war to Pakistan, a nuclear power!? I know this doesn’t represent American people. I doubt your leaders have been hijacked by what I call potentially the worst enemy of human race on earth. I ask where the peace-loving American public is now. Isn’t your America gradually turning ‘RussericA’? I know the people outside America, primarily Pakistanis, love American and British people (politicians excluded). And all the tolerance that we show in response to the ‘liberties’ of your so called ‘war on terror’ owes greatly to this love and sense of friendship that we possess in our hearts for the common public of these countries. Please let us live peacefully because once this flood bulges out of its banks, it’ll sweep away everything! When you ‘ironically’ kill one terrorist (in this case anti-American), just think how many more you give birth to. I know once you decide ‘extending war’ into Pakistan, you’ll declare us all a ‘terrorist nation’ including many other names like Alquida, etc. coined by you, and this will quite convincingly be ‘propagated’ by your media which is the only ‘telescope’ the people of America and Britain have to zoom in to the war-hit countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I know since your food line was intercepted, you’ve increased the propaganda against Pakistan. One example is a news published in daily METRO here in London on October 19, 2010. Before the ‘food cut’, they said Alquida leader is hiding in ‘underground bunkers to avoid being targeted by CIA drones’. But now ‘TERROR leader Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living a comfortable life in a house in Pakistan, according to a senior Nato official. The most wanted man in the world is allegedly being protected by local people and members of Pakistan’s intelligence services’. Believe me when I was reading this news in train, I couldn’t help smiling. Then I saw the working British people and the feeling drastically changed. Do these people work day and night to listen to such ever-twisting stories? Reading the above statement by a so-called Nato official makes one feel as if Osama bin Laden has written him a letter asking his assistance in looking for another more ‘comfortable’ house because the existing house has an electric load shedding problem, or maybe the bus stop is away from the house and Mr Osama has to walk every morning to his office, or maybe the house is away from hospital from where Osama has to take medicine because he’s grown too old in this whole enterprise, or may be his kids have to change two/three buses to reach school, blah, blah, blah. Please, for God’s sake stop this now! If you are absolutely sure, why don’t you contact the target killers in Karachi who are shedding the streams of blood every day, instead of spending so much in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc? Pakistan is a country where dozens of high-rank individuals have been killed, e.g. Liaqat Ali Khan (Pakistan’s first prime minister), Ziaulhaq (Army Chief), Benezir Bhutto, and many others. If you’re so sure, why don’t you contact those who killed these senior leaders? Don’t worry, if some innocent people die in this hunt (after all ‘end justifies means’), we’ll bear this because we ARE bearing much more every day. You say Pakistani people protect Osama? Believe me, whatever knowledge I, as an educated Pakistani, have about Osama bin Laden or Alquida is all that I got from either BBC, CNN or any other western media. An ordinary Pakistani has many other, more testing challenges which hardly let him/her think about this ‘Power Game’. Once I asked a Pakistani, who works as labour in Afghanistan, about Alquida. He giggled and said, ‘I don’t know; no one knows what Alquida is, who this Ussama Bin Ladin is; not even in Afghanistan; even the Afghanis don’t know.’ If you think, once you attack Pakistan, the people will surrender passively like homeless Afghans, THAT’S ABSOLUTELY FALSE, because the Pakistani people can’t cultivate opium which would make them rich. Neither our land nor our conscience can ever support this poison. War on Pakistan will never end till the end of a single Pakistani. If you think you can justify to your conscience the killing of more than 170 million Pakistanis, then WE ARE READY TO DIE! Come on, kill us all, and then you’ll have a huge novel of your exploits against the innocent, which you’ll be able to proudly present to your next generations to read.

You call us ‘a terrorist nation’ or whatever, but believe me it’s the Pakistani soldier and intelligence that stays awake so that we all, including you, sleep peacefully in our cosy beds; it’s Pakistan that is the last obstacle between the terrorists and rest of the world, and when you try to weaken Pakistan, you’re actually cutting the very branch you’re standing on. And more, let me bring into your information some of the feathers to the crown we call Pakistan: It’s the country that became a world champion in four sports almost simultaneously, a country that is the seventh biggest hub of scientists and doctors, a country that can win the war fought at the highest peaks of the world, a country that has fought five other major wars, a country with nuclear power, a country with one of the best missile technologies, and, above all, a country with a population of more than 170 million—each one of which is a born soldier. To me, it seems some of the leaders have become the mouthpieces of the same bloody villain who’s the focal point in this article.

The article has been repeatedly mentioning the ‘enemy’, ‘villain’, etc. but without identifying it. One side of the picture that is often overlooked is the dramatic increase in the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan since the American invasion in the country. Elizabeth Rubin, in her article ‘An Afghan drug-smuggler: ‘The whole country is in our service”, published in New York, October 22, 2006 presented an eye-opening account of face behind the case but her cry drowned into the widespread hum that only Taliban or Alquida are the most potential threats to the world peace. Presenting the comparison between Taliban and Post-Taliban (American) era in Afghanistan, she writes:

Opium cultivation was outlawed during Taliban rule in the late 1990s and was nearly eliminated by 2001. After the overthrow of the Taliban government by U.S. forces in the fall of that year, the Bush administration said that keeping a lid on production was among its highest priorities. But corruption and alliances formed by Washington and the Afghan government with anti-Taliban tribal chieftains, some of whom are believed to be deeply involved in the trade, undercut the effort’. She also quotes Afghan president Hamid Karzai who said, ‘once we thought terrorism was Afghanistan’s biggest enemy [but now] poppy, its cultivation and drugs are Afghanistan’s major enemy.’

Elizabeth further quotes the Afghan Deputy Ministry of Women’s Affairs who had ‘just wrapped up the case of a girl who had been kidnapped and raped by Kandahari police officers, something that would not have happened under the Taliban’ because, according to the deputy, ‘Their security was outstanding.’ The lady further said that Taliban had strictly enforced the ban on poppy but ‘Now the governors tell the people, ‘Just cultivate a little bit”. So people take this opportunity and grow a lot,’ and the farmers lease the fields from big landlords and when a farmer can’t pay back the landowner, ‘instead of paying, he gives the landowner his daughter,’ the deputy added.

On asking Manan Farahi, the director of counterterrorism efforts for Karzai’s government, why the Taliban were so strong in Helmand, Elizabeth was told that Helmandis had hated the Taliban because of Mullah Omar’s ban on poppy cultivation. ‘The elders were happy this government was coming and they could plant again,….But then the warlords came back and let their militias roam freely. They were settling old scores – killing people, stealing their opium. And because they belonged to the government, the people couldn’t look to the government for protection. And because they had the ear of the Americans, the people couldn’t look to the Americans. Into this need stepped the Taliban.’

Now some information about opium smuggling which Elizabeth unveiled. She interviewed Razzaq, an opium smuggler in his late 20’s. She writes:

He moved and spoke with the confident ease of a well-protected man.’The whole country is in our services,’ he told me, ‘all the way to Turkey.’ This wasn’t bravado. From Mazar-i-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan, he brings opium in the form of a gooey paste, packaged in bricks. From Badakhshan in the northeast, he brings crystal – a sugary substance made from heroin. And from Jalalabad, in the east on the road to Peshawar, he brings pure heroin. All of this goes through Baramcha, an unmanned border town in Helmand near Pakistan. Sometimes he pays off the national soldiers to use their vehicles, he said. Sometimes the national policemen. Or he hides it well, and if there is a tough checkpoint, he calls ahead and pays them off. ‘The soldiers get 2,000 afghanis a month, and I give them 100,000,’ he explained with an angelic smile. ‘So even if I had a human head in my car, they’d let me go.’ Should he ever run into a problem in Afghanistan, he told me, ‘I simply make a phone call. And my voice is known to ministers, of course. They are in my network. Every network has a big man supporting them in the government.’ The Interior Ministry’s director of counternarcotics in Kabul had told me the same thing. Anyway, if the smugglers have problems on the ground, they say, they just pay the Taliban to destroy the enemy commanders.

I have extensively quoted Elizabeth’s daring task because it’s our ignorance towards the people like her that our focus from the actual problem shifts to what actually isn’t. I wish I, or someone else, had added up to her efforts in 2006. Any way, it’s still not too late. The real enemy is the opium underworld mafia. Just think, HOW CAN THE TERRORISTS AFFORD TO HAVE LATEST, EXPENSIVE WEAPONS WHEN THEY COULDN’T AFFORD PROPER DRESSING AND FOOD A DECADE BACK? WHO’S FUNDING THEM? ISN’T IT THE OPIUM MAFIA THAT’S SPONSORING THE TERRORISTS because ‘Afghanistan now produces 92 per cent (6,100 tons) of the world’s supply of opium used to make heroin’? (The Financial Times, September 4, 2006). The opium mafia is working without any potential hindrance because all of us are fighting each other. That’s the CRUX OF THE MATTER! This mafia is so strong that it can control big groups, armies, even governments. Just imagine what our future will be when our generations will be enslaved by the drug mafia, both in the production and consumption of heroine! When a predator attacks a flock, it splits the victims so that they start running for their own lives, then singles one and kills it easily. The opium mafia is doing the same. I don’t say who of us belong to that mafia, however, what we have to seriously and meticulously see is who among us are fulfilling the mafia’s objectives. It can be me, you, the politician, armies, governments, etc.

The humane feeling in me and you do want more on this topic, but let me end this ‘eye-opener’ with a salute to the odd thinkers like Elizabeth Rubin and Rachel Maddow, to name two only, who’ve been gifted with a potential to see the things from an unusual perspective. I restate that the human race on the face of earth is at such a tricky stage where it’s never been in past. Our enemy is common, and we have to identify and fight it together, paying each other the RESPECT one deserves. But for that, we have to transcend all what is personally so cherished to us. No one knows our enemy except its disciples—the politician INCLUDED. I again strongly hold that we have been split into two groups: the devils party (POLITICIAN INCLUDED) and the common, innocent people like us. The others can never be us, and I earnestly request the people of the whole world to wake up and come out of this bloodthirsty exorcism.


Shahid Ali Abbasi


Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/politics-articles/war-on-terror-the-real-villain-3484326.html

About the Author

Shahid Ali Abbasi


Pakistan (Birote/Murree/Abtd.)

MA English Literature

MA ELT & Applied Linguistics

Teacher English Language/Literature

Presently living in London

Interests: Contributing towards World peace, Critical Reading and writing, analysing, discussing the global issues especially peace, politics and economy, friendship……..


I’ll just add my two cents and say that it is well-known that a majority of the drug trade in the world is run by the CIA. Ever since the 80’s when their funding was reduced and oversight increased they have used drug money to finance their Black-ops. The Drug mafia is the intelligence organizations that I would suspect are all interconnected. And if you believe that DEA or FBI are any better you need a slap in the face or a cold bucket of water to wake you up.

People who think that the US government is noble or righteous in any sense of those words are brain-dead. Most of those in government, US or otherwise, are evil to the deepest degree. Are there some who still care? I am sure there are but their influence is minuscule. The pawns in the game may be decent but they are not the ones moving the pieces on the board.

We as human beings must protest with our ambivalence to them. Peaceful non-cooperation is the thing that might win the day. Remember that any violence will be met with overwhelming force since the governments of this world control the bullets and bombs. However, if enough of us just stop doing what they tell us to, there is little they can do in the long run.

True, some will pay the ultimate price for this. Remember though, they need us. We do not need them. Quit going along to get along. I do not say rise up. Instead I say…sit down. Active peaceful non-resistance is uncontrollable.

Yes protest verbally and in letters and in any other peaceful way you can come up with, but do not yield to the temptation to fight back with violence. Those who rule would love for us to resist with violence as it would justify whatever force they may use against that violence. (E)

The Fourth American Revolution

by Jim Quinn
The Burning Platform

The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire. The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.

The Fourth TurningStrauss & Howe – 1997

The mass murder in Tucson is another brick in the wall of this Fourth Turning Crisis. The importance of this tragic event is not what happened in that Safeway parking lot, but the reaction in the aftermath of the shooting. Turnings are not about specific events, but how generations react to the events based on their stages of life. A turning is an era with a characteristic social mood, a new twist on how people feel about themselves and their nation. It results from the aging of the generational constellation. A society enters a turning once every twenty years or so, when all living generations begin to enter their next phases of life. We entered this Fourth Turning between 2005 and 2008, with the collapse of the housing market and subsequent financial systemimplosion.

We have crossed the threshold into a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime will propel the replacement of the old civic order with a new one. The Silent Generation (1925–1942) is dying off, Baby Boomers (1943–1960) are entering elder hood, Generation X is entering midlife, Millenials are entering young adulthood – and a new generation of child Artists are being born. Strauss & Howe have documented that a long human life of 80 to 100 years makes up a social cycle of growth, maturation, entropy, and death (and rebirth) known as a Saeculum. Within each cycle, four generations proceed through their four stages of life. Every 15 to 25 years a new Turning surprises those who only think of history in a linear way. Strauss & Howe are historians who have been able to document this generational cycle going back to the 1400s.

The Anglo-American saeculum dates back to the waning of the Middle Ages in the middle of the fifteenth century. In this lineage, there have been seven saecula:

  • Late Medieval (1435–1487)
  • Reformation (1487–1594)
  • New World (1594–1704)
  • Revolutionary (1704–1794)
  • Civil War (1794–1865)
  • Great Power (1866–1946)
  • Millennial (1946–2026?)

The Turnings of history are like the seasons of nature. Seasons cannot be rearranged, seasons cannot be avoided, but humans and nations can prepare for the challenges presented by each season. Winter has descended upon our nation.

We are still in the early stages of this Fourth Turning and the mood of the country continues to darken like the sky before an approaching blizzard. Generational theory does not predict the specific events that will happen during a Turning. The events, personalities, and policies that become the chapters in history books are not what drive a Turning, it is how each generation reacts to the events, personalities and policies. Someone who is 60 years old will react differently to an event than they would have reacted at 20 years old. The issues that are driving this Fourth Turning (un-payable entitlement obligations, Wall Street greed & power, globalization gutting the middle class, increasing government control, wealth distribution) were all known and understood in 1997. It took the spark of a housing market collapse and the generations being in proper alignment to catalyze the mood of the country.

Chapter one of this Fourth Turning is approaching its end. Chapter two guarantees to be more intense, with more violence, and periods of great danger. Strauss & Howe envisioned this chapter based upon their analysis of the issues looming back in 1997:

The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it. Thus, might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse – or glory. The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition. The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.

The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1997

“A Fourth Turning is a solstice era of maximum darkness, in which the supply of social order is still falling but the demand for order is now rising. As the community instinct regenerates, people resolve to do more than just relieve the symptoms of pending traumas. Intent on addressing root causes, they rediscover the value of unity, teamwork, and social discipline. Far more than before, people comply with authority, accept the need for public sacrifice, and shed anything extraneous to the survival needs of their community. This is a critical threshold: People either coalesce as a nation and culture – or rip hopelessly and permanently apart.”

The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1997

There have been three prior Fourth Turnings in U.S. history: the American Revolution, Civil War and Great Depression/World War II. The American Revolution preceded the Civil War by 87 years. The Great Depression followed the Civil War by 69 years and this Millenial Crisis arrived 76 years after the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. Essentially, each prior Fourth Turning has represented a Revolution in American history.

The First American Revolution began in 1773 when Parliament’s response to the Boston Tea Party ignited a colonial tinderbox – leading directly to the first Continental Congress, the battle of Concord, and the Declaration of Independence. History always seems easy to predict in retrospect. This is another of the many faults in human thinking. There was very little talk or thought of the colonies breaking away from the mother country during the 1760s. Up until the Boston Tea Party catalyst event, no one could have predicted the events which would occur in a chain reaction over the next 21 years. There were dark cold bitter days during this Crisis winter. In the end, George Washington’s honor, courage and fortitude symbolized the character of a new nation.

Historians Charles and Mary Beard described the Civil War as the Second American Revolution. The Civil War Crisis began with a presidential election that southerners interpreted as an invitation to secede. The attack on Fort Sumter triggered the most violent conflict ever fought on New World soil. The war reached its climax with the Emancipation Proclamation and Battle of Gettysburg (in 1863). The epic conflagration redefined America. The slavery issue was settled for good, signed in the blood of 600,000 men. The industrial might of the North was rechanneled toward progress as a world industrial powerhouse. In retrospect many will say the Civil War was entirely predictable, but that is completely untrue.

The great compromise generation (Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster) of the 1850s passed from the scene, leaving the country in the hands of firebrands on both sides. John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and subsequent execution served to increase the brooding mood of the country. The bloodiest war in the history of mankind was not predictable even one year before it began. The aristocracy of Washington DC actually took carriages in their Sunday best to watch the First Battle of Bull Run. Shortly thereafter Lincoln mobilized 500,000 men and unleashed a catastrophic spiral of butchery over the next four years that exhausted itself with the assassination of Lincoln and the surrender at Appomattox in the same week. The resolution of this Crisis felt more like defeat than victory.

Renowned American historian Carl Degler called FDR’s New Deal the “Third American Revolution”. The Crisis began suddenly with the Black Tuesday stock-market crash in 1929. After a three-year economic free fall, the Great Depression triggered the New Deal Revolution, a vast expansion of government, and hopes for a renewal of national community. After Pearl Harbor, America planned, mobilized, and produced for world war on a scale never seen in the history of mankind, making possible complete victory over the Nazis and Fascists. In 1928 did anyone foresee an 89% stock market crash, worldwide depression, vast expansion of government power, a world war more devastating than the prior war, and the usage of an atomic weapon of mass destruction? Not a chance. Only in retrospect do people convince themselves that it was predictable.

Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 marked the abrupt unforeseen end of the Roaring Twenties. The bewilderingly rapid collapse of the worldwide financial system in the space of three years left the American people shaken and desperate. With their wealth destroyed and unemployment exceeding 20%, the American public turned to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal promises of government social and work programs. He declared “nationwide thinking, nationwide planning, and nationwide action, the three essentials of public life”. This was truly a Third American Revolution. FDR’s policies changed the course of American history. The renewed spirit of American youth during the 1930s was essential in preparing them for the trials that awaited from 1941 through 1945. It is somewhat ironic that FDR’s revolutionary social programs, begun during the last Crisis, will be a major factor in the current Crisis – the Fourth American Revolution.


Read the rest of the article


January 21, 2011

Copyright © 2011 The Burning Platform

The Latest New York Times Nonsense About Lincoln

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Recently by Thomas DiLorenzo: The Most Cynical and Hypocritical Speech Ever Delivered

At the outset of the War to Prevent Southern Independence both Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Congress declared publicly that the sole purpose of the war was to save the union and not to interfere with Southern slavery. Lincoln himself stated this very clearly in his first inaugural address and in many other places. This fact bothers the court historians of the Lincoln cult who have in the past forty years rewritten American history to suggest that slavery was the sole cause of the war. (A generation ago, if one took a college course on “the Civil War” it was likely that one would have read The Causes of the Civil Warby Kenneth Stampp, a former president of the American Historical Association.)

The latest attempt to rewrite or whitewash history comes from one Richard Striner in a December 13 New York Times article entitled “How Lincoln Undid the Union.” The gist of Striner’s argument is that: 1) a compromise to save the union was in the works in Washington in December of 1860; but 2) Lincoln persuaded key members of the Republican Party to oppose it because it might not have prohibited the extension of slavery into the new territories, a key feature of the 1860 Republican Party platform. Lincoln wanted to save the union, says Striner, but he wanted a union that would put slavery “on the path to extinction.”

What rubbish. The notion that prohibiting the extension of slavery would somehow magically cause the end of Southern slavery has always been totally nonsensical. As University of Virginia Historian Michael Holt wrote in his book, Fate of Their Country(p. 27), “Modern economic historians have demonstrated that this assumption was false.” It is every bit as nonsensical as Lincoln’s crazy assertion that the extension of slavery into the Territories would have somehow led to the re-introduction of slavery into Maine, Massachusetts, and other states that had legally abolished slavery! (He ludicrously said that a nation “could not exist” half slave and half free). It is hard to believe that rational human beings ever believed such things. It is unlikely that many Americans of Lincoln’s time did.

Striner pretends to be able to read Lincoln’s mind when he speculates that his motivation was to put slavery “on the road to extinction.” He does not quote Lincoln himself as saying that this was his motivation; he merely speculates and fabricates a story. But Lincoln and other prominent Republicans did in fact state very clearly what their motivation was. There is no need to speculate. As Professor Holt, the history profession’s preeminent expert on the politics of the antebellum era wrote: “Many northern whites also wanted to keep slaves out of the West in order to keep blacks out. The North was a pervasively racist society where free blacks suffered social, economic, and political discrimination . . . . Bigots, they sought to bar African-American slaves from the West.” Lincoln himself clearly stated that “we” want the Territories “for free white labor.”

Thus, part of Lincoln’s motivation for opposing the extension of slavery – but making an ironclad defense of Southern slavery in his first inaugural address – was pandering to northern white supremacist voters (like himself) who did not want any blacks – free or slave – living among them. There was also a protectionist motivation, as the Republican Party wanted to prohibit competition for jobs from all blacks, free or slave. Illinois – Land of Lincoln – even amended its Constitution in 1848 to prohibit the emigration of black people into the state, a position that was endorsed by Lincoln. (Lincoln was also a “manager” of the Illinois Colonization Society, which sought to usestate tax funds to deport the small number of free blacks who resided in the state.)

A third motivation for Lincoln’s opposition to slavery extension was purely political. If slaves entered the Territories, they would inflate the congressional representation of the Democratic Party when the Territories became states because of the Three-Fifths Clause of the Constitution. That in turn – and most importantly – would block the Republican Party’s economic agenda. Professor Holt quotes Ohio Congressman Joshua R. Giddings (p. 28) on this point: “To give the south the preponderance of political power would be itself a surrender of our tariff, our internal improvements, our distribution of proceeds of public lands . . . . It is the most abominable proposition with which a free people were ever insulted.” It would destroy everything the Republican Party claimed to stand for, in other words, i.e., mercantilist economics. This is the real reason why Lincoln was so adamant about opposing the extension of slavery into the territories.

Besides his demonstrably false, speculative fantasies about Lincoln’s supposedly saintly motivations, Striner presents a very distorted and misleading account of the events of late 1860–early 1861. He quotes a private letter from Lincoln expressing his opposition to the particular compromise to save the union that was being sponsored by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky at the time, but makes no mention of Lincoln’s own “compromise” that was also in the works. The high priestess of the Lincoln Cult, Doris Kearns-Goodwin, describes Lincoln’s compromise on page 296 of her book, Team of Rivals. As soon as he was elected, Lincoln “instructed [William] Seward to introduce [the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution] in the Senate Committee of Thirteen without indicating they issued from Springfield.” The Corwin Amendment, which did pass the House and Senate, would have prohibited the federal government from ever interfering with Southern slavery. As Goodwin writes, Lincoln instructed Seward to make sure that the amendment said that “the Constitution should never be altered so as to authorize Congress to abolish or interfere with slavery in the states” where it existed. In addition, writes Goodwin, Lincoln instructed Seward, who would become his Secretary of State, to get a federal law introduced that would have made various personal liberty laws that existed in some Northern states illegal. These state laws were meant to nullify the federal Fugitive Slave Act, an act that Lincoln very strongly supported. Far from putting slavery “on the path to extinction,” these actions of Lincoln’s would have granted it more powerful government support than ever. Thus, Lincoln’s actions in late 1860–early 1861 were exactly the opposite of how Professor Striner portrays them as being with regard to the issue of slavery.

The white supremacists of the North were very pleased indeed with Lincoln’s assurances that he would do all that he could to prohibit black people from ever living among them, first by keeping them out of the Territories, and second by enshrining Southern slavery explicitly in the Constitution. He effectively promised to keep black people far away from such places as Boston, Massachusetts. Goodwin writes that when Seward went public and announced these actions to a Boston audience he was met with “thunderous applause.”

On March 4, 1861, Lincoln praised the Corwin Amendment in his first inaugural address, offered his support of it, and said that while he believed slavery to already be constitutional, he had no reservations about making it “express and irrevocable” in the text of the U.S. Constitution.

These actual historical facts paint a very different picture of Lincoln’s machinations from the one based on Professor Striner’s baseless speculations and historical distortions. More disturbingly, Professor Striner, like all other Lincoln cultists, makes no mention at all of the fact that Lincoln’s actions led to the mass murder of some 350,000 fellow American citizens, including more than 50,000 Southern civilians, along with an equivalent number of Northern war deaths. While virtually all the rest of the world had ended – or was in the process of ending – slavery peacefully, Lincoln cultists actually praise Lincoln for eschewing that well-charted peaceful route to emancipation while plunging his country into the bloodiest war in human history up to that point to supposedly “save the union.” There is something awfully sick (and sickening) about this.


December 16, 2010

Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mailis professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe and How Capitalism Saved America.His latest book is Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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Stop Complying. Start Defying.

In our dying democracy, those with power and the puppets they parade in election charades every two years are above the law and think nothing of breaking it. And in our raped republic, those with wealth from stealing the Sheeples’ tax money and savings by the billions have no problems paying millions in penalties for doing so. But in this wasteland of unbridled greed and moral decay, those of you with character and courage can still prevail if you simply do this:


That is the last thing the powers that be and their puppets in Washington expect the Sheeple to do. And an army of lions steeled by desperation and necessity from lambs is the last thing their overextended state and local courts, DAs and LEOs are prepared to handle. “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny…” Thomas Jefferson declared, “[and at such times] dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”






By Carol Moore

Revised version. Original published in 1985 in The Peacemaker, Peace Conversion Times and the Green Letter.

Mahatma Gandhi often said that non-violence and freedom are inextricably intertwined.  In the first half of the twentieth century he wrote: “The attainment of freedom, whether for a man, a nation or the world, must be in actual proportion to the attainment of non-violence by each.”   And he held that: “No action which is not voluntary can be called moral….Any action that is dictated by fear or by coercion of any kind ceases to be moral….Freedom of the individual is at the root of all progress.”  Gandhi believed in these principles so much that he advocated that whatever laws were decided upon should be enforced only by non-violent police and that armies should be organized by non-violent methods.  (For Gandhi quotes on these ideas,click here.)
As I will discuss below, more and more non-violent theorists and activists are exploring the full implications of organizing society by principles of non-violence  And many of these theorists are coming to the inalterable conclusion that Gandhi was right–freedom and non-violence are two sides of the same coin. Moreover, they are recognizing that without the threat of brute military and police violence, most great nation states would break up into much smaller political entities; that without violent coercion decision-making would be dispersed widely among individuals, groups and self-governing communities and cities; that organizing society by principles of non-violence would decentralize power throughout society.

Superiority of Non-Violent Action
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, numerous activists and non-violent scholars like Gene Sharp (author of “The Politics of Non-Violent Action” and “National Security through Civilian-based Defense”) and Barbara Bondurant (“The Conquest of Violence”) have argued and illustrated the superiority of non-violent to violent action.
The purpose of non-violent action is to withdraw consent from government or other authorities, rather than wrest power from them.  Therefore it fosters dialogue and education and allows maximum participation by everyone in society. Non-violence heightens the moral superiority of the actionists in the eyes of the general public–especially if the authorities respond to their sincere and open protest with violence.  Even members of the ruling classes can be swayed to sympathy by such non-violent actions.  Police and soldiers wooed with sound political arguments and non-violent demonstrations are more likely to come over to the side of the activists than ones afraid of being shot and killed by protesters.
Political violence harms groups and movements.  It destroys public sympathy, reinforces public prejudices against activists, invites police infiltration and harassment, and gives the state an excuse to arrest, imprison and even kill innocent activists and bystanders. Even advocacy of violence can have a detrimental effect on organizing since it divides and demoralizes activists and provides the government and media an excuse to attack the advocates.
Violent action usually is practiced predominantly by angry young men, often with military training, who often become as ruthless towards other dissidents as they do towards the oppressor.  These days the most vocal advocates of violence are often government provocateurs.  When violent revolutionaries take power, their regimes usually are as ruthless as their revolutions.
Non-violent non-cooperation by large numbers of people is more disruptive to the state than violence by smaller numbers; violence only permits the state to enhance its power. Overall, non-violent action results in the least loss of life and property, the least destruction of the social fabric and the greatest assurance that post-resistance society will be free and peaceful.
In the last twenty years relatively non-violent mass movement–“people power”– overthrew the Shah in Iran, Marcos in the Philippines, apartheid in South Africa, Suharto in Indonesia, and brought about freedom for Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  Most of these activists were at least aware of the success of the efforts of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.  Some leaders of these movements studied or were trained in non-violence .  Today, organizations like Non-violence International, International War Resisters League and Peacekeepers International are continuing to spread these ideas and strategies worldwide.

Non-Violent Civilian-Based Defense
Influenced by the writings and efforts of Gene Sharp and organizations like the Civilian-Based Defense Association, and impressed by the successes of non-violent action in recent revolutions, even the Swedish, German and French governments have studied the concept of non-violent civilian based defense.  This a broadening and updating of Gandhi’s notion of “non-violent armies.”  National militaries would be supplemented and even largely replaced by training all citizens in organizing economic, political and social non-cooperation.  The object would be to destroy an invader’s ability to control the populace and to undermine its troops’ morale.  In 1968, unorganized Czechs managed to do this to their Russian invaders for a number of months, bolstering non-violent actionists’ hopes that an organized and determined populace would deter any invasion.

Non-Violent Conflict Resolution
In the last twenty years non-violent activists in a variety of movements have begun to focus on non-violent conflict resolution not only between nations but on the interpersonal level between individuals, between warring gangs in the inner cities, between religious, racial, ethnic and lifestyle groups, and even within their own groups.  (As one activist said, “A pacifist is a person who can go to a peace meeting and not get in a fight.”)
Conflict between individuals, groups and communities is inevitable–but bad will, bad mouthing, sabotage, destruction of property and violence are not.  Gandhi contended that there is some truth in both or all sides of a conflict and that only through non-violence can we appreciate and tolerate differing views of truth–or come to an understanding of a greater truth.  Opponents must be recognized as potential allies, and all sides must search for resolutions that are mutually satisfying, “win-win”ones.  Of course, various forms of protest may be necessary to impress the “opponent” with the seriousness and sincerity of one’s claims or to convince them to enter into negotiations.  But negotiations are the goal.

Non-Violent Sanctions
Many non-violent actionists have gone to the next step.  They have come to regard all political conflict over laws, regulations and taxes as conflicts to be resolved non-violently, not as issues to be settled by the vote of the majority (usually the defacto will of special interests) and enforced by the threat of police violence, confiscation of property and imprisonment.
Non-violent activist groups have long used consensus-oriented decision-making in their groups to ensure the maximum of support for policies, strategies and actions.  Many of their members have come to realize that the same principle must be applied to politics–only laws, regulations and taxes supported by the overwhelming majority of people should be imposed.  Only those basic community services supported by overwhelming majorities would be provided, since the collection of taxes for them would no longer be enforced through the threat of police violence.  Non-violent resistance to such laws, rules or taxes would be a respected component of ongoing community debate.
Police violence, like individual violence, would be reserved only for defense of self or others from physical violence.  Public courts and police would still deal with such universally deplored acts as murder, assault, pollution, theft and fraud.  However, police would be, as Gandhi said, “a body of reformers…composed of believers in non-violence .  They will be servants, not masters.”  To deal with minor offenses, police would use education, verbal persuasion and publicly.  If that was ineffective, they might organize citizen picketing or boycott.  More serious crimes might result in ostracizing or expelling the individual from the community.  (This is one variation on the polycentric law idea I detail at length in Non-Violent Secessionist Strategies.)
Non-violent sanctions are based on trust that humans who share the consciousness that violence is illegitimate (except in extreme circumstances of self-defense) and are taught from childhood the many subtle and creative ways of attaining their goals without using violence, will rarely resort to it.  To connect two popular sayings, if “violence begets violence” then “the only way to peace, is peace itself!” Otherwise we become willing co-creators of our violence-wracked system.  As Gandhi said, “Every citizen silently, but never the less certainly, sustains the government of the day in ways of which he has no knowledge.  Every citizen, therefore, renders himself responsible for every act of his government.”

Non-Violence and Decentralization
It is easily arguable why “complete non-violence ” would lead to political and economic decentralization.  Most centralized governments and nation sates were formed from a number of formerly autonomous communities, cities and regions through armed conquest.  Some were formed hundreds of years ago–others only in the last few decades.  Their different ethnic, racial, religious and national groups are held together by nationalist jingoism, government subsidies, and the threat of terrible military vengeance against secessionists.
Nevertheless, secessionist sentiments, activities and demands to be completely free of centralized control have escalated worldwide.  When I first wrote this piece in 1985 I wrote ”Eastern European and Asian people seek to free themselves from Soviet control.”  They did so in 1989, and non-violently.  In fact, it was non-violent change in Czechoslovakia (which itself later peacefully divided into two nations) that became known as the “Velvet Revolution.”
However, Yugoslavia’s power-mad leader replied to Croatia and Bosnia’s attempts to secede from Yugoslavia with ethnic hatred and “ethnic cleansing” by the militarily superior Serbs.  Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda and other African nations remain rife with racial, religious and tribal violence between communities forced into artificial “nation states,” first by colonists and later by repressive dictators.  Many of Indonesia’s thousands of Islands could decide to go their separate way. India, which contains hundreds of religious, linguistic and ethnic groups, continually suppresses its separatist factions.  Closer to home, should Quebec finally vote to secede, it is likely British Columbia might do so as well, breaking up a nation right at our borders.  And it is clear that demographic, social and economic factors already are dividing America. Only the smallest and most culturally and politically homogenous nations could be held together if they had to rely on non-violent sanctions and non-violent armies or civilian-based defense.
Once free of the fear of violence from centralized authorities, decentralization would probably proceed quite rapidly as counties seceded from states, cities from counties and even neighborhoods from cities. The concept of “neighborhood power” would become a reality.  Innumerable experiments with non-violent governance would be tried and those which proved most successful would become most popular. Networking and confederations between neighborhoods, communities, cities and regions would be necessary to deal with common problems and resolve conflicts. But without massive military violence, there could be no return to the centralization of the past.
There is no doubt that we will live in times of mounting economic, political and military crisis, which will further undermine the credibility of established institutions and open more people to radical change.  And we may yet experience a devastating nuclear exchange that will destroy the great nuclear powers.  If pacifists and decentralists are not ready with new visions equal to the crisis and disasters we face, we can be sure that demagogues of all stripes will be.  It is a matter of human responsibility that we re-think our politics and create thorough and credible non-violent alternatives–in full light of their decentralist implications.

The Courage to Choose Non-Violence
Those of us who believe that humans should conduct our affairs non-violently should not be afraid of the radically decentralist implications of our beliefs.  Rather we should explore them and even emphasize them, as do Gandhians, anarchist pacifists, libertarians, and many Greens, eco-feminists and bioregionalists.  They oppose the structural violence of large nation states.
Many who say they are committed to non-violence and non-violent conflict resolution merely use non-violent action to strengthen state power–and the state’s excuses for, and ability to use, violence against citizens. This includes activists in the feminist, environmentalist, labor, anti-racism and bigotry, anti-corporate, and social welfare movements.  Perhaps the epitome of this hypocrisy is the gun control movement which calls for heavily armed federal agents to assault, arrest and imprison Americans who refuse to give up the ever-growing list of proscribed weapons. In fact, it is the fear of such a vicious and powerful state that is causing freedom-lovers to arm themselves so heavily.
Meanwhile too many pro-freedom activists who challenge the growing state power and violence believe the old saw that there are only two political alternatives, the ballot or the bullet. (A statement with which leftist who advocate violence also agree.)  Freedom lovers must take the step their “liberal opponents” have taken: learn the effectiveness of non-violent action and conflict resolution in social, economic, and political protest and resistance.
Members of groups left and right must learn more about non-violent conflict resolution between individuals, groups and nations, about non-violent civilian-based defense against political repression and foreign invasion, and about non-violent sanctions as the alternative to violent sanctions in enforcing rules and laws.
And having learned about those they may finally come to the conclusion that Gandhi did–that only the voluntary society is moral and that the essence of human enlightenment is organizing our affairs in a voluntary manner without the ever present threat of state violence.  As Gandhi said, the only way to peace is peace itself.

Copyright 1998 by Carol Moore.  Permission to reprint freely granted, provided the article is reprinted in full and that any reprint is accompanied by this copyright statement and the URL http://www.carolmoore.net

Patriotism or Nationalism?

October 24, 2008
by Joe Sobran

This is a season of patriotism, but also of something that is easily mistaken for patriotism; namely, nationalism. The difference is vital.

G.K. Chesterton once observed that Rudyard Kipling, the great poet of British imperialism, suffered from a “lack of patriotism.” He explained: “He admires England, but he does not love her; for we admire things with reasons, but love them without reasons. He admires England because she is strong, not because she is English.”

In the same way, many Americans admire America for being strong, not for being American. For them America has to be “the greatest country on earth” in order to be worthy of their devotion. If it were only the 2nd-greatest, or the 19th-greatest, or, heaven forbid, “a 3rd-rate power,” it would be virtually worthless.

This is nationalism, not patriotism. Patriotism is like family love. You love your family just for being your family, not for being “the greatest family on earth” (whatever that might mean) or for being “better” than other families. You don’t feel threatened when other people love their families the same way. On the contrary, you respect their love, and you take comfort in knowing they respect yours. You don’t feel your family is enhanced by feuding with other families.

While patriotism is a form of affection, nationalism, it has often been said, is grounded in resentment and rivalry; it’s often defined by its enemies and traitors, real or supposed. It is militant by nature, and its typical style is belligerent. Patriotism, by contrast, is peaceful until forced to fight.

The patriot differs from the nationalist in this respect too: he can laugh at his country, the way members of a family can laugh at each other’s foibles. Affection takes for granted the imperfection of those it loves; the patriotic Irishman thinks Ireland is hilarious, whereas the Irish nationalist sees nothing to laugh about.

The nationalist has to prove his country is always right. He reduces his country to an idea, a perfect abstraction, rather than a mere home. He may even find the patriot’s irreverent humor annoying.

Patriotism is relaxed. Nationalism is rigid. The patriot may loyally defend his country even when he knows it’s wrong; the nationalist has to insist that he defends his country not because it’s his, but because it’s right. As if he would have defended it even if he hadn’t been born to it! The nationalist talks as if he just “happens,” by sheer accident, to have been a native of the greatest country on earth — in contrast to, say, the pitiful Belgian or Brazilian.

Because the patriot and the nationalist often use the same words, they may not realize that they use those words in very different senses. The American patriot assumes that the nationalist loves this country with an affection like his own, failing to perceive that what the nationalist really loves is an abstraction — “national greatness,” or something like that. The American nationalist, on the other hand, is apt to be suspicious of the patriot, accusing him of insufficient zeal, or even “anti-Americanism.”

When it comes to war, the patriot realizes that the rest of the world can’t be turned into America, because his America is something specific and particular — the memories and traditions that can no more be transplanted than the mountains and the prairies. He seeks only contentment at home, and he is quick to compromise with an enemy. He wants his country to be just strong enough to defend itself.

But the nationalist, who identifies America with abstractions like freedom and democracy, may think it’s precisely America’s mission to spread those abstractions around the world — to impose them by force, if necessary. In his mind, those abstractions are universal ideals, and they can never be truly “safe” until they exist, unchallenged, everywhere; the world must be made “safe for democracy” by “a war to end all wars.” We still hear versions of these Wilsonian themes. Any country that refuses to Americanize is “anti-American” — or a “rogue nation.” For the nationalist, war is a welcome opportunity to change the world. This is a recipe for endless war.

In a time of war hysteria, the outraged patriot, feeling his country under attack, may succumb to the seductions of nationalism. This is the danger we face now.


Our Efficient, All-Volunteer Killers

The Libertarian Standard

by Brian Martinez on October 18, 2010 @ 9:49 am
in Imperialism,War

Steve Chapman extols the benefits of having an all-volunteer military force:

A few decades ago, the draft was a requirement for any major military undertaking. No one would have dreamed of fighting the Germans and Japanese, or the North Koreans and Chinese, without calling up young men for mandatory service. Not until the waning years of the Vietnam War did the nation elect to rely entirely on volunteers.

It was a controversial step, and one whose durability was very much in doubt. But in the intervening decades, the draft has gone from being indispensable to being unthinkable. Even the extraordinary demands of two difficult wars have not induced a reconsideration.

Anti-conscription badge from WWIEven the military’s leadership recognizes now that armies perform better when they’re filled with people who actually want to be there, and as Chapman points out, it’s a more efficient use of training dollars to spend them on Army careerists than on guys who’d rather be smoking pot and watching football.

If this is the extent of Chapman’s argument then I agree, but I’m not any more comforted by the fact that the military’s bombing and killing of poor people overseas are performed by people who actually want to do that sort of thing.  And he ignores the fact that young men must still notify the government of their whereabouts via Selective Service in case the draft is reinstated.  If the military really does not want conscripted men (and possibly women) among its ranks, why does the infrastructure for conscription still exist?

More dubious is Chapman’s concluding paragraph:

It was once a novel experiment: fielding a force to protect freedom without grossly violating freedom by dragooning young men to serve. But it’s worked so well we’ve almost forgotten there’s an alternative.

“Protect freedom” is a canard I expect from National Review, not a supposedly libertarian publication such as Reason.  Few if any all-volunteer forces have ever been used to protect Americans’ freedoms, even during the Revolutionary War (see volume 4 of Murray Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty); and there isn’t a single military campaign undertaken in the past century that could be called a legitimate defense of freedom.  If one wishes to sing the praises of America’s efficient, all-volunteer killers, at least one shouldn’t pretend they exist for any reason other than to satisfy the imperialist aims of the Washington elite.

Continue reading

One Nation, Under God, and Its Child Soldiers

by C.J. Maloney
Recently by CJ Maloney: Good Luck and Good Hunting

Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
~ Matthew 18:2–6

My brain did not begin the day thinking about war, the base activity which Lew Rockwell once termed “the murder end of the state.” (Rockwell, Jr, Llewellyn H. Speaking of Liberty. Auburn, AL, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 2003, p.139) It was thinking about the beach, a far more pleasant activity. This being modern America, though, it wasn’t long, not even five minutes after our arrival, when my wife exclaimed an “Oh…my…God.” That’s when I noticed she’d bought along The New York Times and the war crawled onto the beach with us.

She handed the paper to me in disgust, as if it were covered in filth. Shielding my eyes from the sun to read the article I see we’ve been arming and training Somalia’s army, at least the one we favor, and they in turn are using that money to arm children (some as young as nine) to fight our War of Terror. As I read further into it I am, needless to say, dripping in proud patriotism. What fresh hell is this? We’re back in Somalia?

I have vague memories of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, a nice tale of our last disastrous fool’s errand into Somalia. Granted, we left once but an empire never truly leaves anywhere forever. Now, not wanting to put our own soldiers at risk this go round we are instead using locals as armed proxies to do our bidding. In this case, that means fighting whomever we’ve designated as the enemy for this month and, to make the American flag unfurl even more proudly in the sun, we’re arming and training child soldiers to do it.

All these little boy soldiers are funded and armed by a tentacle of the Pentagon called AFRICON, which was created in 2008 to make certain that no matter where in Africa mayhem may erupt an American weapons dealer will be there to cash in. Some of the latest entries onto the list of our “allies in the War of Terror” include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda, and now Somalia’s “Transitional Government.” To the informed, that reads as if the local police department has been funding and arming the local pimps, drug dealers, Mafia dons, and cutthroats, but our War of Terror requires these types of compromises, so I am told.

The more historical minded could sit back and wonder what all the (little bit of an) uproar was about, and would point to the ubiquitous drummer boys used by both sides during America’s Civil War. The American use of children in battle is nothing new; it merely faded as we climbed up the ladder of civilization. Over the past decades we’ve come tumbling back down that ladder and here we are, 2010, knowingly arming children to fight on the empire’s behalf. What we are seeing is what one always sees in a militarized society – the slow devolution away from civilized behavior and towards what the soldier-scholars call “total war,” sparing no woman or child. It is the American Way.

Of course, all the guilty parties are just shocked to the very core of their shrunken, shriveled souls that American taxpayers have been (and are) arming children. “Now, now,” the U.S. State Department says to the Somalia faction that we back, “Don’t you go using children as soldiers, you hear?” The head master of our Somalia proxy, a Fagin-like thug named Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, has ordered his army chief to conduct a “full review” to get to the bottom of things. The United Nations estimates that up to 25% of our allied army in Somalia consists of child soldiers, so it shouldn’t be too tough a task for him to find one of our little armed urchins.

While our political masters are upset, no doubt, over the embarrassment this caused them (for a few moments, until the story quickly faded) don’t think for a moment that this has made them cut off the flow of money, weapons, and ammo to these child soldiers. Our army of little African boys is “a critical piece” of our War of Terror in the Horn of Africa, say the experts. Plus, consider the cost savings, as doubtless Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has. Not too long ago he whined that an all-volunteer force was getting awful expensive, and according to The New York Times our little boy soldiers are getting paid, if at all, only $1.50 per day, and that’s quite a bargain by any measure.

So as not to appear too one-sided, it must be admitted that AFRICON has provided (and is providing) these children with certain job skills that they can fall back on until the end of their days. For instance little Ahmed, all of 15-years-old, was sent to Uganda at the age of 12 and taught by American trainers “how to kill with a knife.” His fellow soldier Awil, now 12-years-old, says he “loves the gun.”

And to be fair, while the political grandees around the globe have laws (specifically the Convention on the Rights of the Child) that prohibit the use of children in combat, neither the United States or Somalia ever signed it, so it’s a bit of a stretch to expect us to adhere to something we are not signatories on.

Enough. I stop reading the paper and watch my son running the length of the shoreline with the ocean waves his backdrop, and I think of all the children, barely older than he, that part of my every workday is spent to supply with weapons. I gag on a surge of patriotism.

There are many predictions on this site for the coming demise of the American empire, and with God’s mercy that blessed day can’t come soon enough.

October 18, 2010

CJ Maloney [send him mail] lives and works in New York City. He blogs for Liberty & Power on the History News Network website and the DailyKos. His first book (on Arthurdale, West Virginia during the New Deal) is to be released by John Wiley and Sons in February 2011.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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Welcome to Fascist Land, Friend Citizen

by Thomas Luongo

Recently by Thomas Luongo: The Myotonic Economy


There must be something fundamentally wrong with me. It’s the only conclusion I can draw. Maybe I’m a transplant from a different time or parallel universe, brought here borne on a cosmic whim through a rift in the space/time continuum and unceremoniously dumped into this place which makes so little sense. On the other hand, this could just be some vast controlled experiment by vaster powers that have created an illogical set of boundary conditions to falsify some unknown (and unknowable) hypothesis about us, the subjects.

Then again, I could just have indigestion. But, I’ve given up refined sugar? So, that doesn’t track either. It must be something else.

You see, I feel like Charlton Heston, though I refuse to take my shirt off in public lest I scare the natives, wandering through a violent wasteland bereft of ideas, intimacy or even a coherent thought. A ‘brute squad’ is in charge of a mass of voiceless people, living in perpetual fear, disrupting their lives arbitrarily for no other reason than because they can. Standing on a hill watching this drama play out, I’m confused as to why anyone would continue to live this way. I understand that we’re predators needing to sustain ourselves at some other being’s expense and can see the parallels reflected within the behavior of groups of people, though without overt cannibalism. I just don’t understand why anyone would put up with it.

Worse, we not only put up with it, we’ve come to embrace it as fait accompli. As opposed to fighting this small group of sociopaths’ tendency towards violence, we institutionalize it, put it on a pedestal and call it government. Moreover, some of us engage in feats of intellectual gymnastics so convoluted it defies metaphor in service of patently false hypotheses about our essential natures just to salve their consciences about what they wish to believe, evidence or logic be damned.

For an easy example, how about that little thought experiment by Hobbes that assumed that everyone was at war with each other before agreeing not to be so any longer, bellum omnium contra omnes, out of which came social contract theory. On its face, this is moronic, and yet, the society I live in is organized around this fundamentally stupid idea. If all humans, before there was government, were at war with everything then how in the hell did we survive long enough to procreate beyond our first generation? In other words, if man is infinitely aggressive towards other men, if that is the basic nature of all life itself, doesn’t the existence of that life act as prima facia evidence to the contrary? Maybe I’m weird, there is that whole feeling like Chuck Heston thing, but I didn’t sign a social contract with my government before I decided to fall in love with my wife and pledge to spend the rest of my life with her. And I never viewed life as an enormous game of D&D as played by 14-year-olds, otherwise known as “Kill ‘em and Take Their Stuff!” Then again, Hobbes’ entire analysis of humanity feels like it was created by a 14-year-old.

Fearful Symmetry that.

Even if you grant that man is somewhat aggressive, and I certainly would, that doesn’t justify the use of this idea as a valid organizing principle. If anything, that only makes the argument against it stronger. Because some of us are willing to use violence to achieve our goals, does it make any sense whatsoever to create organizations that will meet that violence with more violence? It seems axiomatic to me, but, then again, I’m weird, that if you don’t want a violent community of people you don’t organize that community around the idea that some people get to use violence with impunity. Moreover, who is going to be attracted to the violence-wielding jobs? The pacifists or the sociopaths? Hayek, thy name should have been Cassandra.

What I find really disconcerting is the pure cognitive dissonance that emanates from defenders of Hobbes like stink from a 5-day-old fish. Well, maybe more like a 7-day-old fish, but you get my point. If the social contract took us from a state of nature (total war against everything) to a state of civilization (relative peace) then why is it that the proponents of such a philosophy are constantly waging war of one kind or another against every conceivable thing they disagree with? Terrorism, Drugs, Corporations, Smoking, Racism, Fatty-Foods, Carbon, Raw Milk, the New York Yankees, etc.

In short, Other People. Q.E.D.

By contrast, those that defend John Locke’s view that rights are inherent and come from our creator (or from our humanity, the secular version of the argument) seem to want nothing more than to be left free to rise and fall on our own merits or lack thereof.

When I look at history, I see a time when the country I live in once got involved in a war against fascists in Germany by allying with communists in Russia to kick them out and hand France back to the socialists. When the war was over we instituted a ‘cold war’ with those same communists by enacting a fascist military-industrial state replete with secret police and backyard bomb shelters. And fully half, if not more, of the country’s current population still considers this the pinnacle of our civilization. A war fought on multiple continents destroying hundreds of years worth of accumulated wealth, destroying literally incalculable numbers of families and which culminated with the dropping of nuclear bombs on civilians. And I’m supposed to be proud when I watch the History Channel?

And yet, since my view on this is so in the minority I have to conclude that there must be something wrong with me. Did I miss the lynchpin to the argument in favor of fascism? Did I sleep through that lecture in school? I was bored a lot of the time, so there’s some merit to that thought. Maybe it was that my parents didn’t have enough money during the depression of the 1970’s to send me away to Fascist Camp during my summers off from school. Or maybe they didn’t drop me on my head enough.

I remember being bored to death at catechism classes while going over in grave detail the 10 commandments. But, then I look around at people who claim to be followers of Christ, otherwise known as The Prince of Peace, who believe it’s okay to break the sixth commandment as long as 1 more person votes for a taxing initiative than against it. That, of course, is the least of their sins vis-à-vis government that I can see.

But, since I have memories of growing up within the borders of Fascist-Land, if I did come here from some variation on a wormhole or quirk of relativity, it must have happened before my brain had developed memory. More’s the pity, frankly, but I digress. Having been inculcated in the ways of the fascists it was hard not to absorb some of their culture. I’m quick to anger and have a near infinite capacity for wielding verbal violence against those that have done nothing more than slightly inconvenience me while driving home from work. There was even a time when I felt that it was okay to bomb brown people in Iraq because they had invaded other brown people from Kuwait with tanks.

I shudder to think how close I was to giving in to the Dark Side on that one. It was only the prospect of being drafted against my will that opened my eyes to how ludicrous the entire situation was. I guess, for some, enlightened self-interest trumps propaganda. Unfortunately, for many it doesn’t. And yet, if you ask nearly anyone you meet, “Should a person be able to peaceably go about his business?” They would say, “Yes, of course.” But, if that’s the case why is there so much violence and hatred of other people? If nearly everyone wants peace, why isn’t there peace?

If we know, for example, that punishing someone for doing something we don’t like doesn’t reform the person’s perspective, it only creates potential obedience as well as anger and resentment, then why do we still persist in using punishment models in dispute resolutions, i.e., fines and imprisonment? If a small punishment isn’t deterrent enough, why do we make it bigger and bigger until such point as they’re either dead or permanently imprisoned? Three Strikes anyone? Why do we persist in this system where the victim pays the room and board for the criminal, diminishing himself on top of the diminishment from the original crime?

The problem must be that I’m asking the wrong questions; looking at this from the wrong perspective. Maybe I’m wrong in expecting people who live in Fascist-Land to be capable of seeing anything other than fascist-style solutions to these problems. Maybe living in Fascist-Land requires one to cultivate contradictory positions and views of themselves in order to survive? That must be why I’m having such a hard time with this, because I refuse to embrace schizophrenia as a survival mechanism.

I told you there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

October 16, 2010

Thomas Luongo [send him email] is a professional chemist, amateur economist and obstreperous recovering Yankee residing in North Florida.

Copyright © 2010 Thomas Luongo

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