]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]        THE SHAPE OF EVENTS         [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
                          (Our Revolution)                 (11/6/1989)
                           by Otto Scott
      Addressed to the 15th Annual Meeting of the Committee for
                    Monetary Research & Education (1987)

               [Kindly uploaded by Freeman 93401DORM]

   Recently The Wall Street Journal editorialized about the 
contemporary confrontation be tween Congress and the Executive Branch. 
Observing that the President is elected by all the people and is the 
only official Constitutionally authorized to conduct foreign policy, 
the Journal described the confrontation as whether or not the 
President violated the 1947 National Security Act or the Boland 
Amendment attached to an appropriations bill in 1983.
   In the course of this description, the Journal wondered whether the 
results of the last Presidential election will be overturned in favor 
of the foreign policy of Clayborn Pell. Senator Pell, you will recall, 
is against resistance to Communism. later in the editorial, the 
Journal wondered how we can arrive at a consensus between what it 
called tithe wholly incompatible view of the world and U.S. security 
by such politicians as Senators Pell, Kerry, Mikulski and Dodd? So 
long as this minority exercises a veto within its own party,' the 
Journal continued, "the tension will persist."
   Unfortunately this presentation, as clear as it is, does not do 
justice to the situation. For what is underway adds up to more than a 
strvggle between two political parties holding the same basic beliefs.  
It adds up to another stage in what is, and has been, a revolutionary 
   Some may dispute this, because Dan Rather has not appeared on the 
5a O'Clock News to inform the nation that a revolution is underway. 
Neither has any sirnilar announcement been made by any other 
television commentators, professors, experts, specialists or 
politicians. But revolutions do not announce themselves prematurely: 
that would be to alert the opposition. Tlley arrive urheralded, 
without warning. But they do arrive -at the end of certain phases that 
have now been repeated often enough to be defined.
   The final stage in all revolutions is an assault against the 
Executive.  This has taken various forms.
   In France in the 1790s, during the great prototypical secular 
revolution of modern times, the assault against the Executive was 
mounted from inside the legislature. That final stage began when the 
Estates General were transformed into a General Assembly -a more 
radical body. The legislators in the Assembly launched a series of 
"inquiries" -- miniature trials, so to speak -- against the Crown, the 
Nobility, the Clergy and, ultimately, even centrist members of the 
Assembly itself. These proceedings were noisily supported by claques 
in the Assembly gallery, by partisans parading in the streets, by 
demonstrators and rioters, and by a radical press. This revolutionary 
chorus created the impression that all France was on the rim of a 
   As the left -- the Jacobins -- expanded their influence within the 
Assembly, they rewrote the Constitution, obtained its ratification and 
held elections in which they triumphed. Then their "Rinquiries" took on 
a new and sinister significance. The Courts of France, which had 
assisted the revolution to reduce the powers of the Crown, were 
reduced to impotence, together with all the other institutions of the 
ancien refflme.  By then the guillotine was in operation, Iouis XVI 
and his Queen were sent to their deaths; an entire class was murdered.
   I cite this great precedent in part to draw your attention to the 
time span involved. For it was only three years after the Estates 
General were first convened, until the time of the guillotine. That's 
not very long.
   The Russian example is closer in terms of time.  As you know, the 
Czar abdicated in March, 1917. The Provisional Government that 
replaced the Czar had no specific chief executive. It consisted 
largely of a legislature that was, at first, headed by monarchists. 
They looked for a new Czar, but the man they chose refused to serve. 
Being liberals, they also invited the Social Democrats to serve with 
them in the Duma. And in true leftist fashion, the Social Democrats 
took control, and issued a call for all leftists to join in creating a 
new government. Their slogan was one still in vogue among the 
credulous: "No enemies on the Left."
   Their call reached Trotsky in New York and Stalin in exile and 
lenin in Zurich. It also reached the ears of the German General Staff, 
which provided a SO million gold marks to lenin & Company. The 
Bolsheviks then proceeded to buy 47 newspapers -- and guns. This flood 
of money in the midst of shortages also enabled the Bolsheviks to hire 
an army. In October, 1917, the Bolsheviks seized the Duma by force, 
sent the Social Democrats into flight or into prison, and launched the 
Red Terror -- which has not yet ceased.  Once again the time span in 
significant. From the time the Czar abdicated until the October coup 
d'etat was about eight months. Eight months!
   The final stage of the German Revolution reveals a similar pattern. 
As usual, historians bicker over the initiating date. One school 
chooses Bismarck and his adoption of Socialistic programs which were 
continued until world war I. Another school dates the beginning with 
the post world war I period after the Kaiser abdicated and a new 
Social Democratic government took office under a new Constitution. For 
the sake of brevity, let's start with the Twenties. The Social 
Democrats, as usual, governed with self-righteous rhetoric and a fine 
Constitution -- which they proceeded to ignore. They ruled largely by 
emergency decrees. But although they intervened in the economy, they 
did not use overt force. That arrived with the Nazis, whose efficiency 
made the Bolsheviks seem crude.  Hitler was made Chancellor on January 
30, 1933. A month later, on February 28, 1933, he was granted life and 
death power over everyone in Germany. His Terror started, therefore, 
in four weeks.
   More examples could be cited, but the point is clear. These great 
revolutions achieved their final triumphs by obtaining control of the 
   Obviously, I am talking only about the final stage. A very 
important question is, "What were the preceding stages in these rises 
to power?" Irherent in the answer to that question lies at least part 
of the reason why so many Americans appear so confused before so 
repetitive a phenomenon.
   Our historians and commentators have told us, over and again, that 
revolutions are the result of long-standing injustice and poverty. 
They have described revolutions as inevitable, and they argue that in 
many respects revolutions are pathways to progress. At this moment 
they are encouraging revolution in South Africa, as a means of 
improving that society.
   But when revolution appeared in France, that nation was the richest 
in the world. France had the largest land mass and the greatest number 
of people in all Europe. England had a population of five million, the 
United States had 3 million -- and France had 25 million. Its 
industries were the largest, it had the greatest number of wealthy and 
middle class persons; its language was preferred for diplomacy, art, 
letters and science; it had more intellectuals than any other nation, 
more novels, more theater -- and more license. Behavior under Iouis 
XVI was unbridled. Paris, Marseilles and other French cities harbored 
sex clubs, cults, occult fashions, homosexual costume balls, wild 
theater and newspapers that combined pornography and radical politics. 
Adultery in the middle and upper classes was the mode and not a whim; 
the laws against insulting the Crown or blaspheming Christianity were 
dead letters. Poverty was at the lowest level in French history, 
though it existed.
   How did revolution occur in so rich a society? we can argue about 
Why, but How is a matter of record. The government of France rose 
under the Sun King, Iouis XIV, and then fell in terms of stability, 
because the Sun King drained the Treasury with his wars and his 
extravagances.  His successor listened to John law, whose paper money 
experiment ruined thousands of prosperous families. Then more 
extravagances under ~uis XV. Finally, when lLouis XVI arrived, France 
had lost its North American colony and spent its last reserves helping 
the Americans against Britain. Saddled with an enormous deficit, the 
French government could no longer pay the interest on its bonds.  The 
banks of Switzerland and Amsterdam closed against Paris.
   In that extremity, the financial experts told the King that there 
was only one solution: raise taxes. That was why the Estates General 
were summoned (in the name of Tax Reform), and where most historians 
date the start of the French Revolution.
   let's add some social and intellectual factors. Economics cannot be 
separated from the body politic or the social context in which 
commerce and government function.  There is nothing abstract about 
real life; it does not exist in sections. At about the same time that 
the long reign of Iouis XIV succeeded in boring all France, Voltaire 
launched his satires; his ridicules of the Christian religion, French 
manners and morals, French history and tradition: the French culture. 
Voltaire's success not only inspired an army of imitators; it launched 
a decades-long fashion.  Eventually the fashion spawned Rousseau, who 
argued that Man is good, and Society is bad. If anyone did anything
wrong, it was the fault of the System.
   There would not have been a revolution in France if its 
intellectuals had not turned against French history, traditions, 
leaders and institutions.  It was that onslaught which portrayed 
French patriotism as foolish, backward and reactionary.
   Solzhenitsyn said, "To destroy a people, you must first sever their 
roots." He was talking about a nation's memory: it's history.  The 
French intellectuals came to accept Voltaire's description of their 
history as a record of criminality.  As their self-respect waned, 
French morals loosened. Slander became another term for journalism. 
The underground press combined pornography and radicalism.  It 
invented scurrilous lies about prominent persons. Marie Antoinette was 
actually running a soup kitchen in Paris when a newspaper reported her 
as having said, "Let them eat cake." When I was a boy, American school 
teachers were still teaching that fable as a fact.
   Without the alienation of the intellectuals, there could not have 
been a revolution. This was equally true in Russia. For at least 
seventy years the Russian intelligentsia argued against the Czar, the 
Church, the institutions and the culture of Russia. Dostoyevsky saw 
where this would lead even more clearly than Edmund Burke had analyzed 
the French Revolution, for Dostoyevsl:y recognized spiritual values.  
Men who abandon God are capable of every evil, for to such men, evil 
loses its taint -and its guilt.
   German Social Democrats came to power in the Twenties, after the 
German defeat. They had no affection for the vanquished Kaiser and the 
traditions of Germany -- quite the contrary. Newspapers, art and the 
theater assaulted German traditions in wholesale fashion. The artist 
George Grosz portrayed Germans as swine.  later, as a refugee in the 
United States, he changed his style. Some of his admirers were 
surprised. "You don `t understand," he told them. He had learned that 
hate begets hate.
   Understanding, on any level, is difficult to achieve. Here in the 
United States we have a population that combines personal commitment 
with intellectual detachment, and even disbelief. we have people who 
work hard, but refuse to think; refuse to add things up. There is a 
widespread conviction that nothing has a larger meaning.
   In the face of a continuing trashing of this nation by its 
intellectuals, such an attitude is more than myopic: it is 
intellectually perverse. Every pre-revolutionary symptom of Paris in 
the 1780s and leningrad in 1910 and Berlin in the Twenties is among us 
today: the foreign agents; the mysteriously funded, unsettling 
publications; the cults and the homosexual clubs; the demonstrations 
and riots; the disorders, the demagogues; the international intrigues 
and the helpless bourgeoisie; the bankrupt Government and Utopians 
talking about a new Constitution, while the left mounts an assault on 
the Executive from the bastion of the legislature.
   All that separates us from Paris, 1789, and Berlin, 1930, is a 
financial debacle.  Does anyone doubt that it is coming?  If so, I 
have yet to meet that person.  In the period from 1977 to 1981 the 
United States lost half its steel production, more than half its non-
ferrous metal production, a fifth of its automobile production, more 
than half its machine tool production, and a tripling of its imports 
from $120 billion to $380 billion a year. And that was six years ago.
   Since then the pace of our deindustrialization has quickened.  
Meanwhile the Fed continues to pump paper money into the economy as 
though the laws of currency degradation have been abolished. we have a
huge deficit, and have become the world's largest debtor nation at a 
time when nations who are in debt to us are in the process of 
organizing international defaults.
   Now the revolution has reached Congress. Congressional demagogues 
coordinate their arguments with the radical left in the media, in 
universities and with "social activist" groups. In the space of a 
single year this chorus pushed our Government into making an enemy of 
South Africa, although we are dependent on that nation for essential 
minerals without which our industries and military cannot survive.  
Despite warnings from the Office of Strategic Resources, both the 
President and Congress have chosen to place severe sanctions against 
that strategically important nation. Not to expect retaliation from 
South Africa would, in my opinion, amount to relying upon people whom 
we have injured not to injure us. So far as I know, only this nation 
is that unworldly or masochistic.
   When we combine a looming industrial crisis with a financial 
crisis, we anticipate the worst situation in our history. For when the 
Great Depression arrived, we had no huge international enemy openly 
dedicated to our downfall. Some have predicted that mobs will surge 
through the streets. But they do that today. Fleets of hired buses 
converge on the Capitol; entire hotels are rented; thousands of meals 
supplied from unidentified sources to promote the revolution. But once 
the revolution succeeds, a great fear will descend, for the Revolution 
will be armed against disorder.
   There are several plausible points at which we can date the onset 
of our Revolution. we can begin with the rise of authoritarian 
Socialists among our intellectuals in the 1870s; or we can start with 
the rise of anarchists, rioters and bomb-throwers in the years before 
world war I; or we can start with the wartime dictatorship of ~oodrow 
~ilson when men like Eugene Debs were thrown into prison for speaking 
against the war; or we can start with the pro-Communist writers and 
journalists of the Twenties and Thirties; or we can start with the 
expansion of Governmental authority under the New Deal; or we can 
start with the post world war II rush to lock up the nation by various 
agencies and bureaucrats.  No matter where we start, it will add up to 
the fact that the American Government today is nothing like the one 
founded in Philadelphia, nor is it headed by men who believe in those 
early principles.
   The Income Tax made it legal to treat citizens unequally, and now 
groups are treated unequally in Court. The various regulations over 
every aspect of human activity have created a licensing jungle that 
leaves virtually no function unregulated. Bank and medical records are 
no longer private. Anything that requires the use of money must be 
recorded. A move is underway to create a cashless society -- because 
cash makes men free -- and freedom is out of fashion.
   we have seen the rise of regulatory agencies that combine the three 
functions of Government that the Founding Fathers sought to keep 
forever separate. These agencies make rules chessboard has been in the 
meantime camed out of one room into another...or perhaps the ship it 
is in sails all the while...S
   I submit that the ship we are all in has sailed far in the last 
year, and carried us all into deeper and darker waters, while we have 
remained -- like the chessmen -- on the same squares.
   In reality, however, our Ship of State is moving toward a 
denouement. And in that event, it would be well to bear in mind the 
words of James Anthony Froude, the famous English historian, who said,
"Government by surge is possible only in period when the convictions 
of men have ceased to be vital to them. As long as there is a minoriry 
that would rather die than continue in a lie, there is a further court 
of appeal from which there is no reference.  When ten men are so 
earnest on one side that the will sooner be killed than give way, and 
twenry men are earnest enough on the other side to cast their votes 
for it, but will not risk their skins, the ten will give the law to 
the twenty."
   It should be clear from these observations that the present 
generation holds the future of the United States in its hands.  What 
we do today determines tomorrow -- if God wills. Tolstoi, in his War 
and peace, described how the battle of Borodino, which determined 
Napoleon's defeat in Russia, was decided by the fact that one battery, 
unaware of the Russian order to retreat, kept firing. The French, in 
the confusion, mistook that unceasing cannonade as a sign their 
offensive had failed, and themselves retreated.  But the battery never 
knew what it had done, nor did any other branch of the Russian army. 
Resistance to revolution, in the same sense, cannot be predicated upon 
public recognition: it must simply be implacable.
   There have been, however, revolutions halted by individual action 
that we can cite. For the revolutionaries, despite their boasts, do 
not always win. The revolutionary tide is not "inevitable."
   In world war I the German General Staff set up several efforts to 
win the war by subverting the governments of Russia, France and 
Britain.  we know that their support of lenin proved successful -- and 
the price that Germany later paid to the Frankenstein it helped into 
life. But the German general staff also funded revolution in Ireland 
in 1916 (for revolutions cost money), and gave money to Sir Roger 
Casement and other Irish rebels.  The Easter Rebellion, as it was 
called, failed -- but not without loss of life and an exacerbation of 
ill-will between England and Ireland.
   The most ambitious effort at subversion was made by Germany against 
France. There, German money and propaganda not only created mutinous 
cadres inside the French Army, but planted traitors inside the French 
Chamber of Deputies. These posed as ardent lovers of peace, and sought 
to weaken the French military effort and fighting spirit in every way. 
They were assisted by pro-German newspapers that promoted defeatism 
and surrender, and a gaggle of intellectuals of varying degrees of 
sincerity. General Petain quelled the Army mutiny by stern and secret 
measures, and Clemenceau, then in his 70s, rose inside the Chamber of 
Deputies to hurl the charge of treason -- and made it stick. These two 
elderly men, one considered mediocre and the other at the end of his 
career, saved France from revolution at a moment of deep and terrible 
   Other occasions come to mind. In Spain, the revolution forced the 
abdication of the King in 1931. A republic was declared, and several 
elections were won by the left.  Finally the left gained control of 
the Spanish Cortes, and the Government.  It then consolidated its 
revolution by ordering all large family owned estates broken up. Then, 
because the revolution was against religion and against freedom of 
thought or faith, it ordered all religious orders dissolved.  But the 
revolution does not rely only upon decrees; it uses Terror.  The 
Spanish Government under the control of revolutionaries launched a 
wave of murders of priests and nuns, and the physical destruction of 
churches, convents and monasteries.  At that, the Spaniards rose in 
rebellion, defeated the Communists and set off a wave of leftist 
denunciations that endures to this day. But the revolution in Spain 
was rolled back.
   The revolution today mourns over Chile, moved by AIlende into the 
Communist camp, but recovered by Chileans too well aware of the Gulag 
maintained by revolutionary "idealists".
   But the worldwide revolutionary tide continues to flow.  It does 
more than lap at our shores: it has seeped into our Congress, as it 
long ago entered our media, our universities and even our mainiline 
   It cannot be stanched or deflected by pretending that it does not 
exist. An unrecognized revolution can, as in France, Russia, Germany 
and elsewhere, carry us all beyond the point of peaceful return if we 
remain uncomprehending and passive. we need the moral courage and 
insight of Clemenceau; the physical spirit of the Spaniards in the 
Thirties; the perceptions of the Chileans.
   Revolutions cannot be halted by incomprehension. But to know the 
plans of the enemy is to have a great advantage. To arouse the nation 
to those plans in not impossible; all America is uneasily aware that 
something is wrong. What is needed are voices to rally counter-
revolutionary resistance. The defense of our tripartite Government 
from Congressional efforts to reduce the President to the status of a 
Civil Servant (answerable to Congressional inquiries that usurp the 
proper functions of the Courts) is a defense against the final stage of 
   For make no mistake about it: the process underway in Congress is 
revolutionary in nature. we have men in America as hungry for supreme 
power, as ruthless and determined, as any in in the world. But we also 
have the largest number of educated, skilled citizens of any nation in 
all history.  Once aware of the true danger, we Americans can end what 
the revolutionaries among us are already calling Our Revolution.

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