Note (06FEB2023): Democracy And Morality
In the novel, Retribution Fever, three Furies strike the world, causing a mass, human extinction. Witness the current context for the impending reality.
“Peace, prosperity, liberty, and morals have an intimate connection.” -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
In founding the Republic, the Framers of the original Constitution had assumed the existence of a moral and religious citizenry. By the time that three Furies had struck, their assumption had become a distant memory.
That which was no longer is. Excerpt from speech in Retribution Fever:
“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” -Samuel Adams (1722-1803)
“Science tells us that the ultimate factors controlling behavior are context and consequences. So, let us look at the current context . . . a context representing the consequence of our past behavior.
“Gone is proud dedication to national strength in favor of a whimpering subservience to national weakness. Gone is grim determination for victory in battle in favor of guilt-ridden acceptance of self-inflicted defeat. Gone is proud fidelity to permanent principles in favor of shameful infidelity controlled by temporary expediencies. Gone is rule of law in favor of rule by lawyers. Gone is age-old humility taught by Judeo-Christian religions in favor of newly-found arrogance of agnostic/atheistic secular relativism. Gone is absolute morality resting firmly upon time and scripture in favor of self-proclaimed, arbitrary standards of conduct shifting capriciously to reflect momentary whims.”
Sound familiar? Fiction becomes non-fiction. Such are the consequences of the extremes of a republican democracy.
“The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness, which the ambitious call and the ignorant believe to be liberty.” -Fisher Ames (1758-1808)
“Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time . . . .” -Winston Churchill, House of Commons (11NOV1947)
Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874-1965): statesman, British Prime Minister (1940-1945, 1951-1955)
To many, Winston Churchill represents the personification of democracy. In its name, he even sacrificed his nation by pursuing war against Germanic Fascism in the form of Adolf Hitler and his Nazis. Understanding Churchill, the man, opens a door to understanding these United States today.
Ironically, unlike Roosevelt, Hitler was an avid supporter of British colonialism; nevertheless, from the beginning Churchill was a vocal opponent of the “Naazzies” as he called them. Many Americans are unaware that it was Britain and France that declared war against Germany in 1939 not vice versa. By Churchill’s doggedly opposing the Nazis, even pursuing war against them, he has become a curious and somewhat paradoxical hero to most Americans; that is, with the notable exception of Barack Hussein Obama II, who removed a bust of him from the White House. Yet, consider the following:
Contrary to the common depiction of him, Churchill was a man who never met a war he didn’t like. By his own account, he suffered from recurrent depressions — his “black dog days” as he characterized them — for which he self-medicated with alcohol; a depressant and, therefore, an ill-chosen choice. One well might speculate that wars excited him; thereby, counteracting his vulnerability towards those painful periods.
From early in his long political career, Churchill was a man lowly trusted by his fellow politicians but highly distrusted. Many considered him brash, impulsive, and imprudent. The common notion among his detractors past and present is that his impaired judgement revealed itself with deadly consequences — for others; for example, during both the Great War then its sequel.
During World War I when Euro-Caucasians engaged in a massive self-slaughter, it was his attack at Gallipoli against Turkey, which he characterized incorrectly as “the sick man of Europe”. The antecedent for his attack was the plight of Russia then an ally. The consequence was the bloodiest carnage of the war until that time, mainly of Australians and New Zealanders, ending in defeat.
During World War II when Euro-Caucasians decided to resume their massive self-slaughter, it was his attack against Italy, which he characterized incorrectly as “the soft underbelly of Europe”. The antecedent was the threat in North Africa to the Empire. The consequence was the Southern Front of the Wehrmacht being the only front still capable of fighting when the Italian carnage, beginning in the Autumn of 1943, ended in the Spring of 1945. It proved to be the campaign with the most casualties of the entire war for Americans and British.
His tactical mistakes notwithstanding, more misplaced was his overall strategy. Churchill’s long-held, primary, targeted goal was to have maintained the British Empire intact. As noted, that goal guided his decision to attack Italy, for example. In fulfilling that goal, Churchill hardly could have failed more completely, possibly even had Hitler won the war. Instead of bringing his behavior under the long-term consequence comprising his primary, targeted goal, he allowed his behavior to come under the control of an immediate antecedent — the military adventurism of Nazified Germany.
Antecedents-Behaviors-Consequences — the ABC’s
Science says. “According to the Law of Effect, behavior is under the control of its consequences.”
behavior n.: the manner of conducting oneself. –Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
Ultimately, behavior comes under the control of its consequences, the events following a behavior. Ultimately, but not necessarily initially. Initially, the controlling factor can be an event preceding the behavior — the antecedent.
“The woman Folly is riotous; She is thoughtlessness and knoweth nothing.” -Proverbs 9:13
In his own way, Churchill allowed himself to commit a universal and timeless error in human behavior; namely, allowing preceding, attractive but fatal antecedents to control behavior not subsequent, often ugly but vital consequences. Doing so has been the ruin of many a person, good and bad.
Doing so was the ruin of Adolf Hitler, too. As the Winter of 1942 approached, the Wehrmacht had not secured the victory that they mistakenly had believed achieved earlier and easily. Instead, the Russians mounted a successful but costly resistance at Stalingrad — the antecedent. Hitler’s behavioral response? He refused to allow his ill-clad troops to withdraw to defensible positions. Consequence? He lost the battle and with it the war.
So, there are antecedents that precede and prompt behaviors. There are the behaviors themselves with associated thoughts, feelings, and bodily reactions. There are the consequences that follow behaviors and either strengthen or weaken them. The three constitute the ABC’s.
Allowing behavior to fall under the control of its antecedents often ends ill. Maintaining behavior under the control of its consequences more often ends well. Hitler’s behavior illustrates the validity of this scientifically-documented concept as does Churchill’s.
Consequences For Churchill and Others
“I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him.” -Winston Churchill, The London Times (07NOV1938)
Despite the erroneous inferences drawn from this statement, Churchill never liked Hitler although he apparently admired the success that Germany was enjoying at the time under the Germans’ Führer versus, say, the failure that these United States of America were suffering under Roosevelt. In September1939, Germany invaded Poland. The invasion was the antecedent for the British under then-Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the French declaring war against Germany. The longer-term consequences would be the defeat of Germany; the end of European, colonial empires; and the occupation of Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union for the following forty-five years.
With the advent of the state of war with Germany, Churchill might have re-read Hitler’s internationally best-selling book, Mein Kampf. Clearly, Hitler admired Britain and viewed her empire as a stabilizing force worldwide. Notes from a secret conference in 1937 attended by the Nazis’ highest leadership and general staff document that Hitler’s view for the world did not include destruction of the British empire nor even invasion of Britain herself. Hitler wanted Russia in order to provide Germans with lebensraum.
From September 1939 until April 1940, the opposing forces essentially remained idle militarily — the so-called Sitzkreig. Beginning in October 1939, Hitler made the first of several supposedly peaceful overtures to Britain and France — all summarily rejected.
Were the overtures sincere? Some say yes; some say no. In that regard, it may be of interest to read views from the other side.
In April 1940, Germany invaded Denmark as a launching pad to invade Norway. It had been no secret that Britain and France planned the same invasion in order to block German access to the North Atlantic. In May 1940, Germany invaded France via the low countries. Chamberlain’s government fell. Parliament elected Winston Churchill as the succeeding Prime Minister.
Once France had fallen, Britain found itself in a war that it could not win alone. Had Churchill withdrawn Britain from that war, would he have saved the British Empire? Whatever might have been, like an English bulldog, he refused to release his grip on the pursuit of total warfare; thereby, ultimately destroying that which he prized above all else — the Empire.
Additionally, might he have obviated the mass murder of Jews, a decision later made in 1942 at the Wannsee Conference — a conference attended by neither Himmler of the Schutzstaffel (SS) nor Hitler himself? Prior to the war, the Nazis had been only too pleased to allow Jews to emigrate voluntarily albeit with few possessions. Although plans had remained vague, the Nazis debated about a destination to which to deport the rest involuntarily. Murder had not been on the agenda.
During the Great War, Turkish troops murdered surrendering enemy troops then treated the remainder harshly, including forced labor. Consequence? Seventy percent of Allied troops in Turkish captivity died. The controlling factor was the economic context. Turkey could not afford to house, guard, and feed prisoners of war.
During its sequel, the context was the same. Germany could not afford to house, guard, and feed inmates of the concentration camps. The alternative selected was mass murder, at which the Germans were expertly efficient. Ironically, it had been a German-Jewish chemist, Fritz Haber, who had invented the precursor to Zyklon B, the gas used later to murder his own people.
Had Churchill made peace with Germany at the start would the Nazis have committed such an atrocity? No one can say with certainty. Does Churchill’s decision make him responsible in any way for the Nazis’ decision? No, but the consequences of Churchill’s decision illustrate the unintended but inescapable consequences of behavior under the control of antecedents and short-term consequences, especially political behavior.
The issue in question here is not whether Churchill should have sacrificed the British Empire for whatever reason in order to resist Hitler and his Nazis. The issue is that he did sacrifice the Empire, the maintenance of which was Churchill’s highest priority. He betrayed his own priorities by bringing his behavior under the control of antecedents instead of consequences. Therein lies a lesson for us all. Had Prime Minister Tojo of Imperial Japan not made the ill-fated decision to attack Pearl Harbor, the antecedent for Hitler needlessly declaring war against these United States, the fate of Britain itself well might have depended upon the Russians defeating Germany.
Democracy and the United Kingdom
In 1707, England and Scotland formally united to create the United Kingdom. At one time, its precursor, England, had been just that — a kingdom; not a democracy but a monarchy governed under “the divine right of kings”, a concept initiated in the late 16th-century. Beginning, nevertheless, with the Magna Carta, initially drafted in 1215 with subsequent revisions, the British political system slowly evolved towards democracy to the point of neutering the House of Lords with recent calls even to abolish it.
In 1831 while writing of democracy in the newly-founded United States of America, the Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, noted that a benefit of aristocracy is social continuity. Aristocracy weakens the tendency of a society to bring its behavior under the control of antecedents and short-term consequences and strengthens the tendency to bring its behavior under the control of long-term consequences.
In the Britain of 1940, had the House of Lords possessed ultimate power over the House of Commons, would Winston Churchill have become Prime Minister? Would Britain have pursued another war so destructive to her empire?
Of uncertain origin is the quip that the Sun never sets on the British Empire because God would not trust an Englishman in the dark. Truly, in governing their empire, the British had their faults but none compared to those of the Spanish or even the Belgians.
Also, it has been said that Britain brought civilization to the rest of the world. Thereto, a case can be made. Without British governance, India, for example, likely would have remained a collection of backward, feudal states without a common language.
If Britain brought civilization to the rest of the world, did democracy bring termination to the British Empire and to the United Kingdom itself? Here again, a case can be made.
Democracy and these United States of America
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” -John Adams (1725-1836)
Adams sentiments were echoed by many of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, including Jefferson and Madison. To them, the word, democracy, represented an obscenity.
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” -Winston Churchill
Despite Winston Churchill’s begrudging accepting of democracy as the least worst system of governance, he apparently held a jaundiced view of the voting public itself. That view supports the argument in favor of a democratic republic instead of a republican democracy. There is a critical difference.
Clearly, Churchill’s words merely echoed the views of both Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The respective goal of both was to have created not a republican democracy but a democratic republic. The Federalists prevailed. Who could participate in voting, they delegated largely to the States. Today, fulfilling the Anti-Federalists’ concerns, an overpowering, increasingly tyrannical, federal government has reversed that which the Federalists had tried to create.
Moreover, federal promotion of tyranny has replaced federal protection of liberty. The original Constitution stipulated only one crime, sedition. Today, federal laws stipulate more than 3,000 comprising more than 23,000 pages of verbiage. Total laws exceed 40,000. Many of these laws contradict one another. The average American on an average day cannot arise from bed without breaking some law. Therein lies one of the bitter fruits of a republican democracy.
“Well, Doctor, what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?” Benjamin Franklin was asked.
“A Republic if you can keep it,” warned Dr. Franklin. If you can keep it!
Americans could not. Instead, the nation has descended increasingly into the depths of a republican democracy with all its predictable consequences. Adding to the injury of legal tyranny is a fundamental loss of the tie that bound the nation together; namely, Judeo-Christian dogma. Consequence? We have become a nation that has lost its soul. We have sunk into depths of depravity beyond biblical proportions, a state predicted centuries ago.
“The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe, to be liberty.” -Fisher Ames (1758-1808)
That depravity includes homosexuality. It is a perversion. Anyone familiar with its practices knows that it is anything but “gay”.
Theologically, homosexuality is an unequivocal abomination before God worthy of capital punishment. The Bible is explicit. Elsewhere in the world, it is followed to the letter.
“And if a man lie with mankind as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination; they surely shall be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” -Leviticus 20:13
Sociologically, it undermines nuclear families consisting of husbands, wives, and children. Nuclear families have constituted the foundations of societies since the beginning of civilization.
As this nation on fire has demonstrated, homosexuality generalizes into even more disgusting perversions such as paedophilia and sexualizing children including mutilating them physically. That this nation even would discuss accepting these revolting practices reflects the insanity afflicting these United States. Not only have we debased our monetary currency by profligate spending, we have debased another form of currency as well,
That other form of currency is social currency, the means by which people interact with one another. Until recently, in these United States, the basis of social currency was absolute in the form of Judeo-Christian dogma; as mentioned, the tie that bound. With the extremes of democracy, the basis became relative in the form of relative secularism. After all, its advocates claim that in the Cosmos there are no absolutes. Didn’t even Albert Einstein (1879-1955) say so? Actually, no.
As often occurs when those ill informed about Science extrapolate a scientific principle or finding that they misunderstand, some in the arts, humanities, and theology erroneously extrapolated Einstein’s theory to their own areas of interest. The consequences have been disastrous for individuals and society. Everything is not simply that which you think it is and relative to everything else. There are real events in the Cosmos. There are invariants or absolutes. One, for example, is the speed of light in a vacuum; it is constant whatever your point of view or frame of reference. Another is time-space itself.
The descent into republican democracy and its consequences began in earnest a long time ago in the 1880s with the rise of the so-called Progressives, a catchy name that ignores the obvious fact that progressive for one man may be regressive for another. Under the phony banner of democracy, the Progressives — notably via Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson — have dispossessed the majority and disestablished the Constitution of the United States of America and traditional American ideals and values. They have been replacing liberty with tyranny, all while waving their phony banner. Under Obama, the pace accelerated significantly. Under Trump, it slowed. Under Biden, it has accelerated mightily.
Churchill’s later sentiments notwithstanding, the founders of this nation believed that they were establishing a nation for Christian Euro-Caucasians based upon a written constitution reflecting English law and custom. The targeted goal of that constitution was to have protected life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Since the ratification of the Constitution then the Bill of Rights, these United States continuously have evolved from the orderly governance of a republic with limited but widespread participation towards the disorderly governance of a democracy racked by mob-rule among competing minorities — a fragmenting, declining nation on fire merely masquerading as the republic envisioned by the Federalists. Witness Negroes torching towns in 2020 and threatening to do so again this week.
So, what to do? Many offer complaints. Few offer solutions. Complaining may feel good; it implies action, but by itself changes nothing. Only behavior changes context. Ah, but what behavior? Rebellion?
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Be a rebellion successful, then? A return to the same system that failed and provided the context for our current march to the bank of the River Styx?
The unique, semi-fictional novel, Retribution Fever, offers a bold, new, and different solution to the manifold problems besetting the nation. Science and the Scientific Method. Specifically, Biobehavioral Science as applied to human behavior. The book presents a detailed roadmap away from our plunging down the Path to Perdition and climbing towards the Road to Resurrection … resurrection of these United States of America based upon a foundation of traditional American ideals and values reflecting moderation, prudence, and charity. Would that it be so!
A ring of diatribes spewing unsupported mumbo jumbo