The Cult at War

A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish,
And Priam and his people shall be slain.

I’ve always found the Third Punic War to be a deeply instructive period of Roman history, one that helps us understand much of the modern world. What allowed the Romans to survive and then dominate their neighbors was their implacability. They never quit fighting even when they were beaten. The only ways to gain peace with Rome were surrender or defeat. No matter how many times you beat Rome in the field, they would keep coming back until they figured out how to win.

I think the reason for this is explained in the Punic Wars, particularly the final chapter that ended with the sack of Carthage. Rome was more than a place and a people. Rome was an idea, an animating force that defined the people of the city. Being Roman was more than just about lineage or location. It was a way of life, the way of life for righteous people. To accept defeat or compromise would be to reject the essence of being Roman.

It’s this nascent nationalism that drove the Romans to keep fighting. It is what drove them to sack Carthage and later Corinth. It was impossible to be Rome if these cities existed as anything other than subjugated provinces of Rome. This implacability is what carried Rome through the third century crisis period. Even when maintaining the empire made no military or economic sense, they did it anyway. It was who they were. Keep in mind that in the third century, Rome was led by men from the Balkans known then as Illyricum.

If you were an enemy of Rome, you knew there could only be two outcomes. You could surrender and hope for good terms or you could fight and eventually lose. Sure, you could win some battles and have a good run of success, but the Romans would never stop coming. Eventually, they would gain the advantage and win. Just as important, Rome did not just extract rents from conquered people. They Romanized them. Rome was the first iteration of The Borg.

This comes to mind now that we are in yet another Confederate flag debate. The first one of these I recall clearly was in the 90’s, but I seem to recall the Cult in a snit over the flag in the 70’s when Southern Rock started using it in their stage shows. Regardless, the Cult tried to stamp it out in the 90’s, the 2000’s and now again in this decade. Ever since that lunatic shot up the church in South Carolina, the Cult has been buzzing about that stupid flag.

As we saw with Obama’s birth certificate, the only people who care about this flag are liberals and lunatics, the distinction between the two is impossible without professional training. The rest of us, a group professional demographers call normal people, simply don’t care. But, we live in a country run by a quasi-religious cult and they do care, so the rest of us have to care – or else. That’s how it works in a theocracy.

What’s instructive here is we see the same implacability on display as I described with the Romans. In the 70’s and 80’s, I used to see Rebel flags on sale at convenience stores – even in Boston. Now, only outcasts display them and the occasional red neck. Most red necks have decided it is not worth the hassle. But, the Cult is still determined to sack any city that flies the flag in any way shape or form. The Cult never quits and never settles. They declare peace only when they have won completely and permanently.

Of course, the flag is not really the issue. That’s why normal people are caught off-guard whenever the Cult starts waving it around and ululating like lunatics. The real issue is the long War Between the Whites that started in the 19th century and continues to this day. We call this the Civil War and that’s a good label, but I prefer my label, as it is more precise. Civil War implies both sides were equal or the same or viewed one another in that way. They never did and they still don’t.

In the 19th century, northern whites of mostly English ancestry used slavery as an excuse to attack and kill as a many Southern whites as possible. Those southern whites were of mostly Scots-Irish ancestry. The northern whites were ready to join their European coevals in the industrial, global age and they did not want those backward agrarian crackers holding them back. Slavery had to go and the people responsible for it had to be punished.

Abolitionists cared more about punishing southern whites after the war than the welfare of the freed slaves. The squabbling between northern lunatics and more reasonable minds over how to go about the post-war reconstruction is largely responsible for the failure of reconstruction to resolve the issue of freed slaves. That was left to the South to figure out on its own.

Like those Romans 2,000 years ago, the Cult never quits or accepts defeat. For 150 years northern whites have been trying to finally eliminate their eternal enemy. Over the decades the Cult evolved from an English Protestant thing into a full blown post-industrial theodicy. They still have a special hatred for southern whites, but they have expanded their field of vision to include what Obama called “typical white people.”

That’s what was missed when he made that comment. Everyone thought race, when Obama was thinking class. This is a guy raised by elites in elite culture. His grandparents were low-class compared to his coevals in prep school. They were typical Americans, which the Cult identifies as middle-class, white and embarrassing. While normal people in the South have no emotions about the rebel flag, it means everything to the Cult as it has always been, in their imagination, the flag of their enemy – core Americans.

If you follow the logic, so to speak, it makes perfect sense for the Cult to go on jihad against the rebel flag after the white guy shot up the black church. The Cult’s idealized image of the enemy is white, male, southern and poor. His flag is the Confederate flag. Therefore, the logical response to this shooting, from the perspective of the Cult, is the same as the Romans when Carthaginian traders ripped off Roman merchants. That’s a policy of the extirpation.

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Kathleen
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Kathleen

This is the Lefts second War on the South, the bastion of conservative culture and traditional values. I’m not saying that conservative values includes acceptance of slavery or racial discrimination, because it doesn’t. This War, led by the Leftist Hive, is to eviscerate any hold-out conservatives in the nation. I think they’re picking on the wrong crowd.

Centurion_Cornelius
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Centurion_Cornelius

Good point, Kathleen, about “the hive” picking a fight with Southerners.

Those toothless “drones” in their hive may well have picked a fight with some real nasty stinging hornets. The “hive” doesn’t seem to remember hornets can sting multiple times, as opposed to bees.

The collective Northern hive’s hue and cry is: “you’ll hear from my lawyers,” whereas Southerners are more apt to “right” things much more quickly, cleanly, and cheaply albeit more painfully to the “hivers.”

Steve C.
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Steve C.

The argument over the causes of the Civil War has consumed numerous forests, but I think you have it wrong. The conflict was baked into the original structure of the nation and bound to come to a head. There was no way the northern states had the political muscle to eliminate slavery. But they had no obligation to allow slavery in new states. Tlhe south was on the losing end of westward expansion. They weren’t going to sit idly by and watch their position deteriorate.

Thrasymachus
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But the Romans, while powerful on some level, were also evil and insane. They were sick, mortally sick, and all but dead at the height of their power. They died of their own sickness, just as the cult is dying of its sickness now.

Horus
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Horus

The “Third Punic War” was simply the Romans destroying a already defeated Carthage.

The Phoenicians/Punics were the the great merchants from antiquity, the original capitalists, Carthage and its colonies remained extremely wealth even after the defeats to Rome and this anoyed the Romans to no end, this is way the Third Punic War happened, Romans couldn’t tolerate Carthage prosperity even if they’re already subjugated to Rome.

The Z Blog
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The Z Blog

That’s the point. Carthage, in the minds of the Romans, remained a threat long after it was a military or economic threat. It’s very existence was a threat. Similarly, that stupid flag is no threat to the Cult. But it i exists and that’s what matters.

UKer
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UKer

Not sure the Romans kept going back until they won. As far as I know the Roman army took a hell of a beating in what is now Germany so they simply drew the line at the bottom edge of the Rhine. Same with Scotland: easier to build a wall than risk losing a legion.

I accept that every nation has to define boundaries somewhere (a boundary-less world is uncomfortable, to say the least) but not sure the Romans were always as up for the fight as you say, Z.

The Z Blog
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The Z Blog

There are exception to just about all rules. What makes Augustus unique is he took a radically different lesson away from the battle of the Tuetoburg Forrest than his predecessors. Rather than raise new legions and attack the Germans, he decided the Empire had reached its limit. That’s what made him Augustus.

I’ll also note that after Augustus died, Germanicus was sent in to exact revenge, which he did. The Romans killed everything that walked or crawled in that region. They also claimed to have recovered the bones of their fallen men and buried them.

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[…] As we saw with Obama’s birth certificate, the only people who care about this flag are liberals and lunatics, the distinction between the two is impossible without professional training. […]

ErisGuy
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ErisGuy

“They died of their own sickness, just as the cult is dying of its sickness now.”

I don’t think I can wait nearly 500 years for the Left to collapse.

Terry Baker
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Z-man, (don’t know your name so please excuse the abbreviation) I have been reading your superb blog for a long time now and admire your ability to get to the heart of the matter. One quibble; the southern culture that fought the American Civil War was descended from the English Cavaliers. It was a continuation of the English Civil War and it was indeed baked into the country’s founding. The Scots-Irish were divided on the subject and took sides according to circumstance. One ray of hope; my ancestors were Puritan Yankees, going back to the 1600’s. Today, I find myself… Read more »

Punditarian
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Punditarian

Before expounding on the “real” reasons that War broke out Between the States, please read the expositions and speeches of the Commissioners sent by the governments of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and South Carolina to the people and governments of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, and Texas, here:

http://www.civilwarcauses.org/commish.htm

Member

Thanks for this. My reply to those who say the Slave states seceded over states rights is to read the various and sundry Declaration of Causes of Seceding States. Mississippi minced the fewest words: Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the… Read more »

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[…] On Rome, Carthage, the slaughter of quarrelsome Scots-Irish, and the Battle Flag. […]

Will
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Will

First, don’t presume you speak for all the of the people in the South. How do you know what, even if you’re from here, what everybody here thinks? I’ll speak for myself, thank you. “Normal” people(as you put it) in the South, do have VERY deep feelings about the Confederate Flag. That flag, isn’t about slavery. It’s the original flag of those in this country who understand/stood, that it’s THESE United States, not THE United States. It’s the original flag of those of us who have had too much of a central, all powerful government telling us(the States) what we… Read more »

John Hinds
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Agreed, Will. Of all the posts here this is the most disturbing, filled as it is with supercilious condescension salted with vitriol vis-à-vis an icon of a great number of people who would be fellow travelers with our host. Now I don’t think I’ve ever had a Confederate flag but every iteration of the revisionist’s efforts to abolish it and other symbols of true Liberty gets my goat real gud! Zman defiles it and the “red neck outcasts” that display it in the same breath he condemns those that want to erase it from memory. Only reason I didn’t chime… Read more »

james wilson
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james wilson

A similar mix of beliefs in the comments on American Digest, which linked the post. Mine was in agreement with you and Will, the losing side of history– “It came to the South–for the worst of reasons–to defend the principle of the old republic–federal government limited and clearly enumerated; and for the North, in order that it may oppose a great evil, to create another great evil. We are now wobbling at the precipice of the surviving evil, and any conservative who by this time thinks we are not falling in is a fool. Optimism is cowardice. Tocqueville- I have… Read more »

John Hinds
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J. Wilson: I saw your comment on AD and would have chimed in my agreement but can’t get past the registration requirement. It’s a nasty business all around. Twould be nice were it as cut and dried as Thermopylae where we could at least have had the satisfaction of a good hard fight alongside a truly brave leader, Leonidas. How to suffer death by a thousand cuts is the worst abomination. You know you are being beaten but like those dreams where you have the utmost urgency to move and absolutely cannot you fall through fear into dread and on… Read more »