The Priest-Warrior Conflict

Every day, media consumers can look at news reports and remark how anti-military the media is after the initial salesmanship involved in a run-up to a war. The media seems to take the side of America’s opponents, ask readers to understand opponents, highlight any slight wrongdoing by the military, set the parameters for fair play, and often call for the end of hostilities for diplomatic measures. The military returns the favor, with some members calling for outright execution for treason of the academia/legal/media complex, also known as the Cathedral. Casual readers witness the Red-Blue Empire fight without realizing it.

This is really the fight between the priests (Blue) and warriors (Red) of an empire arguing over who and whose ideas and methods should rule. This argument exists because there is a lack of a proper sovereign. To borrow from the Ottoman circle of equity that described how the pre-modernization Ottoman empire ran, the sovereign’s authority was due to the military, but justice and harmonious relations that allowed for security and wealth and were based in religion were supported by the sovereign. A system had roles and responsibilities with a hierarchy of authority. In our modern system, the Blue Empire (priests) fight the Red Empire (warriors) domestically and in foreign lands via proxy wars. Just take a look at rival CIA and Pentagon-funded militias in Syria.

The American experience is not new. There is the addition of television: the raw visuals can play with emotions for the advantage of one side or the other (imagine Vietnam without television or even photography). The scale is not even that new. Before the current regime, there were elements in place that gave the priest class an edge. Mass media was the edge for the new communist priests rising in power, as Edward Bernays pointed out in his book Propaganda. This makes sense; the morning ritual of reading the daily replaced prayers or mass attendance, and the newsreel weeklies in the theater replaced the Sunday sermon.

Bernays wrote this well after William Randolph Hearst provided the American drive for its first imperial war, but a more fascinating example of the priest-warrior battle and media’s role is found in the removal of Lord Cromer from Egypt in 1907. The British occupation of Egypt was a remarkable stretch in colonial administration. Cromer’s administration is strongly framed as rule by warriors. This does not mean the harsh, negative connotations that the media class has cultivated for propaganda purposes. Cromer’s efforts made the failed irrigation works of prior Khedive governments work. The cotton fields bloomed and Egypt quickly paid off debts and blossomed.

One of the greatest achievements for any modern priestly government is the abolition of slavery. This is so strongly loved by 21st century priest types that tears flow when they watch a Hollywood movie set in the days of American slavery. Cromer ended the Egyptian version of intermittent slavery, the corvee. Lord Cromer is nowhere to be found on the Wikipedia page, but his efforts allowed for it to end. The new priests control our history books, so an old consul of the warrior class will never get his due.

First, his secure management of Egyptian finances allowed the Egyptians to pay off their debts to European banks. In addition, Egypt no longer needed to require more taxes to convert the wretched corvee institution to a paid labor force. Wikipedia tip-toes around Cromer and British work with the irrigation system, instead noting prior Khedives had invested in irrigation. The system lay defunct, incomplete, and a mess until Cromer saw the irrigation system and use of the Nile to its fullest extent as a means to save Egypt. The Anglo-Saxon engineering veterans of India were put to work and performed systems work that the Egyptians could not.

Second, Lord Cromer worked diplomatic and financial channels to manipulate the European governments to convert debt and agree to new terms, in order for him to find the cash to no longer need the corvee. Cromer’s work allowed European banks to feel secure to new terms, which freed up more money. There was no protest movement, no marches for freedom, and no university students allying with the downtrodden. No feel-good activism to feed the holy. This was an imperial governor explaining to the high powers how it could be done.

Despite this act that normally causes leftists to swoon, Cromer’s rule still entailed soldiers providing security and order for merchants to prosper and law and order to hold. The priests would have to wait more than a decade before they could get their chance. A Liberal administration took control in London in 1906 and pushed for Cromer to loosen his grip and move more towards native administration and progress of a constitutional sort. Cromer’s handling of Egypt and the relations with the Ottomans was superb, so there were few chances to change the situation in Egypt.

The opportunity for change came about not from Cromer’s mistakes, but from the mood back home in England. In a little village called Denshawai in 1906, an incident and disproportionate media response worthy of 2016 America took place. British officers went to hunt pigeons, which upset some villagers. In the fracas, a shotgun went off and wounded a female villager. This caused the villagers to attack the officers. A British officer managed to escape the villagers, but died while on foot.  Per rules signed just seven years earlier at the Sudan Convention, a tribunal was held, a Copt judge — who would later be Prime Minister — handed down sentences with four set for execution, several to prison and dozens to the lash. Many others were acquitted.

There was not much of a problem in Egypt, but the problem was brewing back in England. The Manchester Guardian decided to make this an issue, and one that it felt deserved to be reviewed in parliament. Geroge Bernard Shaw painted grotesque images to generate the feels. This was an outrage! There was an unofficial Egyptian Committee formed, which had a goal of reforming the current administration and government of Egypt. Egyptian nationalists visited England to impress the Brits that they could be good administrators of their nation. Member of the priest class, poet, writer, and anti-imperialist Wilfrid Blunt wrote that this was the chance for Egyptian nationalism and that this was also the chance to get Cromer.

Political pressure for change suddenly had a rallying cry. Lord Cromer saw the writing on the wall and resigned from his position in 1907. Reform would be the theme for the rest of the British experience in Egypt. Little counsel was taken from Lord Cromer’s warnings about the ineffectual administrative pool of talent or the problems inherent in Egypt. The priests in the British system could advise the natives. The priest class could control the colonial administration for the rest of its formal existence and informal influence after dissolution.

The famous use of media and propaganda to turn the American public against the Vietnam War efforts was not a new game, just a new delivery system. The public outcry that forced Cromer and the warrior class out of Egypt was an earlier example of the media playing a major role in the handling of an empire. This continues to this day as Red vs. Blue empire proxies fight one another on the battlefield, or in the media.

That incident would have far-reaching effects. A young lawyer from India serving the empire in South Africa during the Boer War era also witnessed what was going on elsewhere in the Empire. Gandhi would later use the same media megaphone to help his cause and end the British Raj. A king or secure sovereign could prevent these small incidents from becoming international outrages simply by formalizing authority, responsibility and accountability. A duty, obligation and role for each priest and every warrior that would reinforce the whole.

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9 Comments

  1. Per Blue Team and the Vietnam War, here’s Cronkite breaking kayfabe on his devotion to global governance (note the special guest):

  2. This is a good article. It has one drawback, which frankly is out of scope.

    Readers who aren’t paying attention will take home the simple lesson: Red good, Blue bad.

    It’s a lot more complicated than that. Being ruled by the Pentagon, as it stands now, also sucks.

  3. The military always holds the actual power in a nation. The sword is mightier than the pen: try raising a writing implement when someone’s slashing at you with a three-foot long blade of sharpened steel. It’s not an effective defense.

    But like the mind controls the hand that swings the blade, it’s the ideas in the mind of the military that control what they do, including whether or not they rule a nation, or are themselves ruled.

    These Red/Blue conflicts are caused in part by the need to assert authority while maintaining the illusion of social equality.

    Traditionally, hierarchy was explicit. The ruling class ruled, and made sure everyone knew it. If the military wasn’t the ruling class, then their rulers let them know it, and expected them to show the proper deference.

    In hierarchy, the inferior always has to defer to the superior: to give some outward symbol of the acceptance of their rule. Deference can be verbal, as in using different words when speaking to one’s superiors, calling them by appropriate titles. Deference was often physical, and there’s no form of physical deference more powerful or universally human than that of bowing. Whether it’s tilting your head down, or bending your whole upper half forward, or falling to one knee or two: signifying that you are, in fact, of lower stature, by lowering your stature, is a necessary component for a harmonious society.

    But in America, we’re like, all equal, man. Technically, the military is subordinate to the civilian government. And this government is supposed to be controlled by the ambiguous morass known as ‘the people’, which in practice often means ‘the Cathedral’. So the Cathedral, to the extent they hold power over government, hold power over the military.

    Yet no colonel ever bows to an academic, or steps aside when a journalist walks by, or calls a newspaper editor ‘my lord’. This quite naturally makes the Cathedral nervous. They, after all, have the power – and yet, the men with the big guns, capable of lining them all up and gunning them down, do not show the proper respect. It’s almost like the Reds think they’re the equals of the Blues, or something, and we know that can’t be right.

    Power is nothing if you don’t exercise it. A ruler who doesn’t punish his subjects for their lack of deference will find they no longer defer to him. His authority will be a joke, and evaporate. Instinctively, everyone knows this.

    So the Cathedral bring what power they have to bear against the military. They let their weight be felt, just so everyone knows who it is that’s really in charge. They have to keep doing this, or else people will no longer fear them, and their power will wane.

    This is another symptom of a lack of clear social hierarchy. Were our rulers actually a priestly caste, before whom everyone else, soldiers included, had to bow; were all their inferiors required to address them by titles, and move out of the way when they walked through, then they would have little incentive to keep flexing their power the way the Cathedral does. Everyone would know they were in charge: they wouldn’t have to keep proving it.

    Alas we live in an age of social obscurantism. The illusion of equality has to be maintained at all costs. It’s the grand narrative of our society. It’s also entirely unworkable, so we still wind up with oligarchy (as per the iron law), it’s just an oligarchy that has to take special pains to disguise its nature, which disrupts the whole chain of command, leading to both social chaos and the overbearing attempts of those with power to keep reminding everyone they have it, lest they lose it. It’s a perfect recipe for anarcho-tyranny.

    Honesty is always the first and most tragic victim of liberalism.

    1. thinkinga bout it August 23, 2016 at 1:03 am

      The militaries of modern nations are mostly a bunch of dumb rednecks and NAMs, or their equivalents. Modern militaries get their power from tech and weapons designed by the scientists and academics of the priestly class. By themselves the dummies and NAMs couldn’t organize a damn thing.

      Modern militaries learnt where they stood in the scheme of things in Turkey, when priests in mosques used their hold on the minds of the people to defang the military-led attempt at a coup.

      1. Yes, no, not really, and it depends.

        You can’t be an idiot and run a lot of the equipment that the military does. The days of illiterate cannon fodder are not over so much as greatly reduced. There are extraordinary reserves of intelligence in the military. Jet aircraft, nuclear power plants, modern tanks, a Special Forces that requires bilingualism, modern armor, helicopter based infantry, etc. all require smart men to staff and lead and the fact that they function at all without daily disaster is proof that they are being run by intelligent men. Are there idiots and fools? Of course! The organization is too big for there not to be.

        Turkey is not the best example, and was more of a police coup than military and reeks of an ad hoc plan B. Western militaries suffer from the same cultural diseases as their recruiting source and are politically inoculated from rebelling against the great god Democracy. We are historically and philosophically retarded beyond belief.

    2. Officers in the US military are chosen for their political reliability and are part of the cathedral

      As a general note, it is easy for vets to tell who has actually,military experience. The lack of which is crystal clear when non vets comment on military matters. But I reckon everyone is an expert on all things in their own mind

  4. Priestly castes fear formalized warriors like the military and colonial administrators, but they love informal warriors like drug cartels and lowly thugs. I guess that’s because since they don’t have any formal authority, the intelligentsia ultimately holds power over through the ability to legitimate or delegitimate their crime practice.

    Their dream country is something like Haiti, a place ruled by NGOs in collaboration with street gangs.

    1. But don’t the Priests get raped in the ass (literally, not figuratively) now and then by street gangs?

  5. Media and academics are not priest caste. They are low caste. Priest caste is defined by natural draw to the sacred. Leftist media and academics are oriented against the sacred and have no natural sense for it.

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