Apocalyptic Addendum

It’s a little late now, but Walter William Jacobson’s excellent anniversary essay is if anything even more timely than it was a month ago, and it simply adds a little support to yesterday’s Eucalyptus summary:

There is a rising tide of absolutism in ideas and enforcement of ideological uniformity that is palpable. I feel it in the air, even at Cornell which is far from the worst…
Even language as a means of communication is corrupted, with terminology manipulated and coerced to achieve political ends. It started on campuses, and it’s moved into the AP stylebook and the mainstream.
The press could stand as a bulwark against this slide, but it too is corrupted.

Please note that Walter wrote that in 2009.  Bringing it more up to date:

We’re in the collapse phase. You can feel it. There are no credible national institutions left. The medical field, the sciences, public health experts, on down the line are being gutted and losing legitimacy.
The military is run at the top by woke clowns.
Higher Ed is gone, K-12 is the last cultural battlefield. That’s why the teachers unions, the education bureaucracy, and leftist billionaire funders are fighting so hard and so dirty. What better wake up call do you need than the fact that you have to worry about your kindergartner being ideologically manipulated at school by teachers and administrators?
Collapse is not irreversible, but it’s happening in real time. You can feel it.

And then:

The backlash is building. You can feel that too. It’s not a natural state of affairs for people to want to live under such tyranny. It can’t continue at this rapid pace. Something has to give.

Still more:

But the backlash to the backlash will be to criminalize dissent and to intensify the cultural purge. We already see that the power of the state and corporations will be brought to bear.

Jacobson goes on to say:

I have so little faith in the people running this country at various levels that stocking up on long shelf-life food and other prepper-lite protections seems to me, for the first time in my adult life, to be one of the least crazy ideas.

I’ve done all that, and a little more besides.  So what’s left?

I’m going to sharpen my bayonet now.  A bayonet on the end of an old WWI-era rifle may be a stupid, old-fashioned and ultimately hopeless thing, but then again:  so am I.

Alternative History

About once a month, the Fiend Mr. Free Market sends me listings of guns which he (rightly) thinks will make me drool.  Here’s one, from Holt’s Auctions, an exquisite double rifle in .303:

However, what grabbed me was not the gun, but an anecdote and observation (bold) from its onetime owner the Duke of Portland:

The Portlands received Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Welbeck Abbey for a week in 1913 when the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne visited England. During the stay he took the Archduke shooting on the estate when, according to Portland’s memoirs, Men, Women and Things:

“One of the loaders fell down. This caused both barrels of the gun he was carrying to be discharged, the shot passing within a few feet of the Archduke and myself.  I have often wondered whether the Great War might not have been averted, or at least postponed, had the Archduke met his death there and not at Sarajevo the following year.

Fascinating thought.

Colonial War

Over the years, many people have written to me asking about early South Africa, and more specifically about the Boer War (or, as the Boers called it, the Vryheidsoorlog, or [Second] War of Freedom) from 1899-1902.

A few days ago, I found an old 1992 documentary on BoobTube, and it’s not bad — only just a tad over an hour — and it covers the period quite well, and impartially.  So that’s your weekend viewing assignment.  (There will be a test.)  If any questions of history remain, write to me and I’ll put the answers up in a follow-up post next weekend, when I’ll talk about my family’s relationship to the war.

There are three books I’ve always recommended on the topic:  Rags of Glory by Stuart Cloete, and the book it’s partially based on, a campaign journal called Kommando  written by Deneys Reitz, a wartime Bitter-Ender (you’ll get that explained in the video above) who went on to become the Deputy Prime Minister of the unified South Africa.  Both are absolutely brilliant — Cloete’s book also incorporates a view of the Boer War from the British perspective, and it’s both accurate and illuminating.

The third — an actual history book — is The Boer War  by Thomas Pakenham, generally regarded as the sine qua non  of historical sources for the conflict.  Written during the late 1980s, it’s devoid of any hint of the political correctness which infests later works on the topic.

Enjoy.