Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War, p.1Thomas Hobbes
Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation War
by Thomas Hobbes
Published by Castalia House
This book or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without prior written permission of the publisher, except as provided by Finnish copyright law.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 Traditional Rights LLC
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Title Design: JartStar
Cover Image: Ørjan Svendsen
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This book is dedicated to Russell Kirk and the Sword of Imagination
The triumph of the Recovery was marked most clearly by the burning of the Episcopal bishop of Maine.
She was not a particularly bad bishop. She was in fact typical of Episcopal bishops of the first quarter of the 21st century: agnostic, compulsively political and radical, and given, to placing a small idol of Isis on the altar when she said the Communion service. By 2055, when she was tried for heresy, convicted, and burned, she had outlived her era. By that time only a handful of Episcopalians still recognized female clergy, and it would have been easy enough to let the old fool rant out her final years in obscurity.
The fact that the easy road was not taken, that Episcopalians turned to their difficult duty of trying and convicting, and the state upheld its unpleasant responsibility of setting torch to faggots, was what marked this as an act of Recovery. I well remember the crowd that gathered for the execution, solemn but not sad, relieved rather that at last, after so many years of humiliation, of having to swallow every absurdity and pretend we liked it, the majority had taken back the culture. No more apologies for the truth. No more “Yes, buts” on upholding standards. Civilization had recovered its nerve. The flames that soared above the lawn before the Maine State House were, as the bishopess herself might have said, liberating.
She could have saved herself, of course, right up until the torch was applied. All she had to do was announce she wasn't a bishop, or a priest, since Christian tradition forbids a woman to be either. Or she could have confessed she wasn't a Christian, in which case she could be bishopess, priestess, popess, whatever, in the service of her chosen demons. That would have just gotten her tossed over the border.
But the Prince of This World whom she served gives his devotees neither an easy nor a dignified exit. She bawled, she babbled, she shrieked in Hellish tongues, she lost control of her bladder, and she soiled herself. The pyre was lit at 12:01 PM on a cool, cloudless August 18th, St. Helen's day. The flames climbed fast; after all, they'd been waiting for her for a long time.
When it was over, none of us felt good about it. But we'd long since learned feelings were a poor guide. We'd done the right thing.
Was the dissolution of the United States inevitable?
Probably, once all the diversity and multiculturalism crap got started. Right up to the end the coins carried the motto, E Pluribus Unum, just as the last dreadnought of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Navy was the Viribus Unitis. But the reality for both was Ex Uno, Plura.
It's odd how clearly the American century is marked: 1865 to 1965. As the 20th century historian Shelby Foote noted, the first Civil War made us one nation. In 1860, we wrote, “the United States are.” By the end of the war, the verb was singular: “the United States is.” After 1965 and another war we disunited—deconstructed—with equal speed into blacks, whites, Hispanics, womyn, gays, victims, oppressors, left-handed albinos with congenital halitosis, you name it. The homosexuals said Silence = Death. Nature replied Diversity = War.
In four decades we covered the distance that had taken Rome three centuries. As late as the mid-1960s—God, it's hard to believe—America was still the greatest nation on earth, the most productive, the freest, the top superpower, a place of safe homes, dutiful children in good schools, strong families and a hot lunch for orphans. By the 1990s the place had the stench of a Third World country. The cities were ravaged by punks, beggars and bums; as in third century Rome, law applied only to the law-abiding. Schools had become daytime holding pens for illiterate young savages. First, television, then the Internet brought the decadence of Weimar Berlin into every home.
In this Year of Our Lord 2068—and my 80th year on this planet—we citizens of Victoria have the blessed good fortune to live once again in an age of accomplishment and decency. With the exception of New Spain, most of the nations that cover the territory of the former United States are starting to get things working again. The revival of traditional, Western, Christian culture we began is spreading outward from our rocky New England soil, displacing savagery with civilization a second time.
I am writing this down so you never forget, not you, nor your children nor their children. You did not go through the wars, though you have lived with their consequences. Your children will have grown up in a well-ordered, prosperous country, and that can be dangerously comforting. Here, they will read what happens when a people forget who they are.
This is my story, the story of the life of one man, John Ira Rumford of Hartland, Maine, soldier and farmer. I came into this world near enough the beginning of the end for the old U.S. of A., on June 28, 1988. I expect to leave it shortly, without regrets.
It's also the story of the end of a once-great nation, by someone who saw most of what happened, and why.
Read it and weep.
My war started May 7, 2016, at the mess night put on by my class at the Marine Corps' Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia.
I got killed.
A mess night, when it's done right, is a black tie brawl. It's a Brit thing, very formal-like and proper when it starts, with a table full of wine glasses and funny forks and Mr. Vice proposing toasts and rules like you've got to s
One of the Corp's better traditions was that we remembered our dead. The mess set a table apart, with the glasses and silver inverted, for those who had gone before us and never came back. And before the fun began we remembered the battles where they had fought and fallen, Tripoli to Chapultepec to Helmand. A bell rang for each, a Marine officer stood up and called that battle's name, and we became pretty thoughtful. Another Marine Corps tradition, not one of its better ones in terms of what happens in battles, was to try to pre-plan and rehearse and control everything so there couldn't be any surprises or mistakes. “Control Freaks R Us” sometimes seemed to be the motto of the officer corps, at least above the company grades. So a couple days before the mess night, the battles to be remembered were each assigned to a captain.
Iwo Jima went to a woman.
We were really steamed. We lost a lot of guys on Iwo, and they were men, not women. Of course, these were the years of political correctness. Our colonel was running for general, and he figured he could kiss ass by being “sensitive to issues of race, gender, and class.”
It's hard to remember that we even had women in a military, it seems so strange now. How could we have been so contemptuous of human experience? Did we think it merely a coincidence that all armies, everywhere, that had actually fought anyone had been made up solely of men? But these were the last days of the USA, and the absurd, the silly, the impossible were in charge and normal people were expected to keep their mouths shut. It was a time, as Roger Kimball said, of “experiments against reality.”
Like a lot of young Marine officers at Quantico, I was a reader, especially of what the Germans had written about war. They were the masters, for a century and a half, and we were their willing pupils. I remembered, then and always, an essay written by a German general, Hans von Seekt, the man who rebuilt the German Army after World War I. The title, and the message, was The Essential Thing is the Deed. Not the idea, not the desire, not the intention–the deed.
So I did it. The moment came on May 7, during the mess night. The bell tolled our battles: Belleau Wood, Nicaragua, Guadalcanal, Tarawa. Iwo was next. The bell. I was on my feet before she started to move. “Iwo Jima,” I cried in my best parade-ground voice.
Our honor was safe that night.
The next morning, I was toast. The colonel's clerk was waiting for me when I walked into the building. "The CO wants to see you at once," he said. I wasn't surprised. I knew what was coming and I was willing to take it.
The colonel generally specialized in being nice. But I'd endangered his sacred quest for a promotion, and in the old American military that was the greatest sin a subordinate could commit.
“You have a choice,” he said as I stood at attention in front of his desk. “You can get up in front of the class and apologize to me, to the female captain you insulted last night, to all the women in the corps and to the class, or you can have your written resignation from the Marine Corps on my desk before the morning is over.”
“No, sir,” I replied.
“What do you mean, ‘No, sir?’ I gave you a choice. Which one will it be?”
“Neither one, sir.”
An early lesson I'd learned about war was that if the enemy gave you two options, refuse them both and do something else.
“I have nothing to apologize for," I continued. "No woman has the right to represent any of the Corps‘ battles, because those battles were fought and won by men. And people resign when they've done something wrong. I haven't.”
“I've already spoken to the Commanding General,” the colonel replied. “He understands, and you'd better understand, what happens if word of what you did gets to Congresswoman Sally Bluhose, Chairperson of the House Armed Services Committee. I've been informed several of the female officers here are planning a joint letter to her. If you don't help us head this off, she'll have the Commandant up before the whole committee on this with the television cameras rolling.”
“Sir,” I said, “I thought when people became colonels and generals and Commandants, that meant they took on the burden of moral responsibility that comes with the privileges of rank and position. That's what I've always told my sergeants and lieutenants, and when they did what they thought was right I backed them up, even when it caused me some problems with my chain of command. Is what I've been telling them true or not?”
“This has nothing to do with truth,” yelled Col. Ryan, who was starting to lose it. “What the hell is truth, anyway? This is about politics and our image and our budget. Congresswoman Bluhose is a leading advocate for women's rights. She'll be enraged, and I'll take it in the shorts from Headquarters, Marine Corps. Don't you get it?”
“Yes, sir, I think I do get it,” I said. “You, and I guess the CG here at Quantico and the Commandant, want to surrender to Congresswoman Bluhose and what she represents, a Corps and a country that have been emasculated. But the way I see it, and maybe this is Maine talking, if we're supposed to fight, that means we have to fight for something. What's the point in fighting for a country like that? Whatever defeats and replaces it could only be an improvement.”
“I don't give a damn how you see it, Captain,” said the colonel, now icy calm again. “You are going to see it the way I see it. Do I get the apology or the resignation?”
“Neither one, sir,” I said again.
“OK, then this is how it will be,” Colonel Ryan declared. “You are no longer a student at this school. As of this minute. Clear out your locker and get out, now. That's a direct order, and I've already cleared it all the way up the chain. You're going to get a fitness report so bad Christ himself would puke on you if he read it. You're finished. You won't come up for major, and you'll clean heads for the rest of your sorry days in this Corps. Dismissed.”
As if the colonel would have farted without clearing it first. So that was that. The word spread fast around the school, as it always did. That was a good gut-check for the rest of the class. Most flunked. They parted for me like the sea did for Moses as I wandered around collecting my books and few other belongings. The handful with moral courage shook my hand and wished me well.
One, my friend Jim Sampsonoff, an aviator, said something important. “You're a casualty in the culture war,” were his words.
“The culture war,” he said again. “The next real war is going to be here, on our own soil. It's already begun, though not the shooting part, yet. It's a war between those of us who still believe in our old Western culture, the culture that grew up over the last 3000 or so years from Jerusalem and Athens, Rome and Constantinople, and the people who are trying to destroy it. It's the most important war we'll ever fight, because if we lose our culture, we’ll lose everything else, too.”
“You mean there's more to it than whether we're going to have women in the infantry and gays in the barracks?” I asked.
“You bet,” he said. “Look, you'll be heading back up to Maine sooner or later. Take a detour through Hanover, New Hampshire. That's where Dartmouth, my alma mater, is. Go see my old German professor, Gottfried Sanft. He's retired now, but he's the greatest of rarities on an Ivy League campus, an educated man. You need to read some books. He'll tell you which ones to read.”
I knew my Marine Corps career was over, but I hung on at Quantico until my EWS class graduated, to make my point about not resigning to apologize for my action. They assigned me to supervise cutting brush around the base, a point the brass carefully made to the mighty “Ms.” Bluhose as they ate toads for her. Come summer, I sent in my letter and headed back to Maine.
Was it worth it? Yes. I made early the choice everyone had to make sooner or later, whether to fight for our culture or turn from it and die. As is so often the case in life, what seemed lik
On the way home, I took Jim Sampsonoff's advice and paid a visit to Professor Sanft.
When President Eisenhower of the old USA visited Dartmouth in the 1950s, he said it looked exactly the way a college ought to. By the late '90s it still did, despite the fact that they'd built an ultra-modern student center on the traditional green —part of the “foul your own nest” maxim that ruled most campuses from the 1960s on. Those were the days when art was defined as whatever was ugly or shocking or out of place, rather than what was beautiful.
Professor Sanft had retired from the German department in 2012. He was driven out by the weirdos who then populated college faculties —the feminists, freaks, and phonies who had replaced learning with politics. I found him at a house in Hanover, which turned out to be not his residence but the college-in-hiding, otherwise known as the Martin Institute. It seemed some conservative alumni, recognizing that the barbarians were within the gates of their alma mater, had bought a house in town, brought in Professor Sanft and a few other genuine scholars, and were offering Dartmouth students the courses the college would no longer teach, like the great books of Western civilization.
I knew the prof and I would get along when I saw the zeppelin poster on his office door and smelled the pipe smoke curling out the same. The office was a vast clutter of books and papers, pipes and walking sticks, straw hats and the occasional bottle of something refreshing; no old Sandinista posters on the walls here. Professor Sanft, dressed in a white linen suit for summer and the Raj, with a pink shirt and polka-dot bow-tie, bid me welcome. Jim Sampsonoff had written, saying I'd be by. I wasn't quite sure why I was there, but the professor seemed to know.
“Jim says you're interested in getting an education,” he opened the conversation.
“Well, I thought I already had one,” I replied. “I graduated from Bowdoin with a pre-med major, before I decided I'd rather make holes in people with a bullet than a scalpel. It's quicker and more fun, though the pay is less.”
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