America after the Holy War, part 13
by Revilo P. Oliver
I THOUGHT IT NECESSARY to offer the foregoing observations as a background to an explanation of political journalism over a period that begins in 1955, a date already so far in the past that even men who were then adult find it difficult to remember clearly what they then believed and took for granted. I shall here mention a marginally relevant matter that may be of some general interest, what may be termed a foreshortening of perspective in a rational attempt to foresee the future.
In the physical world, if we determine accurately the direction and magnitude of all the vectors of force acting upon a number of solid bodies, we can predict with certainty their position at any future time. When one deals with human societies, however, the problem becomes so complex, and the difficulty of identifying, let alone measuring the vectors becomes so great, that accurate prediction would be impossible, even if one did not have to allow, as at present, for the effect of the impact on events of movements made by politically powerful entities according to plans and purposes that are secret and can only be conjectured by the observer. The most common result, I believe, is that the observer will underestimate the time required for the vectors he has identified to produce a logical result, and he will thus set too early a date for the predicted consequences.
When George Orwell published in 1949 his very acute analysis of the forces acting on the Western world at that time, he correctly identified tendencies which, although unperceived by most of his contemporaries, have produced results that are already obvious.
It now seems certain that the whole of the future society that he then envisaged cannot come into being by 1984, his set date, and, indeed, it seems unlikely that precisely such a society will ever become a reality, although our future may be even more horrible than he anticipated.
The hazards of conjecture about secret plans may be illustrated by an incident not yet forgotten. In the late spring of 1972, the adroit and very successful simulation of an unsuccessful burglary in the Watergate Building in Washington was obviously intended to create a political scandal. A highly intelligent lady, who milks the suckers by claiming “psychic” powers, deduced that the scandal was designed to affect the next quadrennial contest between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and so decided to have the stars inform her that Nixon would not be re-elected. The lady (with whom I sympathize, since I made the same miscalculation) must have been worried in the autumn, when the fire that had been set was permitted to smoulder instead of being fanned into a blaze, and she was chagrined when the election was called a “landslide” for Nixon, although she wisely refused to recant, perceiving that the scandal had for some reason been postponed. It only later became apparent that the “burglary” had been designed not only to keep the boobs agog and hold their attention from significant changes in policy, but also to set a precedent in the first resignation of an American President. At the time of the incident, however, the lady quite naturally anticipated the logical consequences at the earliest possible date, and only a person in the counsels of the real planners could have anticipated a delayed, but much more successful, result.
Intelligence services, needless to say, have vast facilities for ascertaining facts that are completely concealed from the public; nevertheless they, too, may in some intricate or obscure matters be misled, either by misinformation or disinformation so cunningly planted by the enemy’s intelligence service that they do not detect its spuriousness, or by the same kind of miscalculation of vectors that leads lay observers into error. Of this, I shall give a significant example.
In the spring of 1960, I was still uncertain how to explain the fact that the National Review, instead of becoming what Professor Kendall had expected it to be, had become a basically “Liberal” periodical, witty and entertaining, but, under the cover of a devotion to Catholicism, subject to strict Jewish censorship, so that it purveyed a kosher “conservatism,” distinguishable only at certain points from the orthodox “Liberal” line, and having the effect of exciting bright young men to play innocuous games with words and ideas on a constantly supervised playground. I accordingly consulted a man who had been a colonel in Military Intelligence during the Korean War and a member of the Central Intelligence Agency, with some segments of which he had continued to maintain contact. His reply in June 1960, was that the “defection” of the magazine did not matter, because the American cause was already lost: Treason and alien penetration were already so great and ineradicable that the United States could no longer defend its own territory successfully.
Americans, within a few years, would have only a choice between passive surrender and a hopeless resistance that would have the same result. He advised me, accordingly, to stop wasting my time and energy on chimaerical and futile efforts on behalf of a people already doomed, concluding:
So why don’t you give up the speaking, the worrying about the Jews, and get back to your business, which is scholarship? . . . There are only ten years left at most before the occupation of the US by the USSR; and nothing you are doing is going to prevent that, any more than a fish’s wriggling its tail in a net affects its consignment to tomorrow night’s poêle. The question is how we spend those ten years: We are all going to be shot anyhow, and the order in which we are shot doesn’t really matter — we’ll all go off in a truck to the nearest lime-pit.
The ten years to the lime-pits expired in June 1970, but the advice which I — no doubt foolishly — disregarded was, I am sure, based on a careful extrapolation from the data then available, which may have included knowledge of plans for the sabotage of the American Army and Navy, which was then still in the future. The writer’s estimate of time was foreshortened, as was Orwell’s in his 1984, and it now seems likely that either a change in plans or the effect of a vector that the ex-colonel did not take into account will alter the precise form of the catastrophe, if it is still in the future.
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This small contribution to the historical record ends with 1966, the year in which I terminated my participation in the “conservative movement” for reasons which I shall set forth in the concluding part of this book. When I was asked to compile a list of my political publications during that period, I was amazed by the total: 578 items. All but about a hundred of these are listed in the bibliography that forms Appendix I to this volume.
Beginning in 1957, I addressed various conservative and patriotic organizations at their annual conventions or special rallies. The text of many of the speeches was printed by the organizations concerned in the form of pamphlets or articles in the organization’s bulletins, and some of these were widely reprinted by other groups. Of one speech, I knew of seventeen different reprintings, and there may have been more. Speeches, which require quite different stylistic qualities and, if collected, would be in some measure repetitive, have been excluded from the bibliography, together with some other pamphlets and ephemeral publications, such as newspapers. They would add nothing to the record, for I expressed in them no opinion that was not also set forth in more formal publications. That leaves the total of about 480 articles and reviews listed in the bibliography, which, with the exceptions I have noted, is complete. I have intentionally omitted nothing.
I selected from this mass of material about half as fairly representative of the whole. The final decisions about what was to be included in this volume were made by the publishers.
All the selections are printed here as they were originally written. Although they contain a few statements which I now regret and some which I could wish to amplify, I have not altered or revised the texts at any point. To do so would be to falsify the historical record, whatever that may be worth.
My favorite means of expression was criticism of current books, for it seemed to me that reviews served a double purpose, since appraisal of a book entails exposition of the facts and other considerations on which the judgement is based. In the reviews reprinted here, space has been saved by the omission of the bibliographical details (number of pages, name of the publisher, his address, and the price), since in almost every case the data are now obsolete — except, perhaps, as reminders of the steady erosion of the pubIishing business and the enormous increase in the price of books in terms of the counterfeit currency that Americans are forced to use in place of real money. The date of publication of each book is approximately that of the review, and the title and author’s name will suffice to identify it.
The following selection includes only a very limited number of items that were thought to retain some present relevance or interest. Many of these are here printed from my carbon copies of my manuscript, rather than from the pages of the journal in which they appeared, and so may contain short passages that were, with my permission, omitted to facilitate the make-up of pages in print or, occasionally, to conform to the journal’s editorial policy, which, to avoid the wrangling normal in the “right wing”, I never presumed to set, subject, of course, to the condition that I must never appear to have said anything that I knew to be false. There were only a few attempts to circumvent this stipulation through changes that were blamed on the printer, and I need not say that patently dishonest subterfuges gave evidence about the secret purposes of the persons really responsible.
Almost all of these selections, I believe, will require no explanation, even when they refer to events that have now largely been forgotten, but in a few instances I have prefixed in italics a note that may clarify a point that might be obscure now. I have made no effort to add notes to bring up to date the arguments or references in the various selections. It will be obvious what was then mistaken or is now obsolete, and those are the elements that may make the collection instructive to the “right wingers” of today. To economize space, I have omitted some passages that would be repetitive or now irrelevant, especially in excerpts from reviews of books now forgotten or superseded; the omissions are indicated by asterisks.
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The complete book, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative by Dr. Revilo Pendleton Oliver, may be purchased from Cosmotheist Books.
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Source: America’s Decline