GIVE UP FREEDOM TO GAIN PERPETUAL WAR? NO THANK YOU!

Give Up Freedom To Gain Perpetual War? No Thank You!

In times of conflict, when our country is at war, we are willing to tolerate such inconveniences, burdens, and abridgements of our rights and freedoms as are deemed to be necessary for the war effort. We recognize, in such times, that the good of our whole country must come first and that we must come together in support of those who are fighting on our behalf. Implicit in all of this, however, is the understanding that war is an exceptional circumstance and that the conditions of peace in which our rights and freedoms are not so curtailed are the norm.

This long-standing traditional consensus served us well down through the ages but in the last century it was torn apart by attacks coming from two different directions. While there have always been those who have defected from their society’s collective efforts in wartime in post-World War II conflicts these have occurred on a much larger scale as part of organized movements that have been driven by ideologies such as pacifism. From this direction the tradition that tells us to come together in unity when our country is at war has come under attack. The attack from the other direction is upon the tradition that tells us to make the conditions of peace the norm and it is this attack, and especially one particular form of this attack, that I wish to discuss here. 

 
 
 
'Give Up Freedom To Gain Perpetual War? No Thank You!

In times of conflict, when our country is at war, we are willing to tolerate such inconveniences, burdens, and abridgements of our rights and freedoms as are deemed to be necessary for the war effort. We recognize, in such times, that the good of our whole country must come first and that we must come together in support of those who are fighting on our behalf. Implicit in all of this, however, is the understanding that war is an exceptional circumstance and that the conditions of peace in which our rights and freedoms are not so curtailed are the norm. 

This long-standing traditional consensus served us well down through the ages but in the last century it was torn apart by attacks coming from two different directions. While there have always been those who have defected from their society’s collective efforts in wartime in post-World War II conflicts these have occurred on a much larger scale as part of organized movements that have been driven by ideologies such as pacifism. From this direction the tradition that tells us to come together in unity when our country is at war has come under attack. The attack from the other direction is upon the tradition that tells us to make the conditions of peace the norm and it is this attack, and especially one particular form of this attack, that I wish to discuss here. 

If the tradition under attack says that the conditions of peace in which the public are not overly burdened with rules and taxes and their customary rights and freedoms are not abridged are to be the norm then to attack this tradition is to say that the conditions appropriate for wartime are to be the norm instead. One way in which this occurred in the last century was that liberalism, the ideology that started in the so-called “Enlightenment” and came to dominate the Western world in the period known as the Modern Age, changed, at least in North America, in the period between the two World Wars. Until the First World War the ideas of John Locke, in which the need to protect the rights and liberties of the individual from the state was stressed, formed the most prominent strain in liberal thought. After the war the ideas of Jeremy Bentham, in which the role of the modern democratic state as the agent and instrument of utilitarian progress was emphasized, eclipsed those of Locke. The basis of this shift in liberal thought was the reasoning on the part of many liberals who served in administrative positions in the First World War that if the government can mobilize and organize society for the sake of the war effort in times of war then surely it can mobilize and organize society to achieve a better, more just, society in times of peace. This has certainly taken the liberty out of liberalism.

Another way in which governments, addicted to wartime powers, have resisted the tradition of reverting to the conditions of peace as the norm, has been to make conflict the norm rather than peace. About the time that liberalism underwent the shift described in the preceding paragraph liberals of the older type, including American historians such as Charles Beard and Harry Elmer Barnes, began to see a tendency in the foreign policy of the liberal American Presidents of the ‘30s and ‘40s towards holding up “freedom”, “democracy”, and “peace” as ideals while constantly mobilizing the country for war on behalf of those ideals. “Perpetual war for perpetual peace” was how Beard described this policy to Barnes, who borrowed the title for a anthology of essays he edited in 1953 that took a hard, critical, look at the policies of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. (1) Another of these older type liberals, who now called themselves libertarians, Murray N. Rothbard, observed that a “welfare-warfare state” had developed that both practiced the policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace and employed high levels of taxation, spending, and regulation for non-belligerent, progressive purposes in the Benthamite manner we have discussed. That a policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace could be used as a cover for collusion between military leaders and arms manufacturers for the sake of war profiteering on a whole new level made possible by the advent of mass production was a danger against which American President Dwight Eisenhower warned in his Farewell Address.

In the last decade and a half events have transpired that our governments have exploited to take the policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace to a whole new level.

Since the end of the Second World War the acknowledged leading country of the Western world has, for better or worse, been the United States of America. After the Cold War came to an end America and the West have become increasingly entangled in the conflicts of the Middle East. When, on September 11, 2001, the United States found herself the victim of a terrorist attack the American President at the time declared a “War on Terror”. As part of this “War on Terror” the American government created a powerful new agency, the Department of Homeland Security, charged with the task of preventing terrorist attacks on American soil, and the USA PATRIOT Act, which enhanced the investigatory powers of law enforcement and security agencies by removing such impediments as the need for a court order to search records, was rushed through Congress. Here in Canada Jean Chretien’s Liberals rushed similar legislation through Parliament in the form of the Anti-Terrorism Act of the fall of 2001.

The supporters of bills like these argued that they were necessary to remove obstructions that got in the way of security agencies and hindered them from doing their job of protecting us from the violence of terrorism. Critics and opponents of the same bills argued that these so-called obstructions were actually safeguards that protected Canadians and Americans against the misuse of government power and that to get rid of these safeguards is to abandon centuries of tradition, stretching back to before the founding of either the United States or Canada, in which these safeguards evolved to protect our rights and liberties, lives and persons. These critics were, of course, right. If we were to interpret every crisis that occurs as indicating a need for either enhanced government powers or a loosening of constitutional, prescriptive, and legal restraints on the use of government powers, very soon we would have an omnipotent state and no rights and freedoms worth speaking of.

Nobody made this case better than the late paleoconservative columnist Sam Francis, who in column after column took the administration of George W. Bush to task for such things as trying terrorism suspects before military tribunals rather than real courts, eavesdropping on confidential communications and issuing national id cards, creating the Department of Homeland Security, and putting police surveillance cameras throughout federal buildings in Washington D. C., as creating a slippery slope, whereby Americans would become accustomed to less rights, liberties, and constitutional protections and to being spied on by their government. Noting that the powers granted to the American government by the Patriot Act “are far larger than the government of any free people should have and that whatever powers this administration doesn’t use could still be used by future ones”, he pointed out that this “is how free peoples typically lose their freedom—not by a dictator like Saddam Hussein suddenly grabbing power in the night and seizing all the library records but by the slow erosion of the habits and mentality that enables freedom to exist at all” and concluded that the Bush administration was writing the last chapters in the story of American liberty.

Chretien’s Anti-Terrorism Act was no better. This Act utterly abandoned our country’s traditions of liberty and justice and allowed for people to be arrested and detained without charges, denied basic legal protections, and tried in secret without being guaranteed the opportunity to hear and respond to all the evidence against them, if the government were to determine them to be a threat to national security. This Act expired several years ago – legislation of this nature can only be enacted for five year periods – but, contrary to Kelly McParland’s claim in the National Post on February 2nd of this year, it did not expire without having been used. Among its other provisions was an amendment to the national security certificate provision of the Immigration Act that made possible an incident that was a shameful disgrace to our country.

An elderly man, who immigrated to Canada from Germany in the 1950s, who had never committed any violent crime here or elsewhere although he was the victim of terrorist attacks on the part of the followers of Rabbi Kahane, but who was repeatedly dragged through our courts for the “crime” of trying to spread the idea that accounts of atrocities committed by the other side in the Second World War still need to be revised to less resemble wartime propaganda, moved to the United States in order to escape this persecution. He married a woman there, applied for citizenship, and was arrested by United States Immigration who handed him over to our authorities, who issued a national security certificate against him. He was placed in solitary confinement and tried behind closed doors by a judge who refused to recuse himself, despite his obvious bias, and found guilty on the basis of evidence he was not allowed to hear in full, and was then sent to Germany, with our government knowing full well that the German government would arrest him upon landing, and sentence him to five years in prison for mere words that he said. This man, Ernst Zündel, was a noted admirer of a rather odious historical regime, but that did not make him a terrorist any more than Pierre Trudeau’s admiration for the even more odious Maoist regime in China, which, as was not the case with Zündel, was still around when Trudeau was doing the admiring, made the former Prime Minister a terrorist. It is certainly no excuse for treating the man with such blatant injustice.

Chretien’s Anti-Terrorism Act has, as we have noted, expired but our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, wishes to pass another one. Bill C-51, which has passed its second reading and been referred to the Standing Committee in the House, has several parts to it. The first, and the one most emphasized by the bill’s advocates and defenders, is the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act which tells other government agencies to share their information with those charged with protecting national security. This sounds reasonable at first, until you think about why government agencies were prevented from doing this in the first place. The fourth part is the one the bill’s detractors prefer to emphasize because it greatly enhances the powers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The bill’s supporters say this is to reduce threats to Canadian security, its detractors say that it is to enable CSIS to better spy on Canadians. Other parts of the bill include the Secure Air Travel Act, which authorizes the creation of a no-fly list and otherwise ensures that airport security will be even more of an obnoxious pain in the buttocks than it already is, and various amendments to the Criminal Code including one that makes mincemeat out of the traditional right to confront and challenge your accuser in court in the euphemistic name of the “protection of witnesses”.

This bill is an abomination and the vote on it should be a pretty good litmus test as to how much respect for Canadians and their traditional rights and freedoms our Members of Parliament and Senators possess. The present government was elected by supporters who were sick and tired of the way the Liberal Party was overtaxing and overregulating Canadians while showing complete disregard for our traditions, rights, and freedoms. Why then is it determined to establish a surveillance state? It is rather ironic that the most active opposition to this bill in the House seems to be coming from the party whose members can never speak about freedom without sounding like a Cold War era apparatchik spouting off about “the freedom loving people of the Soviet Union”.

The fact of the matter is that the “war on terrorism” is the ultimate form of “perpetual war for perpetual peace”. The enemy in this war is not a foreign government, with its own territory, that can be decisively conquered, defeated, or destroyed. No matter how many Cato the Elders we may find to punctuate their speeches with “terrorismo delenda est”, we will never be able to produce a single Scipio Africanus to conclusively defeat terrorism, or an Aemilianus to raze its stronghold to the ground, and sow its fields with salt, that it may never rise again. It is not that kind of an enemy. Terrorism can pop up anywhere at any time. A war against terrorism is a war that can never end. A government that wishes to constantly retain its wartime powers and abandon the traditional understanding that peace is to be the norm, not war, could find no better means of accomplishing this end, than by declaring a war on terrorism, and passing bills like C-51.

(1) The title was reused by the late, left-libertarian novelist and essayist Gore Vidal, for a collection of essays similarly criticizing the policies of more recent administrations in 2002.

POSTED BY GERRY T. NEAL AT 11:17 AM 
LABELS: BILL C51, CATO, CHARLES BEARD, DWIGHT EISENHOWER, ERNST ZÜNDEL, FREEDOM, GORE VIDAL, HARRY ELMER BARNES, JEAN CHRETIEN,JEREMY BENTHAM, JOHN LOCKE, MURRAY N. ROTHBARD, SAM FRANCIS,STEPHEN HARPER, WAR ON TERRO'

If the tradition under attack says that the conditions of peace in which the public are not overly burdened with rules and taxes and their customary rights and freedoms are not abridged are to be the norm then to attack this tradition is to say that the conditions appropriate for wartime are to be the norm instead. One way in which this occurred in the last century was that liberalism, the ideology that started in the so-called “Enlightenment” and came to dominate the Western world in the period known as the Modern Age, changed, at least in North America, in the period between the two World Wars. Until the First World War the ideas of John Locke, in which the need to protect the rights and liberties of the individual from the state was stressed, formed the most prominent strain in liberal thought. After the war the ideas of Jeremy Bentham, in which the role of the modern democratic state as the agent and instrument of utilitarian progress was emphasized, eclipsed those of Locke. The basis of this shift in liberal thought was the reasoning on the part of many liberals who served in administrative positions in the First World War that if the government can mobilize and organize society for the sake of the war effort in times of war then surely it can mobilize and organize society to achieve a better, more just, society in times of peace. This has certainly taken the liberty out of liberalism.

Another way in which governments, addicted to wartime powers, have resisted the tradition of reverting to the conditions of peace as the norm, has been to make conflict the norm rather than peace. About the time that liberalism underwent the shift described in the preceding paragraph liberals of the older type, including American historians such as Charles Beard and Harry Elmer Barnes, began to see a tendency in the foreign policy of the liberal American Presidents of the ‘30s and ‘40s towards holding up “freedom”, “democracy”, and “peace” as ideals while constantly mobilizing the country for war on behalf of those ideals. “Perpetual war for perpetual peace” was how Beard described this policy to Barnes, who borrowed the title for a anthology of essays he edited in 1953 that took a hard, critical, look at the policies of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. (1) Another of these older type liberals, who now called themselves libertarians, Murray N. Rothbard, observed that a “welfare-warfare state” had developed that both practiced the policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace and employed high levels of taxation, spending, and regulation for non-belligerent, progressive purposes in the Benthamite manner we have discussed. That a policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace could be used as a cover for collusion between military leaders and arms manufacturers for the sake of war profiteering on a whole new level made possible by the advent of mass production was a danger against which American President Dwight Eisenhower warned in his Farewell Address.

In the last decade and a half events have transpired that our governments have exploited to take the policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace to a whole new level.

Since the end of the Second World War the acknowledged leading country of the Western world has, for better or worse, been the United States of America. After the Cold War came to an end America and the West have become increasingly entangled in the conflicts of the Middle East. When, on September 11, 2001, the United States found herself the victim of a terrorist attack the American President at the time declared a “War on Terror”. As part of this “War on Terror” the American government created a powerful new agency, the Department of Homeland Security, charged with the task of preventing terrorist attacks on American soil, and the USA PATRIOT Act, which enhanced the investigatory powers of law enforcement and security agencies by removing such impediments as the need for a court order to search records, was rushed through Congress. Here in Canada Jean Chretien’s Liberals rushed similar legislation through Parliament in the form of the Anti-Terrorism Act of the fall of 2001.

The supporters of bills like these argued that they were necessary to remove obstructions that got in the way of security agencies and hindered them from doing their job of protecting us from the violence of terrorism. Critics and opponents of the same bills argued that these so-called obstructions were actually safeguards that protected Canadians and Americans against the misuse of government power and that to get rid of these safeguards is to abandon centuries of tradition, stretching back to before the founding of either the United States or Canada, in which these safeguards evolved to protect our rights and liberties, lives and persons. These critics were, of course, right. If we were to interpret every crisis that occurs as indicating a need for either enhanced government powers or a loosening of constitutional, prescriptive, and legal restraints on the use of government powers, very soon we would have an omnipotent state and no rights and freedoms worth speaking of.

Nobody made this case better than the late paleoconservative columnist Sam Francis, who in column after column took the administration of George W. Bush to task for such things as trying terrorism suspects before military tribunals rather than real courtseavesdropping on confidential communications and issuing national id cardscreating the Department of Homeland Security, and putting police surveillance cameras throughout federal buildings in Washington D. C., as creating a slippery slope, whereby Americans would become accustomed to less rights, liberties, and constitutional protections and to being spied on by their government. Noting that the powers granted to the American government by the Patriot Act “are far larger than the government of any free people should have and that whatever powers this administration doesn’t use could still be used by future ones”, he pointed out that this “is how free peoples typically lose their freedom—not by a dictator like Saddam Hussein suddenly grabbing power in the night and seizing all the library records but by the slow erosion of the habits and mentality that enables freedom to exist at all” and concluded that the Bush administration was writing the last chapters in the story of American liberty.

Chretien’s Anti-Terrorism Act was no better. This Act utterly abandoned our country’s traditions of liberty and justice and allowed for people to be arrested and detained without charges, denied basic legal protections, and tried in secret without being guaranteed the opportunity to hear and respond to all the evidence against them, if the government were to determine them to be a threat to national security. This Act expired several years ago – legislation of this nature can only be enacted for five year periods – but, contrary to Kelly McParland’s claim in the National Post on February 2nd of this year, it did not expire without having been used. Among its other provisions was an amendment to the national security certificate provision of the Immigration Act that made possible an incident that was a shameful disgrace to our country.

An elderly man, who immigrated to Canada from Germany in the 1950s, who had never committed any violent crime here or elsewhere although he was the victim of terrorist attacks on the part of the followers of Rabbi Kahane, but who was repeatedly dragged through our courts for the “crime” of trying to spread the idea that accounts of atrocities committed by the other side in the Second World War still need to be revised to less resemble wartime propaganda, moved to the United States in order to escape this persecution. He married a woman there, applied for citizenship, and was arrested by United States Immigration who handed him over to our authorities, who issued a national security certificate against him. He was placed in solitary confinement and tried behind closed doors by a judge who refused to recuse himself, despite his obvious bias, and found guilty on the basis of evidence he was not allowed to hear in full, and was then sent to Germany, with our government knowing full well that the German government would arrest him upon landing, and sentence him to five years in prison for mere words that he said. This man, Ernst Zündel, was a noted admirer of a rather odious historical regime, but that did not make him a terrorist any more than Pierre Trudeau’s admiration for the even more odious Maoist regime in China, which, as was not the case with Zündel, was still around when Trudeau was doing the admiring, made the former Prime Minister a terrorist. It is certainly no excuse for treating the man with such blatant injustice.

Chretien’s Anti-Terrorism Act has, as we have noted, expired but our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, wishes to pass another one. Bill C-51, which has passed its second reading and been referred to the Standing Committee in the House, has several parts to it. The first, and the one most emphasized by the bill’s advocates and defenders, is the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act which tells other government agencies to share their information with those charged with protecting national security. This sounds reasonable at first, until you think about why government agencies were prevented from doing this in the first place. The fourth part is the one the bill’s detractors prefer to emphasize because it greatly enhances the powers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The bill’s supporters say this is to reduce threats to Canadian security, its detractors say that it is to enable CSIS to better spy on Canadians. Other parts of the bill include the Secure Air Travel Act, which authorizes the creation of a no-fly list and otherwise ensures that airport security will be even more of an obnoxious pain in the buttocks than it already is, and various amendments to the Criminal Code including one that makes mincemeat out of the traditional right to confront and challenge your accuser in court in the euphemistic name of the “protection of witnesses”.

This bill is an abomination and the vote on it should be a pretty good litmus test as to how much respect for Canadians and their traditional rights and freedoms our Members of Parliament and Senators possess. The present government was elected by supporters who were sick and tired of the way the Liberal Party was overtaxing and overregulating Canadians while showing complete disregard for our traditions, rights, and freedoms. Why then is it determined to establish a surveillance state? It is rather ironic that the most active opposition to this bill in the House seems to be coming from the party whose members can never speak about freedom without sounding like a Cold War era apparatchik spouting off about “the freedom loving people of the Soviet Union”.

The fact of the matter is that the “war on terrorism” is the ultimate form of “perpetual war for perpetual peace”. The enemy in this war is not a foreign government, with its own territory, that can be decisively conquered, defeated, or destroyed. No matter how many Cato the Elders we may find to punctuate their speeches with “terrorismo delenda est”, we will never be able to produce a single Scipio Africanus to conclusively defeat terrorism, or an Aemilianus to raze its stronghold to the ground, and sow its fields with salt, that it may never rise again. It is not that kind of an enemy. Terrorism can pop up anywhere at any time. A war against terrorism is a war that can never end. A government that wishes to constantly retain its wartime powers and abandon the traditional understanding that peace is to be the norm, not war, could find no better means of accomplishing this end, than by declaring a war on terrorism, and passing bills like C-51.

(1) The title was reused by the late, left-libertarian novelist and essayist Gore Vidal, for a collection of essays similarly criticizing the policies of more recent administrations in 2002.

Remembering Sam Francis — He’s Been Gone a Decade

Remembering Sam Francis — He’s Been Gone a Decade
by Gerry T. Neal

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2015

Remembering a Philosopher-King


It has long been recognized that there are two ways in which civilization can break down into barbaric conditions. The rule of law can collapse altogether leaving ordinary citizens powerless against the criminal elements that now call the shorts. This is called anarchy. Or the state can become intrusive and controlling, curtailing its people’s freedoms, dictating their everyday decisions, and ruling by sheer force in an atmosphere of fear. This is called tyranny. It has also long been recognized that there is a cyclical pattern to the rise and fall of civilizations in which after civilization breaks down into one of these conditions for a period, the other emerges in response, and eventually a new civilization is born out of the rubble.

What if, however, civilization were to break down in both ways simultaneously and the same state was to fail in providing the basic protection of the law on the one hand, while tyrannically harassing and abusing its people on the other? Twenty years ago one of the greatest American political thinkers of the last half of the twentieth century saw this happening in the United States and all around the Western world and coined a term to describe it – anarchotyranny, the synthesis of anarchy and tyranny. On February 15th, ten years ago, he passed away due to complications following heart surgery at the age of 57. His name was Sam Francis.

 
 
'Remembering Sam Francis -- He's Been Gone a Decade

by Gerry T. Neal
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2015
Remembering a Philosopher-King

It has long been recognized that there are two ways in which civilization can break down into barbaric conditions. The rule of law can collapse altogether leaving ordinary citizens powerless against the criminal elements that now call the shorts. This is called anarchy. Or the state can become intrusive and controlling, curtailing its people’s freedoms, dictating their everyday decisions, and ruling by sheer force in an atmosphere of fear. This is called tyranny. It has also long been recognized that there is a cyclical pattern to the rise and fall of civilizations in which after civilization breaks down into one of these conditions for a period, the other emerges in response, and eventually a new civilization is born out of the rubble.

What if, however, civilization were to break down in both ways simultaneously and the same state was to fail in providing the basic protection of the law on the one hand, while tyrannically harassing and abusing its people on the other? Twenty years ago one of the greatest American political thinkers of the last half of the twentieth century saw this happening in the United States and all around the Western world and coined a term to describe it – anarchotyranny, the synthesis of anarchy and tyranny. On February 15th, ten years ago, he passed away due to complications following heart surgery at the age of 57. His name was Sam Francis.

Sam Francis was far more than just the man who thought up a clever name for this phenomenon – he was also its chief chronicler, analyst, and critic. In his twice-weekly column, syndicated by Creators but carried by far fewer newspapers than it ought to have been for reasons we will shortly get into, he provided a bold, uncompromising, commentary, expressed in a dry, sardonic wit that was perfectly complemented by the way he seemed to look out at you with amused disdain through his heavy glasses in the publicity photo attached to his column, on the news and issues of the day and the narrative beneath the news and issues – the ongoing war being waged by those presently in power in the West and particularly in the United States on the traditions, cultures, symbols, and ways of life of Western peoples. Nor did he shy away from addressing the taboo aspect of this subject, the racial element.

Dr. Samuel Todd Francis was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 29, 1947, and it was in Chattanooga that he was raised and where as a young prodigy his literary talents and brilliant mind first gained attention. It was also in the Scenic City, under the Appalachian mountains, that we was finally laid to rest in 2005. He studied English literature at John Hopkins University in Baltimore before taking his Ph.D in history from the University of North Carolina. 

It was at Chapel Hill that he became acquainted with two of his fellow students, the classicist Thomas Fleming and the historian Clyde Wilson. These men would become his lifelong colleagues. They worked together on the Southern Partisan, a conservative quarterly that was started up in the late 1970s in the spirit of the Vanderbilt Agrarians. Each contributed to The New Right Papers, a 1982 anthology put together by Robert W. Whitaker. Their most significant collaboration however was in Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, founded by Leopold Tyrmand in 1976 and published by the Rockford Institute of Rockford, Illinois. Thomas Fleming became the editor of Chroniclesfollowing Tyrmand’s death in 1985. Clyde Wilson is an associate editor, and until his passing Sam Francis was the magazine’s Washington or political editor. Under the direction of these men Chronicles became the flagship publication of paleoconservatism which, in opposition to the neoconservatives who were calling for a Pax Americana, a new world order in which the United States would use its military might to export liberal, capitalist, democracy to the farthest parts of the globe, called American conservatism back to its roots in the Burkean traditionalism of Russell Kirk and the small-r republicanism of the American Old Right that had opposed the New Deal, American entanglement in foreign conflicts, and the development of the “welfare-warfare state”. This was very much bucking the trend in the larger American conservative movement. As the neoconservative viewpoint came to increasingly dominate the movement, conservative writers who having opposed mass, demographics-altering, immigration, both legal and illegal, criticized Israel and objected to America’s being drawn into wars in the Middle East on her behalf, called for a rollback of the American federal government to its constitutional limits, refused to concede the victories of liberalism in the culture wars, and otherwise offended the neoconservatives, found themselves exiled from the pages of National Review and other mainstream conservative publications.Chronicles became a place of sanctuary for these writers. By the middle of the 1990s it was a sanctuary Dr. Francis was himself in need of.

Up to that point his career as a thinker within the American conservative movement had been quite successful. It had three basic stages. In 1977 he joined the Heritage Foundation, a Washington D. C. think tank that had been founded four years earlier by New Right activist Paul Weyrich and Edwin Feulner with money put up by beer baron Joseph Coors. Dr. Francis was hired as a policy analyst in the fields of intelligence and security, particularly with regards to the threat of terrorism as a strategy employed by the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

In 1981, following the publication of his The Soviet Strategy of Terror, he left the Heritage Foundation to take a position as legislative assistant to Senator John P. East, R-North Carolina. It was as an expert on national security matters that he was hired to this position but, interestingly, in the course of his work for East he was called upon to write a document that both required this expertise yet also had to do with the cultural and racial concerns on which his later, and lasting, fame rests. In 1983, US President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill that made the third Monday in January into an American national holiday in honour of Martin Luther King Jr. The bill had been hotly debated, and leading the opposition to the holiday was the other Republican Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms. Senator East worked closely with his colleague and mentor in the campaign against this ridiculous holiday and on October 3, 1983, Helms read out in Congress a paper written by Dr. Francis that documented King’s collaboration with Soviet agents and Communist fronts.

Dr. Francis worked for Senator East until the latter’s death in 1986 at which point he joined the staff of the Washington Times. He served the newspaper as an editorial writer, opinion columnist, and editor and it was here that his career started to really take off. His column was nationally syndicated, and his articles won him the Distinguished Writing Award in 1989 and 1990. He was runner up for another award both those years as well. Then, in 1995 all of that came to an end.

It started with his column for June 27, 1995, entitled “All Those Things to Apologize For”. Written one week after the Southern Baptist Convention issued a grovelling apology for the stance they had taken 150 years previously in the controversy over slavery that divided them from the Northern Baptists, this column pointed out that the Baptists were making a big deal about repenting for something never condemned as a sin by the Bible. “Neither Jesus nor the apostles nor the early church condemned slavery,” he wrote, “despite countless opportunities to do so, and there is no indication that slavery is contrary to Christian ethics or that any serious theologian before modern times ever thought it was”. All of this is true. Unfortunately, it is the kind of truth that people in this era cannot bear to hear.

Dr. Francis was not arguing for slavery. He was arguing against what he called a “bastardized version of Christian ethics”, that had appeared in the 18th Century and had so permeated the churches that they “now spend more time preaching against apartheid and colonialism than they do against real sins such as pinching secretaries and pilfering from the office coffee-pool.” He observed, correctly, that to read the abolitionist message into the New Testament and dismiss the passages that tell bond-servants to obey their masters as irrelevant is to undermine the authority of passages that “enjoin other social responsibilities.” These truths were especially embarrassing to the kind of Christians who, on the one hand pride themselves on the Christian roots of abolitionism, while on the other hand trying to defend what remains of traditional authority and order against the modernizing influences of those who see the abolitionist movement as the first stage in their perpetual revolution against the “slavery” of marriage, family, and traditional morality.

This embarrassment proved too much for Wesley Pruden, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief. He rebuked and demoted Dr. Francis, cut his salary, and began censoring his columns. In September of that same year, he fired Dr. Francis outright. This time it was not over something he had written in a column but something he had said in a speech the year previously. 

In May of 1994, American Renaissance, a monthly periodical devoted to matters of race, intelligence, and immigration hosted its first conference and Dr. Francis was invited to speak. He gave a message entitled “Why Race Matters”, the text of which was later published as an article in the September 1994 issue of American Renaissance. In this speech, he talked about how the culture of Western countries, especially the United States and in particular the South had come under attack, with traditional symbols being attacked, demonized, and replaced, how anti-racism was an effective strategy in a campaign being waged against the white race, how whites themselves were digging “their own racial and civilization grave” through liberalism and leftism, and that a merely cultural strategy in defence of Western civilization would not be sufficient – there needs to be conscious racial element to Western identity as well. He said:

The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.

This is so obviously true that one wonders that it needs to be stated. Nevertheless, it was the last straw for Wesley Pruden. The way in which Pruden learned of the remark did not help matters. Dinesh D’Souza, who had attended the conference, wrote a book, The End of Racism, which was published in 1995. D’Souza’s book discussed many of the same issues American Renaissance specializes in, and often took positions similar to theirs. D’Souza was, however, a firm believer in propositional nationalism and the ideal of the United States as a “universal nation”, who objected very much to the idea of defending Western civilization in explicitly racial terms. The chapter in which he talked about the conference contained many distortions – even after D’Souza was force to rewrite the chapter when Jared Taylor andLawrence Auster, along with Dr. Francis, wrote to the publisher to complain of the many ways in which D’Souza had twisted their words. In September of 1995, at the time the book finally saw print and reviews were beginning to appear, an article by D’Souza about the American Renaissance conference appeared in the Washington Post. D’Souza selectively quoted from Dr. Francis’ speech and presented the quotes in a very unfavourable light. And so, Dr. Francis lost his job at theWashington Times.

He remained on the editorial staff of Chronicles, of course, to which he contributed each month, either his “Principalities and Powers” column or a book review or feature article. The Creators Syndicate continued to distribute his column. In the latter he offered his commentary on the news of the day and, while immigration was the issue that he most frequently addressed, he covered a broad gamut of topics, including free trade and globalization, gun control, and the erosion of civil liberties. He supported the presidential candidacies of his friend Patrick Buchanan and kept a watchful eye on the doings of those who actually made it to the White House. Scathing as his criticism of the Clinton administration was, he was no less severe in his assessment of George W. Bush. He contrasted the way in which the Bush administration had expanded its policing powers, undermining the civil liberties of Americans in the process, by means of antiterrorist legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act, with the way in which it refused to use its existing, lawful, powers to control immigration, this contrast being a classic example of anarchotyranny. In 2002 he wrote several columns against the Bush administration’s plans to invade Iraq and when that invasion took place saw his arguments more than justified. His arguments against the war were far more sane, sensible, and interesting than either the neocon arguments for the war or the blithering banalities uttered against it by the left-wing peaceniks. His final column was about George W. Bush’s second inaugural speech and it concluded by saying that Bush had “confirmed once and for all that the neo-conservatism to which he has delivered his administration and the country is fundamentally indistinguishable from the liberalism many conservatives imagine he has renounced and defeated.”

In his Chronicles column, where he had more space to work with, he discussed the same topics at a deeper level. From James Burnham, about whose ideas he had written a book, he had learned much about the nature of power and the elites who inevitably hold it, including the present elite of technocratic managers who preside over the dismantling of the traditions, culture, and civilization of Western societies and rationalize their actions with the universalistic ideology of liberalism. From liberal sociologist Donald Warren he had gleaned insights into how the alliance of the uppermost and lowermost classes in the welfare state was putting the squeeze on the middle class, radicalizing what is ordinarily the most stable of classes, and thus generating a support base that a populist movement could use against the elites. From these insights, Dr. Francis framed his argument for such a populist “revolt from the middle”, bending the cold, hard, theory of Machiavellian power politics to serve ends that was anything but cold and hard – the cause of white, middle class Americans, who were seeing everything they held dear, their culture and religion, traditions and way of life, on every level from the regional to the national, including the constitution of their republic and their habits and institutions of freedom, being mercilessly swept away by elites they seemed powerless to stop. First in the New Right that brought Ronald Reagan into power, and later in the movement that failed to deliver the presidency to Pat Buchanan, he had found movements that could potentially achieve his ends. The dilemma for which he was seeking a solution to the very end of his life, as can be seen in his last “Principalities and Powers” article entitled “Towards a Hard Right”, was how such a movement could gain success without being sidetracked from its goals by corporate globalists dangling the carrot of the free market before its eyes.'

Sam Francis was far more than just the man who thought up a clever name for this phenomenon – he was also its chief chronicler, analyst, and critic. In his twice-weekly column, syndicated by Creators but carried by far fewer newspapers than it ought to have been for reasons we will shortly get into, he provided a bold, uncompromising, commentary, expressed in a dry, sardonic wit that was perfectly complemented by the way he seemed to look out at you with amused disdain through his heavy glasses in the publicity photo attached to his column, on the news and issues of the day and the narrative beneath the news and issues – the ongoing war being waged by those presently in power in the West and particularly in the United States on the traditions, cultures, symbols, and ways of life of Western peoples. Nor did he shy away from addressing the taboo aspect of this subject, the racial element.

Dr. Samuel Todd Francis was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 29, 1947, and it was in Chattanooga that he was raised and where as a young prodigy his literary talents and brilliant mind first gained attention. It was also in the Scenic City, under the Appalachian mountains, that we was finally laid to rest in 2005. He studied English literature at John Hopkins University in Baltimore before taking his Ph.D in history from the University of North Carolina.

It was at Chapel Hill that he became acquainted with two of his fellow students, the classicist Thomas Fleming and the historian Clyde Wilson. These men would become his lifelong colleagues. They worked together on the Southern Partisan, a conservative quarterly that was started up in the late 1970s in the spirit of the Vanderbilt Agrarians. Each contributed to The New Right Papers, a 1982 anthology put together by Robert W. Whitaker. Their most significant collaboration however was in Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, founded by Leopold Tyrmand in 1976 and published by the Rockford Institute of Rockford, Illinois. Thomas Fleming became the editor of Chroniclesfollowing Tyrmand’s death in 1985. Clyde Wilson is an associate editor, and until his passing Sam Francis was the magazine’s Washington or political editor. Under the direction of these men Chronicles became the flagship publication of paleoconservatism which, in opposition to the neoconservatives who were calling for a Pax Americana, a new world order in which the United States would use its military might to export liberal, capitalist, democracy to the farthest parts of the globe, called American conservatism back to its roots in the Burkean traditionalism of Russell Kirk and the small-r republicanism of the American Old Right that had opposed the New Deal, American entanglement in foreign conflicts, and the development of the “welfare-warfare state”. This was very much bucking the trend in the larger American conservative movement. As the neoconservative viewpoint came to increasingly dominate the movement, conservative writers who having opposed mass, demographics-altering, immigration, both legal and illegal, criticized Israel and objected to America’s being drawn into wars in the Middle East on her behalf, called for a rollback of the American federal government to its constitutional limits, refused to concede the victories of liberalism in the culture wars, and otherwise offended the neoconservatives, found themselves exiled from the pages of National Review and other mainstream conservative publications.Chronicles became a place of sanctuary for these writers. By the middle of the 1990s it was a sanctuary Dr. Francis was himself in need of.

Up to that point his career as a thinker within the American conservative movement had been quite successful. It had three basic stages. In 1977 he joined the Heritage Foundation, a Washington D. C. think tank that had been founded four years earlier by New Right activist Paul Weyrich and Edwin Feulner with money put up by beer baron Joseph Coors. Dr. Francis was hired as a policy analyst in the fields of intelligence and security, particularly with regards to the threat of terrorism as a strategy employed by the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

In 1981, following the publication of his The Soviet Strategy of Terror, he left the Heritage Foundation to take a position as legislative assistant to Senator John P. East, R-North Carolina. It was as an expert on national security matters that he was hired to this position but, interestingly, in the course of his work for East he was called upon to write a document that both required this expertise yet also had to do with the cultural and racial concerns on which his later, and lasting, fame rests. In 1983, US President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill that made the third Monday in January into an American national holiday in honour of Martin Luther King Jr. The bill had been hotly debated, and leading the opposition to the holiday was the other Republican Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms. Senator East worked closely with his colleague and mentor in the campaign against this ridiculous holiday and on October 3, 1983, Helms read out in Congress a paper written by Dr. Francis that documented King’s collaboration with Soviet agents and Communist fronts.

Dr. Francis worked for Senator East until the latter’s death in 1986 at which point he joined the staff of the Washington Times. He served the newspaper as an editorial writer, opinion columnist, and editor and it was here that his career started to really take off. His column was nationally syndicated, and his articles won him the Distinguished Writing Award in 1989 and 1990. He was runner up for another award both those years as well. Then, in 1995 all of that came to an end.

It started with his column for June 27, 1995, entitled “All Those Things to Apologize For”. Written one week after the Southern Baptist Convention issued a grovelling apology for the stance they had taken 150 years previously in the controversy over slavery that divided them from the Northern Baptists, this column pointed out that the Baptists were making a big deal about repenting for something never condemned as a sin by the Bible. “Neither Jesus nor the apostles nor the early church condemned slavery,” he wrote, “despite countless opportunities to do so, and there is no indication that slavery is contrary to Christian ethics or that any serious theologian before modern times ever thought it was”. All of this is true. Unfortunately, it is the kind of truth that people in this era cannot bear to hear.

Dr. Francis was not arguing for slavery. He was arguing against what he called a “bastardized version of Christian ethics”, that had appeared in the 18th Century and had so permeated the churches that they “now spend more time preaching against apartheid and colonialism than they do against real sins such as pinching secretaries and pilfering from the office coffee-pool.” He observed, correctly, that to read the abolitionist message into the New Testament and dismiss the passages that tell bond-servants to obey their masters as irrelevant is to undermine the authority of passages that “enjoin other social responsibilities.” These truths were especially embarrassing to the kind of Christians who, on the one hand pride themselves on the Christian roots of abolitionism, while on the other hand trying to defend what remains of traditional authority and order against the modernizing influences of those who see the abolitionist movement as the first stage in their perpetual revolution against the “slavery” of marriage, family, and traditional morality.

This embarrassment proved too much for Wesley Pruden, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief. He rebuked and demoted Dr. Francis, cut his salary, and began censoring his columns. In September of that same year, he fired Dr. Francis outright. This time it was not over something he had written in a column but something he had said in a speech the year previously.

In May of 1994, American Renaissance, a monthly periodical devoted to matters of race, intelligence, and immigration hosted its first conference and Dr. Francis was invited to speak. He gave a message entitled “Why Race Matters”, the text of which was later published as an article in the September 1994 issue of American Renaissance. In this speech, he talked about how the culture of Western countries, especially the United States and in particular the South had come under attack, with traditional symbols being attacked, demonized, and replaced, how anti-racism was an effective strategy in a campaign being waged against the white race, how whites themselves were digging “their own racial and civilization grave” through liberalism and leftism, and that a merely cultural strategy in defence of Western civilization would not be sufficient – there needs to be conscious racial element to Western identity as well. He said:

The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people, nor is there any reason to believe that the civilization can be successfully transmitted to a different people.

This is so obviously true that one wonders that it needs to be stated. Nevertheless, it was the last straw for Wesley Pruden. The way in which Pruden learned of the remark did not help matters. Dinesh D’Souza, who had attended the conference, wrote a book, The End of Racism, which was published in 1995. D’Souza’s book discussed many of the same issues American Renaissance specializes in, and often took positions similar to theirs. D’Souza was, however, a firm believer in propositional nationalism and the ideal of the United States as a “universal nation”, who objected very much to the idea of defending Western civilization in explicitly racial terms. The chapter in which he talked about the conference contained many distortions – even after D’Souza was force to rewrite the chapter when Jared Taylor andLawrence Auster, along with Dr. Francis, wrote to the publisher to complain of the many ways in which D’Souza had twisted their words. In September of 1995, at the time the book finally saw print and reviews were beginning to appear, an article by D’Souza about the American Renaissance conference appeared in the Washington Post. D’Souza selectively quoted from Dr. Francis’ speech and presented the quotes in a very unfavourable light. And so, Dr. Francis lost his job at theWashington Times.

He remained on the editorial staff of Chronicles, of course, to which he contributed each month, either his “Principalities and Powers” column or a book review or feature article. The Creators Syndicate continued to distribute his column. In the latter he offered his commentary on the news of the day and, while immigration was the issue that he most frequently addressed, he covered a broad gamut of topics, including free trade and globalization, gun control, and the erosion of civil liberties. He supported the presidential candidacies of his friend Patrick Buchanan and kept a watchful eye on the doings of those who actually made it to the White House. Scathing as his criticism of the Clinton administration was, he was no less severe in his assessment of George W. Bush. He contrasted the way in which the Bush administration had expanded its policing powers, undermining the civil liberties of Americans in the process, by means of antiterrorist legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act, with the way in which it refused to use its existing, lawful, powers to control immigration, this contrast being a classic example of anarchotyranny. In 2002 he wrote several columns against the Bush administration’s plans to invade Iraq and when that invasion took place saw his arguments more than justified. His arguments against the war were far more sane, sensible, and interesting than either the neocon arguments for the war or the blithering banalities uttered against it by the left-wing peaceniks. His final column was about George W. Bush’s second inaugural speech and it concluded by saying that Bush had “confirmed once and for all that the neo-conservatism to which he has delivered his administration and the country is fundamentally indistinguishable from the liberalism many conservatives imagine he has renounced and defeated.”

In his Chronicles column, where he had more space to work with, he discussed the same topics at a deeper level. From James Burnham, about whose ideas he had written a book, he had learned much about the nature of power and the elites who inevitably hold it, including the present elite of technocratic managers who preside over the dismantling of the traditions, culture, and civilization of Western societies and rationalize their actions with the universalistic ideology of liberalism. From liberal sociologist Donald Warren he had gleaned insights into how the alliance of the uppermost and lowermost classes in the welfare state was putting the squeeze on the middle class, radicalizing what is ordinarily the most stable of classes, and thus generating a support base that a populist movement could use against the elites. From these insights, Dr. Francis framed his argument for such a populist “revolt from the middle”, bending the cold, hard, theory of Machiavellian power politics to serve ends that was anything but cold and hard – the cause of white, middle class Americans, who were seeing everything they held dear, their culture and religion, traditions and way of life, on every level from the regional to the national, including the constitution of their republic and their habits and institutions of freedom, being mercilessly swept away by elites they seemed powerless to stop. First in the New Right that brought Ronald Reagan into power, and later in the movement that failed to deliver the presidency to Pat Buchanan, he had found movements that could potentially achieve his ends. The dilemma for which he was seeking a solution to the very end of his life, as can be seen in his last “Principalities and Powers” article entitled “Towards a Hard Right”, was how such a movement could gain success without being sidetracked from its goals by corporate globalists dangling the carrot of the free market before its eyes.