Category Archives: History

NEW COLUMN: The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe

Democracy, Foreign Policy, History, libertarianism, South-Africa

“The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe” can be read in full on the Mises Institute’s Wire. An excerpt:

…  Yes, it has happened. A mere 23 years after the 1994 transition, in South Africa, to raw ripe democracy, six years following the publication of a wide-ranging analysis of that catastrophe, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, a Beltway libertarian think tank has convened to address the problem that is South Africa.

The reference is to an upcoming CATO “Policy Forum,” euphemized as “South Africa at a Crossroad.” One of the individuals to headline the “Forum” is Princeton Lyman, described in a CATO email tease as having “served as the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa at the time of the transfer of power from white minority to black majority.” At the “Forum,” former ambassador Lyman will be discussing “America’s original hopes for a new South Africa and the extent to which America’s expectations have been left unfulfilled.” (Italics added.)

The chutzpah!

The CATO Institute’s disappointment in the South Africa the United States helped bring about is nothing compared to the depredations suffered by South Africans, due to America’s insistence that their country pass into the hands of a voracious majority. Unwise South African leaders acquiesced. Federalism was discounted. Minority rights for the Afrikaner, Anglo and Zulu were dismissed.

Aborted Attempts at South African Decentralization

This audacity of empire is covered in a self-explanatory chapter of Into the Cannibal’s Pot, titled “The Anglo-American Axis of Evil,” in which Lyman makes a cameo. (It’s not flattering.) From the comfort of the CATO headquarters, in 2017, the former ambassador will also be pondering whether “growing opposition will remove the African National Congress [ANC] from power.” The mindset of the DC establishment, CATO libertarians included, has it that changing the guard  —replacing one strongman with another — will fix South Africa, or any other of the sites of American foreign-policy interventions.

So, what exactly did Princeton Nathan Lyman do on behalf of America in South Africa? Or, more precisely, who did he sideline?

Ronald Reagan, who favored “constructive engagement” with South Africa, foresaw the chaos and carnage of an abrupt transition of power. So did the South Africans Fredrick van Zyl Slabbert, RIP (he died in May 2010), and Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The first was leader of the opposition Progressive Federal Party, who, alongside the late, intrepid Helen Suzman became the PFP’s chief critic of Nationalist policy (namely Apartheid). The second was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu homeland and leader of the Zulu people and their Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). …

… READ THE REST. “The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe” is on the Mises Institute’s Wire.

Deep State Establishment Vs. The Aristocratic Republic The Founders Bequeathed

America, BAB's A List, Communism, Constitution, Democracy, Donald Trump, Federalism, Foreign Policy, Founding Fathers, Government, History, Intelligence, The State

By Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

Who is former CIA director William Brennan? Here is what the Wikipedia says of him: In 1976, he voted for Communist Party USA candidate Gus Hall in the presidential election; he later said that he viewed it as a way “of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”  Despite that and despite what such actions denote, he has been involved in the most sensitive of US intelligence work and in the CIA for twenty-five years, serving directly as a personal intelligence advisor in the administration  of Bill Clinton, and, as a staunch Obama supporter, appointed to head the CIA in 2013.

This fact puts into context an element of the present multifaceted  assault on the Trump presidency, and, indeed, of a highly-politicized intelligence community, infiltrated over decades by cadres of Deep State operatives and sleeper agents, whose goal is to bring down that presidency.

The Deep State establishment wants us to do our thing—pay bills, pay taxes, take the children to school, watch ESPN, mow the grass, maybe go to church, but mainly stay away from getting involved in the “big issues” of really deciding how this country is run. That is their thing: making executive decisions at the top of the food chain, running this nation, conducting its foreign affairs, enacting its domestic policy, lining their pockets, and passing legislation that most of us never hear about until it hits us in the face—or in the pocket book. It’s not exactly an old fashioned dictatorship, but neither is it the republic that our ancestors or the Founders of this nation envisaged, either.

Certainly, those men who assembled to draft our Constitution some 230 years ago did not believe in a “peoples’ democracy.” For them, the republic they gave us did have tiers and gradations, such that those with the most involvement and interest in the new nation would also have the most direct influence. Thus each of the thirteen states had a plethora of property requirements and age requirements, as well as religious tests: all these came together to insure a high level of participation from those who had those interests.

So, what then is the difference between then and now? Do we not still have an aristocracy that, in effect, runs the country?

The issue here is rather the nature of government and how it is construed and operated. Our Founders considered the aristocratic republic they established to be a natural development, based firmly in the deepest traditions and inherited beliefs of the citizens of the new nation. The new constitution would represent an organic “moment” in which the new United States would crystallize its history, reaffirm its British heritage of law and justice. It was, then, not a revolutionary moment, but one cementing a link and connection to the past, to rights that went back to Magna Carta, to Rome, Athens, and, yes, Jerusalem.

It was also intended to be transparent, in that this constitutional arrangement, with its mix of the traditions of aristocracy and limited democratic participation, was not hidden from view. Nor was it intended to be. Americans knew what they were getting. Of course, there were debates over aspects of the founding, and there were disputes, seen most particularly in the several state conventions in the 1820s and 1830s, about whether we wanted to move further in the direction of “democracy” or not.

A major concern of the Founders was the effect wealth might have in influencing elections. They wanted to avoid impropriety as much as possible, to make such concerns as public as they were able.  While they foresaw that men of great affluence might gain advantage, imposing set property conditions and the accumulated weight of traditions, custom, and a sense of deference they believed, could offset such dangers. And, very importantly, they wished that local and states’ rights act as a major counter-balance to eventual encroachments attempted by the Federal government. In other words, they posited what Catholic theorists term “subsidiarity,” that is, what can be done on a lower level of governance, ought to be done on that level and not on a higher level. A whole series of layers of intermediate organisms, families, communities, states, would insulate citizens from overweening powers emanating from Washington.

But, as was stated more than once, the republican “experiment” depended largely on the virtue of its citizenry.

Contrast this now with what acute observers like James Burnham (e.g., The Managerial Revolution) and Samuel Francis (e.g., Leviathan) have starkly noted about the modern United States, about how unelected and largely unseen “managers,” technocrats, and political operatives have in a real sense taken over both the electoral process as well as the running of government, forming a new, “hidden” kleptocracy, of those who answer to no one, and whose tenure is unlimited.  It is, thus, an ugly and grasping inverted mirror of the model the Founders envisaged.

And since 1865 those protective, intermediate layers—states’ rights, local controls, our liberties—have succumbed, one by one, to the power of the Federal state which seems to increasingly suck the lifeblood out of society. We now are face-to-face, far too often, with the full power and threats of a Federal bureaucracy which seems to know no limits. Those unseen managers, the Deep State establishment, will brook no real opposition. If it should appear, it is either tamed and bought off, or squelched.

Enter Donald J. Trump and an agenda that promised to “drain the swamps,” and a very rude awakening in last November’s election. For the Deep State establishment it could not—must not—be permitted to stand. And thus we come to today, all the chimerical controversy about how the “Russians did it,” and how that uncouth ruffian in the White House needs to be taken down a peg or two, surrounded by “experienced advisors,” or perhaps removed from office, toute suite!

This process has in effect torn the lying mask off the face of the Deep State, and most particularly, its advance panzer units, the Mainstream Media. A recent study completed by the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy [May 18] has analyzed media coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office. Here is what was found:

CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable terms. CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative). The Wall Street Journal came in below that level (70 percent negative), a difference largely attributable to the Journal’s more frequent and more favorable economic coverage.

Even Fox scarcely gave the president more than 50% favorable coverage.

Add to this the unrelenting assaults by Democrats, academia, Hollywood, and various skittish Republicans and NeverTrump Neoconservatives, and we can see the massive offensive against not just President Trump, but even more, against the “drain the swamps” agenda that brought him to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the first place.

More than once I have called for a massive response to this massive offensive. I have stated that while winning this past November 8 was a mini-miracle, extremely difficult to achieve, “winning the victory” would be even harder. And, certainly, it is proving to be so.

*****

~ Dr. Boyd D. Cathey is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

Just War And The Confederate Soldier

Constitution, History, Ilana Mercer, Military, States' Rights, War

Was on The Schilling Show, which is radio out of Charlottesville, to talk about our hero, Robert E. Lee. He and John Randolph of Roanoke compete in my heart.

The charming host, Rob, sprung on me something for which I was unprepared: “What would you tell Mayor Mike Signer, if he were listening and we know he does.” I should have humbly/politely declined, but this came out:

“Go back to Berkeley and Princeton, you carpetbagger.”

A thought on Confederate soldiers as heroes in the mold of any American military hero:

The mantra that brooks no challenging is, “Our Military Men and Women” uber alles. But not all American veterans are created equal. Therefore, are confederate soldiers truly honored by being considered as good as any other American soldier, by being welcomed belatedly and grudgingly into the military pantheon? For the War Against Northern Aggression was a just war. The other wars fought by the US, except for the Revolutionary War, not so much. unjust.

In any event, many of the military veterans I hear or see on TV contradict the values for which Lee stood. Lee fought for the locality, they fight for the Empire.

On the other hand, Confederate soldiers by default are heroes and patriots. Whereas American military veterans currently have performed feats of heroism in saving their buddies; their cause is mostly unjust: unjust wars. For if a soldier is not conscripted yet volunteers to fight the Empire’s unjust wars; is that heroic? If he fights to defend his family, community, town, kin; a soldier or any man is my hero.

But that’s the reactionary libertarian, the reincarnated Southern agrarian, the Articles-of-Confederation devotee speaking.

Attack On Robert E. Lee Part Of Marxist Assault On Founding, Christian Civilization

BAB's A List, Christianity, Communism, History, States' Rights

“The Attack on Robert E. Lee is An Attack on Us All, on Our History and Culture; It is Part of the Marxist Assault on Western Christian Civilization,” inveighs Dr. Boyd D. Cathey. It is “a war of cultural extermination,” an “ideological blitzkrieg,” waged by “an advance Red Guard of vicious cultural barbarians.” We can’t be “lily white about this.” You don’t “convince a King Cobra that we are nice folks who only want to work with them!” Time to fight back, demands Dr, Boyd.

In the early hours of this morning—one might say in the darkness, but it would be the “darkness” of a society that wishes, it appears, to commit cultural suicide and revile its ancestors—in those early hours the culturally Progressivist leaders of New Orleans took down the statue of General Robert E. Lee in their city. In removing the Lee statue they not only impugn the life of that noble Christian and unselfish man whom President Dwight D. Eisenhower admired above all other American military heroes, but they attempt to exterminate and erase entire portions of our collective history, that is, to ban and remove from sight anything that in any way would remind us of our past and the heritage handed down to us. They are, then, an advance Red Guard of the vicious cultural barbarians, cultural vandals, whose burning hatred for anything that even meekly questions their ongoing ideological blitzkrieg to “cleanse us” of the history and traditions of Western Christian civilization, is seen as an impediment and a danger to their revolution. Any opposition to their designs must, therefore, be attacked and wiped from public view.

Their next target is the imposing statue to General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Let me state here: I hold an honors Masters’ degree in history (Thomas Jefferson Fellow) from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. And I am a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, having become a member well over thirty years ago (after I returned from grad school in Europe). I have been active on the North Carolina division level as well as on the national level. And, those who read these words (and read the Abbeville Institute and Confederate Veteran magazine) will know that I have written extensively in broad defense of not just Southern and Confederate heritage, but in defense of that heritage as an essential and pivotal part of American history. One cannot truly comprehend—one cannot hope to understand—our history as a nation or as a people without remembering who we are, and who we have been.

That does not mean that I—or any of us—have to worship at the statue of this historical figure, or of that historical personage. Just as I would not demand that Illinois take down its statues to Abraham Lincoln, I stoutly oppose removing statues to Lee, or to Jefferson Davis, or to Bedford Forrest. Whether one agrees with Robert E. Lee’s painful decision to leave the US Army and volunteer to fight for his home state of Virginia, or not, it is singularly important that we ALL be reminded that he not only existed larger than life, but that he had and continues to have an inordinate influence over us and our history. To attempt to efface his memory, to radically distort his beliefs and his actions, all to make him “fit” in a predetermined ideologically Marxist template, not only insults a great and decent man, but perverts and destroys history, itself.

This is what the cultural barbarians did in New Orleans and what they intend to do in Charlottesville.

The action in New Orleans followed a controversial and highly contentious period of debate, remonstrations, demonstrations, and legal maneuvers. Various pro-heritage and preservation organizations worked tirelessly to defend the monument. Sadly it seems, in too many of these defensive actions among heritage defenders there is division as to strategy and approach. And it was and is those divisions that have plagued far too often those who supposedly proclaim their opposition to the cultural genocide that gathers pace in our decadent contemporary society.

Up in the Old Dominion State, the Virginia Division of The Sons of Confederate Veterans have played an important role in defending the Lee statue now under attack. And they should be saluted for that. Yet, unfortunately, some of their public statements and actions betray a kind of pusillanimous response to this assault on not just Confederate heritage, but on the fabric of American history.

It has become increasingly clear that too many of the defenders of our heritage believe that opposition to the onrushing and take-no-prisoners revolutionary fanatics, those cultural barbarians, can continue as it was decades ago. In a real sense, they resemble those so-called “conservatives” and establishment Republicans who think that polite dissent is the only means to achieve success. They seem to say, “we must have none of those ‘flaggers’ and no demonstrations from those ‘unwashed deplorables’! And no outside ‘interference’ from more insistent and activist heritage groups!”

Unfortunately, we no longer live in those polite times. Our enemies are engaged in a war of extermination, and if we do not understand that, if we do not see that, then we shall surely become victims of it. The terms of battle have changed radically, and whether we wish it or not, we must respond using every legitimate weapon at our disposable.

Certainly, that does not mean joining hands with outright crazies, or Nazis. But it does mean that we should not turn away men and women of good will, even if they be not members of our organization or Sunday church-goers. Desperate times require desperate measures, always in keeping with integrity and faithfulness to the example of our ancestors.

My longtime friend and fellow compatriot Richard Hines, over the past thirty years, has contributed his time and fortune to the preservation and defense of the patrimony we have inherited from our ancestors. There is no stronger, no more unselfish and valiant defender of our heritage and the legacy of our Western Christian traditions then he. In the May/June issue of Confederate Veteran magazine his heritage defense organization ran a full page ad on the inside back cover, soliciting additional support (he had already made a substantial contribution) for a defense of the Lee statue in Charlottesville. You would think that the Virginia descendants of the noble veterans of that cruel war of 1861-1865 would have welcomed the support, but no, those near-sighted members of the Virginia SCV protested this “outside interference”!

Then, there was the press release “protest” by the official Virginia division, criticizing a torchlight march near the Lee statue, which included, it is said, members of the ”Alt-Right.” Obviously, the unending attacks by the cultural Marxists had had their effect, for the Virginia division scurried rapidly to the tall grass, forcefully declaring that it had nothing to do with possible “racists,” “white supremacists,” etc., etc.—all the “devil terms” of the cultural Left. One could almost hear the voices and the standard narrative of the leftist mainstream media echoed therein. And one could, justifiably, ask whether such aping of the dominant narrative will do anything, anything at all, to defend our heritage, or to ingratiate us in the eyes of the cultural barbarians who seek to destroy us?

Rather, is not such a polite attitude an admission that our older strategy, even if certainly the ideal in a civilized society, has failed? One does not get down on one’s knees and attempt to “reason” with a King Cobra, and, I dare say that operating by the old rules with our enemies these days—whether in Washington DC, or in New Orleans, or in Charlottesville, Virginia—will get us only that much quicker to the dust bin of history and the final end of our culture and our people. Seems like the cobras will strike us every time…but that too many of us have never learned, or may never learn, that lesson.

I send along, then, a rousing defense of “Marse Robert” by that superb columnist Ilana Mercer and the critical significance of Southern and Confederate heritage in the history of our nation.

****

~ Dr. Boyd D. Cathey is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Abbeville Institute. He contributes to the Confederate Veteran magazine, the Unz Review, as well as to Barely a Blog. His articles are on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category.