The Return of the Middle Ages

The Return of the Middle Ages. By William Lind.

Our starting point is the Peace of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years’ War [in 1648]. Westphalia gave the state a monopoly on war. Today, we automatically think of war as conflict between states, with state armies, navies, and air forces fighting other similar state armed forces.

But, before Westphalia, war had much broader bounds. Many different entities fought wars: families, tribes, races and ethnic groups, religions, regions, cities, business enterprises — the list is almost endless. They used many different means as well: poisonings, bribery, assassinations, dynastic marriages, as well as battles and campaigns. For the latter, their armed forces ranged from any male old enough to hold a weapon to highly trained (and expensive) mercenaries, of whom the Swiss were usually both the most costly and the best. The Pope still uses them.

Between the fall of the (highly successful) Middle Ages and the rise of the state, which begins in the late 15th century, Europe was beset with wandering bands of armed men who hired themselves out as soldiers when they could and otherwise took whatever they wanted from anyone too weak to resist. After Westphalia, state armies went out, rounded these men up and hanged them from the nearest tree, to the cheers of the local population. War became a monopoly of the state. And so it remained up through most of the 20th century.

In so many ways we are regressing to the middle ages:

But today, the state is losing its monopoly on war. State militaries find themselves fighting, not other state armed forces, but armed non-state entities: the Taliban, ISIS, Hezbollah (the most competent of the lot), Hamas, drug cartels (who now rule Mexico, where three cartels are now each more powerful than the state), ethnic groups, gangs, religious cultists — again, the list is almost endless, as it was before Westphalia.

They again use many different means, not just battles. Perhaps the most powerful is war by immigration. Immigrants who refuse to acculturate or come in such numbers that they cannot be acculturated are more dangerous than foreign armies, because the armies eventually go home, while immigrants stay, permanently altering the cultural landscape. The new landscape they create is the one whose dysfunction they fled, because that is all they know. …

A new upper class is evolving:

All around the world, the state has become a prisoner of a new class — an elite class that can’t make things work, that uses its wealth and power to insulate itself from the consequences of things not working, and which cares about only one thing: remaining the elite.

The non-elite majority is seeing through the game and trying, where they are allowed, to vote the bastards out; hence the victory of President Donald Trump in 2016.

But the whole elite rallies to defend its position, often by destroying the person who threatened to topple it. And when populist forces do score a victory, the deep state mobilizes to thwart them at every turn. Eventually, ordinary people just switch the whole thing off.

Rulers only command loyal support if they govern with the consent of the governed. No consent, no loyalty.

But that “thing” includes their primary loyalty. Instead of giving it to the state, which they now view as illegitimate, they bestow it, as before Westphalia, on a wide variety of alternatives: on races and ethnic groups, religions and cults, business enterprises (legal and illegal), gangs, regions, causes such as “animal rights” and radical environmentalism — again, the list is endless.

And many of these people, who would never fight for the state, willingly, even eagerly, fight for their new primary loyalty. (The environmentalist who engages in “tree spiking” by burying a metal rod in a tree, hoping to kill a logger, is committing an act of war, not just a crime.)

And so states dissolve in a many-sided civil war, returning one former state after another to a Hobbesian state of nature, a place where life is dominated by wandering groups of armed men taking whatever they want from anyone too weak to resist. …

The old warfare is coming:

Another implication is that the U.S. military has little chance of winning fourth-generation wars. Our failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, et cetera, were not flukes. They were an almost inevitable result of sending a second-generation military to fight fourth-generation wars. …

We have already seen this in the effectiveness of suicide bombers. No smart weapon is as smart as a human being, and suicide bombers have shown they can penetrate most defenses. Historically, suicide attacks have been rare; the fact that they are becoming common in fourth-generation war shows just how massive a change in war we are facing.

The most important point about fourth-generation war for America’s security is to realize it is coming here, to a theater near us. In many parts of the country, it is already here. Just talk to a major city’s police department off the record. Drug cartels are waging fourth-generation war on American soil, as are other gangs, many of which are racially based.

To see a preview of fourth-generation war, take a look inside America’s worst state prisons. We are importing fourth-generation war on a massive scale across America’s southern border.

The culturally Marxist political establishment is holding the door open because masses of immigrants from dysfunctional cultures will help it destroy Western, Chrisian, Anglo-Saxon culture. Little does it understand what its fate will be in the resulting maelstrom. …

Today, the state is writing off more and more of our country as terra incognita — places where the state’s writ does not run.

In the long run, that is fatal to a state’s legitimacy. If the state cannot guarantee order, people will transfer their loyalty to something else that can. Freedom means ordered liberty, not chaos dominated by young thugs with guns.

Our current ruling class is tired of democracy, and of compromising and sharing with the rest of us. Increasingly they don’t govern with our consent, and are losing our loyalty.

hat-tip Stephen Neil