The Piedmont Chronicles
~ est. 2010 ~
[State of GA]
*ed.note: what follows below is an extraordinary piece by an extraordinary guy that I've gotten to know the last 15 years or so. Mr. Fred is a total American badass! I'm proud to know him, and I'm even more proud that he is a part-time guest contributor to TPC. The first part is the email he sent out to his Patriots' Table email list and what follows can only, in our estimation, be described as divine words of wisdom for all of our grandchildren. Read, enjoy & take notes! Thx for reading! Best - MBM.
This is a "for what it's worth department". This weekend it occurred to me that the world my generation and the next generation are handing over to our grandchildren is one very different form the one we were handed. Some things in the technology department are better, but in a lot of different ways the world is a whole lot worse. I don't have to recount all the problems--you know what they are.
So, I have sent a letter to my grandchildren. Now, it's not a letter of apology because on most of our problems I don't feel very responsible. As a matter of fact, I have been on the losing side of many political issues for a long time. And, I just didn't sit back and let it happen. In some cases I tried my best to hold back the tide.
But, the world is what it is and our grandchildren must cope with it. So, for what it's worth, here it is.
~ __________________________ ~
October 16, 2016
Because of the confluence of a number of recent events and trends I have felt the need to address a letter to you desiring among other things that you should avoid some common mistakes and allow you to lay a foundation for the acquisition of good habits of decision making.
We live in a society in which political correctness runs amok. We risk electing a career criminal as president; we are welcoming into our nation massive numbers of illiterate immigrants who have no skills and who practice a religion that has enmity to all our western values; and all of our cultural values have come under the dictates of the homosexual cabal to the point that we don’t even keep men out of women’s bathrooms. And, the icing on the cake is we have a second-rate pro football player earning $19 million per year who refuses to stand for the national anthem because he is “oppressed”. Of course, he has become the cause celebre of the Elites.
We have reached the point of which all utopian social planners from Plato to Rousseau to Robert Owen always have dreamed: the rejection of God, the destruction of the traditional family, and the establishment of a political-economic system based on coerced re-distribution rather than on private property, free markets and the desire of profits.
The governing system of the future will be based on globalism internationally and crony capitalism domestically—a new mercantilism. There always will be an underground economy among the small businesses in the service area that are somewhat immune to the regulations and confiscatory taxes of the state capitalists—but, even this sector continually will come under attack and be eroded.
The way to succeed in this de novo system is either to go with the flow or to stake out a position of independence. The latter will require a continued effort to resist the elements of authority (government, media, schools and universities, etc.) who constantly will offer up an alternate version of reality.
So, let’s begin. I will offer in outline form some suggestions for you to lay a foundation of putting on the whole armor of rational defense against the prevailing system of interpreting reality and making decisions in your chosen career and private life. You can google the various topics for investigating them deeper.
When I was in in college ROTC we were taught the principles of war. These principles apply in all situations whether strategically with whole armies at war or tactically with a squad in a firefight. I have come to realize that they also have application in all other human endeavors—anytime there is organized effort attempting to accomplish some sort of goal. One can readily see that each principle can be used as a metaphor for an activity in a non-military context.
Objective. Every military operation must be directed toward a decisive, obtainable objective. A business’s objective must be correctly defined and all members of the organization should understand what it is.
Offensive. Only offensive action achieves decisive results. This means a salesman will not accomplish much sitting in an office hoping his phone will ring. He also must have the willingness to “ask for the order”.
Simplicity. Even the most simple plan is difficult to execute in combat. Keep it simple, stupid (KISS) is a good rule of thumb in every category of human activity.
Unity of Command. At the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) the Greeks had an army of 7,000 from various cities, but King Leonidas of Sparta was selected to lead the Greek forces against the Persians. One of the greatest war movies ever was “Zulu” made in 1964 depicting the Battle of Rorke’s Drift of 1879. Once the British forces realized they were about to come under attack, the first thing they did was decide who was in charge.
Mass. Maximum available combat power must be applied at the point of decision. This is what R. E. Lee was attempting to do on the third day of Gettysburg with Pickett’s Charge. It’s what football teams do when they pull an opposite-side guard to block on a sweep.
Economy of Force. Minimum essential means must be employed at points other than that of decision. This is why both Clinton and Trump spend no time in Georgia, Mississippi, and Oregon while they return over and over to Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio.
Maneuver. Maneuver is the positioning of forces to place the enemy at a relative disadvantage. A beautiful example of this is the flanking maneuver that Stonewall Jackson performed at Chancellorsville. In civilian cases this is demonstrated by being flexible enough to make changes in a plan when circumstances change.
Surprise. Surprise may decisively shift the balance of combat in favor of the commander who achieves it. In football, sometimes a fake field goal or a quick kick can change the whole momentum of the game.
Security. Security is essential to the application of the other principles of war. A political candidate doesn’t share his polling data with his opponent. This element is why we have access codes for all of our computer activities.
A few other things learned from the Army:
Every test, every operation, every task is not complete until it is critiqued. If a test is not reviewed, the student will miss the same questions on the final exam. Before preparing for next week’s game, coaches must spend some time correcting the mistakes from the previous Saturday’s game.
Effective leadership must include the willingness to delegate authority (Responsibility cannot be delegated—the buck stops where the leader resides.) A leader does not have the resources or ability to perform all of the tasks. The job at hand should be divided into tasks and good subordinates given authority over the tasks, checked regularly for progress, and held accountable for their results.
When making promotions within an organization, always keep in mind and try to avoid the Peter Principle (In all hierarchies, people eventually tend to rise to their levels of incompetence). A great mechanic may make a terrible shop foreman.
Some additional suggestions.
Get familiar with Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. It demonstrates that often what the general population believes is true actually is a false reality resulting from the general acceptance of myth or by a deliberate act of deception by the Elites. We owe it to ourselves to not accept things at face value. Everything has a cause and sometimes the effects of certain policies or acts are not apparent.
Read Frederic Bastiat’s “The Fallacy of the Broken Window”. Actions often have secondary effects beyond the obvious ones. More erroneous government policies are in place because of this fallacy than any other. The Left often bases policies on emotion rather than considering all the consequences of their actions.
Take a few minutes and study in depth the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC). This battle has all the elements of any drama: contesting opponents, all the principles of war, heroism, outstanding leadership, betrayal, and a case study of making the best of a losing situation. And, it is the source of one of the best heroic responses to a call to surrender of arms, ”Come and take them!” It has been repeated for 2,600 years.
Become familiar with Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519-430 BC). He is almost unique in all human history. He voluntarily gave up political power. Read a biography of George Washington and see why a man who fought for his country’s independence, helped create its constitution, and then served as its first president is truly a great man—he emulated Cincinnatus and voluntarily gave up power. If the Constitution did not forbid it, do you think Obama would be running for a third term?
Study the Bible. Our pastor recently preached a series of sermons on how Jesus as LORD and savior is revealed throughout the Old Testament. A study of the historical and prophetic books of the Old Testament demonstrate that our Old Testament heroes were all flawed men chosen by God to do His will. The cycles of Jewish history show the inevitable result when nations come under God’s judgement.
Read the chapter describing the Dutch Tulip Mania of the seventeenth century in “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (1841).
Read Adam Smith’s indictment of mercantilism in his “Wealth of Nations” (1776). So much of what he describes is very similar to the bureaucratic EU of today. That’s why the UK voted to leave it.
Read “Animal Farm” an allegorical novel by George Orwell (before he wrote “1984”) about the totalitarian system of Russian communism under Stalin. You need to know what they mean when someone says,” All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
Read Henry Hazlett’s “Economics in One Lesson”. It was written seventy years ago but is just as valid today as it was then. It begins with an analysis of Bastiat’s “Fallacy of the Broken Window” and applies its lessons to such topics as minimum wages, rent controls, unions, taxes, etc.
In 1949 my parents bought a new house for $11,500. Today, a new Cadillac costs $53,000—almost five times what my parents paid for a house! This shows what government has done to the value of our money during the last two generations. Learn how the Fed manipulates the money supply by buying and selling government bonds. Know the difference between a prime deposit and a secondary deposit. You will be the only one in your class who knows this—including the teacher.
One of the biggest myths of the twentieth—and, now the twenty-first—century is that the Stock Market crash of 1929 “caused” the Great Depression. Just because A happens before B does not mean that A causes B. The Stock Market is a discounting mechanism. It attempts to anticipate the future. In fact, a relationship can be seen in the actions of the Market in the summer and fall of 1929 and the proceedings of the Congressional committee hearings considering the Smoot- Hawley Tariff. The Great Depression was caused by the Fed restricting the money supply, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, and the raising of income tax rates. All government actions. But, this does not fit the leftist narrative of the “failure of the market system”.
Become familiar with the Laffer Curve. It a theoretical explanation of why higher tax rates don’t necessarily result in higher revenues. It also explains why lower tax rates actually bring in MORE revenues.
Google the income tax tables of 1980 and see what the tax amounts and marginal rates were for a $50,000 annual income BEFORE the Reagan tax cuts. Reagan cut the top marginal rate to 25% and indexed the tables to inflation. What are some of the things people would have had to eliminate from their budgets if those tax cuts had not gone into effect?
These are some of the things that I believe every person should know before graduating from high school. I wish I had known them. I must confess that I was not much of a student. I have always admired you for your reading habits. Keep it up. But, read good stuff.
If you are interested, I will provide you with a list of books that are both interesting and will arm you as you confront your professors who have an agenda. Your generation will enter a world that we haven’t seen since the reign of the mercantilists. Good luck! Know that I love you.