As we said here and here, after Ted Cruz strode to the floor of the Senate and began reading from Dr Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham”, just a little over a month ago, a real-live revolution has begun in America.
Actually, it’s a counter-revolution, but I won’t quibble.
But as we watch this revolution unfold, it’s mostly the conspiracy-theorists and sky-is-falling crowd who are taking into consideration that the Obama administration and the Beltway Ruling Elite are not bowling pins. They don’t just stand around waiting to be knocked over. There is a dynamic unfolding on both sides, so watch for it. And be prepared, for when two plans collide, things never work out according to plan, or process.
There are already things the government establishment can do, even have been doing, as a way to intimidate people, firing warning shots if you will, that the American people should not get too frisky as this revolution evolves. As long as the revolution stays inside the Beltway, they think they can force it to peter out, simply by managing “the process”.
In truth, that’s why Man invented process in the first place.
So the theory goes, as long as people stay in their houses or don’t get too riled as the government slaps down those who don’t, (as a Maryland reporter learned last month who had been investigating Homeland Security) the message seems to say things will be OK if we just sit this revolt out and let Washington deal with “The 162”, 18 senators and 144 House members.
Of course, we want to see “The 162” grow to overwhelming numbers, but still, we agree to the need for getting there through process.
But Obama seemed to be sending mixed signals during the Shutdown, which he orchestrated, by intentionally hurting people he dislikes most in American society, especially veterans. Old veterans. In wheelchairs. He seemed to be inviting and inciting people to take to the street.
So far Americans have wisely resisted this invitation, and nothing I say here is encouragement to change that course.
But I do want to issue a warning to the Ruling Establishment that there are buttons on people that they are getting close to pushing, whether accidental or intentional, that can take the revolution outside of process—and out of hand. So tread lightly, or, read up on what might happen.
Conspiracy-theorists already believe government high-handedness is a purposeful prelude to martial law, that the government will try to shelter the whole country in place, especially now as Democrats across the country are suddenly finding out what conservatives have always known: that their dear fearless leader and entire party had lied to them. This is a growing realization as they open their cancellation letters from their insurance companies. Their withdrawal from the alliance with the party could be a signal to Dems to either run for cover, or alternately, play that last tyranny card.
Now, I can’t know the government’s plans, or its contingency plans, but I tend to discount these signals of a draconian responses by government.
Still, I know my history, and having spent many years in the old Soviet Bloc, where everyone’s life was dictated by circumventing, hiding from, tricking or trying to undo the “imperial communists” (their name, not mine), I can at least think the unthinkable that men like Charles Krauthammer and George Will cannot. So conspiracy-theorists’ fears, while not probable, are still possible in my universe and must be taken into account.
Likewise, I also know that the belief that all this will be cured “by normal process”, where the people simply rise up and vote the bastards out of office, and then vote in a new wave of revolutionary heroes, who will then go about the 30- or 40-year process of undoing the carnage the Left has done, also is not likely….at least through normal process.
For one, while we only use rolled-up newspapers and spray paint in our clandestine war against the Left, the Left will use pipe-bombs. And you know it. The Left will not go quietly into the night, and I know they are already making preparations for preventing being made to do so. For one, it’s a rule in their operations manual; never to be knocked off their perch, once achieved, by “simple process”.
The Jacquerie, Wat Tyler or Cromwell?
Earlier in October I wrote an article called “Remember the Jacquerie” which may have seemed like a strange subject to discuss in this context, as it was about a peasants’ revolt in France in the 14th Century. Indeed, we are not like those peasants but still we get regular reminders that many Americans still live in a semi-barbaric, law of the jungle state, and when they act out it can be quite gruesome. Anyone remember a man named Reginald Denny? So even Homo Americanus can be turned barbaric fairly quickly if the right (or wrong) set of circumstances arise. We’ve seen this in riots, which are almost never put down, but rather, like a fire, allowed to burn themselves out.
The Jacquerie Revolt in France was carried out by peasants living in near-barbaric conditions, and they behaved accordingly, with barbaric abandon. And they were put down in the same manner, snuffing out any message they might have been trying to send, however brutish.
But across the Channel, just two years later (1381), the English peasantry also rose up, and were eventually put down just as brutally, except that they won, in that their message persisted, both politically and clerically. Unlike the French, in fact, unlike what civilized people of the day even believed commoners to be capable of, the English peasants rose in coordination, attacking only specific targets across England, only certain churches, only certain members of the government and the nobility, only certain guilds, all of whom they had a particular grievance against. As I said in the above-cited article, they even negotiated with the King of England for full freedom and rights, which the King promised them, then reneged.
But the precision and coordination of these attacks, all over England, were remarkable for their supposed low-born origins. The planning, communications, intelligence gathering, organizational secrecy, training, execution (sic) and restraint went well beyond what historians believed low born peasants were capable of in 1381. Instead of thousands of people burned out and killed, they meticulously peeled off members of the nobility and clergy, including several on the King’s personal staff, all known for their mistreatment and theft of commoners, pulled them out in raids and quickly removed them from their heads, then hung those on a pike for the local peasantry to admire, then riding on to the next castle.
The leader of this Revolt was a man named Wat Tyler who appeared on the pages of history the first day of the Revolt, and disappeared on the last day of the Revolt, when he was murdered while negotiating with the King. Nothing else is known about Wat Tyler except that his name was not Wat Tyler. He was someone else, and clearly not a peasant as the name was understood then, for he was treated as a great general by all the moment he stepped onto the stage, marching on London and investing the city with military-like precision.
I’ve read several accounts of Wat Tyler and his Revolt and his actions all appeared just, in accordance with the ideas of right and wrong in a time when justice was unequally applied. He and his band simply appointed themselves judge, jury and executioners at a time when justice was imbalanced, then set the balance square…all outside of process.
You’d probably like Wat Tyler.
Then there’s another, a different circumvention of process that sometimes works out for the best. A couple of years ago, I wrote an article “Man’s Thirst for Kings'” about another subject altogether, but mentioned Oliver Cromwell, who, even today, is one of the most admired or hated figures in English history, depending on who you read, Carlyle or Macauley; admired because he got rid of the monarchy (which was later restored) and established the Commonwealth and the sovereignty of Parliament, which was never lost. He was hated because he was a de facto military dictator, and worse, a theocrat, establishing a kind of Puritan government. Love him or hate him, Cromwell saved England by establishing a Parliament that worked, in part, because he instilled the fear of God, and the People, into its members.
What Cromwell undertook was to step outside of process because the designers and arbiters of process in England had themselves become so corrupt that there was no way they could cure themselves. Parliament had gone off on a brigandage spree, essentially appointing themselves a kind of replacement-royalty. In fact, they had become so ravenous, taking a cut of every pie, that Cromwell, still in charge of the military, and thoroughly disgusted, stomped into Parliament in April, 1653 and declared a short-term dictatorship by saying these words, words I’m sure we’d all love to hear spoken over this Congress, especially from a man holding a sword by the hilt:
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would, like Esau, sell your country for a mess of pottage, and, like Judas, betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
In the name of God, go!”
In our current circumstance, what’s not to like about either Wat Tyler or the honest Cromwell? Both appeal to my sense of justice. But both stand forever outside of process.
I leave it to Hollywood to adapt such a scene for modern times, but it is a sweet dream to sit back and consider, isn’t it?.
Just don’t forget the Jacquerie, for in process, or out, Mr Obama is just one Boston Massacre, one accidental shot by an Ohio National Guardsman, from letting loose the dogs of war. Because of him, not us, we would be fools not to consider the unthinkable.