Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Arc of History

You have heard the quote from Martin Luther King, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice".  When he used it, he put it in quotes.  It  had been used by many people, but originated in a longer form by Theodore Parker, an abolitionist.  That might have made sense originally at the time of the Civil War, but after World War II and the rise of totalitarian governments, I would say the moral arc of the universe is bending towards Totalitarianism.  Here is a description of Totalitarianism:  "Totalitarianism is a ... mode of government that prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life."

You can see that Hitler and Stalin traditionally fit this role, but when you think of the mind control practiced by radical Islam and its practice of killing all opposition, I think it is fair to put radical Islam in the same category as Stalinist Marxism: another totalitarian form of government.  Both the radical Islamists, like ISIS, and the Stalinist Marxists believe history is on their side and their victory is inevitable.

Here is a quote from the forward to Rise of Isis by Jay Sekulow:  "the Enlightenment dream of inevitable human progress grounded in the claim that we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights premised on hope that the arc of history bends toward justice, is now in tatters. This outcome fundamentally challenges Americans’ endless pursuit of individualism and tolerance. Readers of this book will discover that in our postmodern era, certain things are indeed intolerable. The failure to face the facts richly addressed by the authors of The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore, exposes democratic nations to the rising danger that they—perhaps misled by the persistent fecklessness of the United Nations and other institutions, which refuse to recognize the obvious threat to Western civilization posed by radical Islamist jihadists—will capitulate to the prospect of appeasement, disaster and death."

The quote is from Harry G. Hutchison, J.D., law professor at Regent University.  I agree with Professor Hutchison.  Based on my observations, the arc of history bends towards Totalitarianism.

I think Ronald Reagan said this in a number of speeches:  "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

The arc of history might bend towards Totalitarianism, but we can stay free in America if we are vigilant.  However, how safe can we be if too much of the world ruled by totalitarian governments dedicated to destroying our liberties?

Robert

The Reagan speech was "Encroaching Control," March 30, 1961.  It was an address to the annual meeting of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDouNtnR_IA
You can access the entire forward written by  Professor Hutchison at this website: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2498269

Friday, January 4, 2019

Qualities for a President to Have

A college professor devised a list of qualities for assessing the effectiveness of U.S. Presidents:
  1. Public communication
  2. Organizational capacity
  3. Political skill
  4. Vision
  5. Cognitive style
  6. Emotional intelligence
Professor Fred I. Greenstein  mentioned these in his book, The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from FDR to Barack Obama, 3rd Edition.  Of these he said emotional intelligence was the most important quality.  Dr. Greenstein said emotional intelligence could be measured by “the president’s ability to manage his emotions and turn them to constructive purposes, rather than being dominated by them and allowing them to diminish his leadership.” [1]

President Eisenhower was disparaged by the U.S. press, but Dr. Greenstein studied him and discovered he was very effective as a president.  You can read the professor's obituary [1] to hear more about Eisenhower.  That is quicker than reading his book, The Hidden-Hand Presidency: Eisenhower as Leader.

You can also learn a lot about Eisenhower by reading the book Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission by Bret Baier.  Besides describing how Eisenhower conducted business in the White House, the book gives nice, succinct biography of Eisenhower.

Encouraging good leadership is a key part of the Texas Ascendancy Campaign.  You can read related articles about leadership here:  Summary of Leadership Articles.  Our country desperately needs better leadership, and this need has been with us for years.  I started this Texas Ascendant blog back in 2008 after the financial crash of 2008 with better leadership as a primary goal of this effort.

From an individual perspective, the qualities for assessing the effectiveness of U.S. Presidents gives us ideas on qualities we might all want to include in our plans for personal growth.  From a larger perspective, as we seek to improve our pool of potential leaders we can consider this list in grooming and selecting our future leaders.

Robert

Reference
1. Obituary for Fred Greenstein: in the New York Times:  "Fred Greenstein, 88, Dies; Political ‘Psychologist’ Assessed Presidents"
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/14/obituaries/fred-greenstein-dead.html

Monday, December 24, 2018

What is Globalism and Why Does It Matter?

Economic Globalism
There are many descriptions and definitions of globalism.  The simplest definition says it is "the operation or planning of economic and foreign policy on a global basis."  This is a simplistic definition.  A better economic perspective  of globalism can be seen as the free flow of capital, labor, and products.  Some like to call this globalization instead of globalism, although one can say there is a difference.  There is much complexity to economic globalism, but I will mention only one point:  the free flow of capital leads to economic bubbles that burst.  The 1997 Asian financial crisis is one example.  The free flow of capital is great for speculators who can play "pump and dump" on an international scale, but financial bubbles are bad for any country that experiences them.

The Difference Between Globalization and Globalism
It is fair to say globalization is the physical manifestation of improving business efficiencies on a global scale. Then we can say globalism is the intent residing in the minds of those who marshal the forces of globalization.  For example, free flow of capital is a mechanism, but "pump and dump" is an intent.  We will elaborate soon.

Political Globalism
For many years there has been an interest among elites with a cosmopolitan inclination to move towards a single world government.  What comes with this is intentionally diminishing patriotism within our schools.  The reasoning used to promote political globalism is the argument that our world wars were caused by nationalism and patriotism.  The thinking goes that to promote world peace we need to move past the concept of a nation state and we need to abandon patriotism.  I am not agreeing with this point, I simply repeat it to explain why some people have been removing patriotism from American society.  The people who control American public schools have been doing more than chasing Christianity out of the public schools, they have also been removing patriotism from our children's education.  I have found that older people can sing "God Bless America," but younger people do not know the words. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program promotes "international mindedness."  Besides the IB program, multiculturalism is taught in the Plano, Texas, public schools to promote political globalism.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, disparaged patriotism in Paris at the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, on November 11, 2018, saying "... patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of it."  Marcon insulted all the people of the world who love their countries because he is a globalist.  Marcon might seem to be a contradiction, being an investment banker at Rothschild bank and a member of the Socialist Party in France.  Socialists are not against capitalism, but rather are for crony capitalism under the control of a Socialist state. 

Probably the biggest push for political globalism comes from the elites of the Western countries, the graduates of Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, and the French Ecoles.  What we see at work, as evidenced by Hilary Clinton calling half the country "deplorable," is the belief among the elites that they have a right to rule the masses.  When Hillary Clinton said in Brazil in 2013 that she was for open borders, she was affirming the globalist ideal of the free flow of labor.

Finally, we should be aware that a long term goal of political globalism is a one world government, a socialist ideal. One example of this socialist ideal is in the book A Modern Utopia by H. G. Wells that describes a utopian society with a single world wide government.  Yes, H.G. Wells was a socialist.

Conclusion
The ultimate result of economic globalism would be world wide global cronyism dominated by international bankers, like Emmanuel Marcon.  The ultimate result of political globalism would be a single socialist government dominated by international elites who find the people they rule deplorable.

Robert

Additional resource: TED Talk on Nationalism vs. Globalism: The New Political Divide (February 21, 2017)
featuring Yuval Noah Harari

Sunday, October 21, 2018

National Security and the War Colleges

Continuing the line of reasoning of how we might better prepare people to serve on the National Security Council, we will now consider the war colleges.  The Army has the U.S. Army War College, the Air Force has the Air War College, the Navy has the Naval War College, and the Department of Defense has the National War College.  All of these institutions permit a number of civilians to enroll with the stipulation that the civilians are high ranking federal employees.  The Air War College also permits civilians who are senior members of the Civil Air Patrol to enroll.  There are even more related colleges and institutions.  For example:  the National War College is a part of the National Defense University and the U.S. Army War College contains a Strategic Studies Institute.

If a few positions for civilians at the various military graduate programs and war colleges could be made available for nominees from state governors or U.S. senators, then America would have a deeper pool of talent available to support those governors and senators who some day might be President of the U.S. and would look to people they know and trust to provide council.

The next time a Texan becomes President, it would be good if he or she had a pool of talented Texans to give advice on the National Security Council, or related positions.

Robert

This is part of a series of articles on National Security.  The rest of the articles are listed in National Security Council Part 1,  June 11, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

National Security and Economic Intelligence

Economics is a very important part of national security.  So it is reasonable to use economic intelligence for both strategic and tactical purposes.  You can see an example of economic intelligence in the paper "Economic Intelligence" by Paul W. Howerton.  Here is a link to a PDF file Economic_Intelligence_by_Paul_Howerton.pdf. It is an old file that has been declassified.  Economic Intelligence is vital for our nation in many aspects.  One example is that Germany lost World War I and the German people were shocked.  They felt betrayed because they had not lost a battle, so how could they lose the war? They lost because of economics.  Some Germans believed they were betrayed and blamed the Jewish people.  These examples establish the importance of economic intelligence.

An example of tactical economic intelligence from page 10 in the PDF file of "Economic Intelligence" is "markings analysis." To assess German tank production during WWII, a technique called markings analysis was used.  When industrial products are manufactured, they are marked with serial numbers or lot numbers.  Paul Howerton discusses this technique was used and compares marking analysis to other approaches.  If you want to prepare to work in the National Security Council, you should understand economic intelligence.

Robert

PS:  "Economic Intelligence" by Paul W. Howerton is a gem.  You should read it.  It is only 18 pages long.

This blog post is part of a series on National Security.  The rest of the articles in this series are listed in  National Security Council Part 1,  June 11, 2018

Saturday, July 21, 2018

What is Texas Ascendant?

Ten years ago, after the financial crash of 2008, I started posting articles to the Texas Ascendant blog.  Texas is a great state with wonderful people, and we have a lot to offer America.  Texas has a great economy and the people of Texas have a great spirit, a spirit that America needs, a positive spirit, a can-do spirit.

America has lost its way.  Starting as far back as the Vietnam War and continuing on through the Great Recession, our country's leaders in the Northeast, in Harvard and Yale, have failed and are continuing to fail America.  Our country's failure started with John Kennedy's election in 1961, with his Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and this failure continues to this day in 2018, 57 years later.  It is Harvard and Yale that have failed America.  Read The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam and see how America's elites wrecked Vietnam.

One of the Northeastern elites mentioned by Halberstam was Robert A. Lovett, who was born in Texas.  His father, Robert S. Lovett, sent his son to a Northeastern prep school, then to Yale.  The younger man married into a wealthy banking family, and he eventually joined his father-in-law's firm Brown Brothers Harriman.  Robert A. Lovett eventually served the State Department as under secretary and later became Secretary of Defense.

For too long we in Texas have accepted the leadership of Harvard and Yale, sending our children to the Northeast so they could be accepted by the ruling elite, serve the ruling elite, and become wealthy in this service.  I contend that Harvard and Yale ruin young people's minds.  I contend that our country is poorly served by letting the Northeastern elites continue to rule this nation.  The book Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite by William Deresiewicz  is a reasonable indictment of the education, or miseducation, of our best and brightest.  (You should know that Halberstam was ironic when he used that phrase in his book title.)  Another expose of Harvard is Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class by Ross Gregory Douthat.  William F. Buckley exposed the flaws of Yale back in 1951 in God and Man at Yale, an excellent book I highly recommend.

What Then Should We Do?

America needs better leaders for a better future and Texas should develop those leaders.  We in Texas should stop thinking of Harvard and Yale as the pinnacle of education.  They are not.  They are doorways to power.  They are a club.  If you want a good education for your children, they should go elsewhere.  So find good schools in Texas or the Midwest, and work to increase opportunities here in Texas and the Midwest.  Everyone can start thinking about what we can do to grow the economy in Texas, the Midwest, and the Southeast, the areas we interact with the most.  I have prepared a List of Projects for ideas to improve our lives, our country, and our economy.

We can improve our banking industry in Texas and the Midwast, as I describe in The Texas Banking and Finance Project.  We can develop an industrialization plan as I describe in Industrialization Instead of Economic Development.  There are many things we can do in Texas and neighboring states to improve our economy.

Better Leadership

America needs better leaders for a better future and Texas should develop those leaders.  We must look locally for leadership, and we must send our best citizens to serve in Washington without them selling-out to get ahead.  Here is what I said back in 2008 in the article Integrity and Competence, the Cornerstone and KeystoneWe need to restore America to greatness and prosperity. We need to start here in Texas, we need to start now, and we need to start upon a foundation of integrity. Then we need to rise to the apex of competence, accumulating wealth, power and influence along the way.

We need to work with our neighboring states, as I said in 2009 in The Heartland Union.  We all need to work together across our country to build a stronger America, a more prosperous America,  a country brimming with hope and happiness.  Our children deserve a bright future.  We can start now, here in Texas.  First we make Texas ascendant.  Then we make America ascendant.

Robert Canright
Founder, Texas Ascendant

PS
My first approach to organizing ideas was to sort ideas into these categories: (1) The Texas Leadership Revolution (TLR) and (2) the Texas Business and Arts Renaissance (TBAR).  I described this arrangement here:
The Texas Ascendant Campaign Overview  March 15, 2009
If you see references to TLR or TBAR in old articles, this is the source of these acronyms.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

National Security Council Part 3: Texas National Security Network and Anti-Access/Area Denial

I recommend that the people of Texas lead the way in becoming better citizens by becoming more engaged in issues like national security.  There is now within Texas an organization called the Texas National Security Network.  It has a Texas National Security Review with this website:  https://tnsr.org/.  I find the website War On the Rocks pretty interesting:  https://warontherocks.com/.  They have an article, e.g., about anti-access and area denial — known as A2/AD:  Demystifying the A2/AD Buzz by Luis Simon.  A2AD is a big topic, as shown by this article:  The Russia – NATO A2AD Environment by Ian Williams.  Here is a picture of air defense around Kaliningrad  from that article.  I first heard of A2/AD in the article from the War On the Rocks website.  Since then I have seen the term in other articles and it catches my eye as an important item with the articles I read.



Kaliningrad can be conflict hot point.  It is one of the most heavily militarized zones in the world.  You might remember that Kaliningrad is a German city given to Stalin by F.D.R. in the Potsdam Conference.  We must remember that F.D.R. was responsible for the Iron Curtain and the enslavement of many free Eastern European people by the U.S.S.R. because F.D.R. appeased Stalin in much the same way that Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler.  Kaliningrad is an enduring testament to F.D.R.'s abandonment of the Eastern Europeans.  Of course no Americans died for the freedom of these people so it is hard to blame F.D.R. for his decision.  This is realism:  freedom has a price.

Here is a quote from their website:  War on the Rocks is a platform for analysis, commentary, debate and multimedia content on foreign policy and national security issues through a realist lens.

It is good that Texans are looking carefully at national security issues.  If you are a Texan, you ought to be reading the War on the Rocks website.

Robert

Anti-Access/Area-Denial (update on 9/1/2018)

The July 30, 2018 issue of National Review, on pages 28 to 30, has this article that mentions Anti-Access/Area-Denial:  The Sea Will Not Be Tamed, On China's Formidable, Flawed Effort to Turn Naval Strategy Upside Down by Jerry Hendrix, Captain, USN Retired.
https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2018/07/30/chinese-naval-policy-upending-conventional-wisdom/
     The author says this about anti-access/area-denial:  China’s most significant reaction to America’s ability to project power was its investment in a new series of capabilities that have since been called “anti-access/area-denial” weapons systems. These systems, a combination of anti-ship ballistic missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, and new advanced long-range fighter-interceptors, were designed to push American forces back from China’s shores, mitigating America’s ability to project power onto land and effect regime change.
      I also liked learning about Malford Mackinder within this National Review article.  I have heard of Geopolitics, but not of Mackinder's Heartland Theory, or Pivot of History.