The Mechanical versus Tactical View of History

I was meditating, as often I do, being of a morbid nature, on the causes and progress of the corruption and downfall of the West, and I wondered what could hinder a process that seemed quite inevitable. Is it inevitable? For that matter, is it a process?

It was not until this week that it occurred to me to question something I have assumed about the nature of history and the way it unfolds. It is an assumption no ancient or medieval thinker would have made, and it is an assumption few modern thinkers can avoid.

The assumption is that the process in history, particularly the process by which social and political orders become corrupt, is akin to an inevitable mechanical process, a matter of incentives and disincentives, and therefore a process wise statesmen leading a virtuous body politic could slow, stop, or reverse, if the proper corrective process were applied, either wise laws or the indoctrination of certain habits of public virtue.

I have, in other words, always assumed political economics was a matter of social engineering. It is a non-supernatural and mechanical view of history.

Before examining the non-mechanical view, let us emphasize the remarkable clarity and utility of the view. Were this view were not clear and useful, it would not be popular, much less paramount.

The Leviathan Problem

When enlightenment writers analyzed the sovereign power of the state into categories of legislative, judicial, and executive, and spoke of the competing balance between royalty, aristocracy, and commoners, they had a correct and brilliant insight into the nature of political power, its dangers, and how the danger could be minimized.

The problem was for the first time in history stated clearly: how to avoid the dangers and turmoil of anarchy by the creation of coercive sovereign power (what Hobbes famously called ‘the Leviathan’) while starving and chaining that Leviathan to minimize the dangers issuing from it. The solution adopted informally by the British and formally by the Americans was a system of checks and balances and separation of powers based on the suspicion that human nature will always seeks its own self interest first.

The solution assumed at the outset that the great world-serpent Leviathan, even if domesticated, friendly and trustworthy at first, must soon become corrupted, because that is the nature of fallen man in the fallen world. Nothing stays pristine once exiled from Eden.

The solution was to create incentives in each branch to check the corruptions of the other branches, and to draw elected officials from differing constituencies at differing times. That is, to remove insofar as possible the temptation to use the Leviathan powers for personal or factional interest: the healthy parts of the organism of Leviathan will check, correct, and even expel the corrupt parts, and slow the process of decay insofar as possible. This is the modern approach to the problem of the Leviathan.

The ancients did not state the problem clearly, and did not analyze the problem as a matter of constituting the fundamental laws and offices of the state correctly. Even the modern concept of “the state” or “the sovereign power” is an analytical category that does not reflect the ancient or medieval approach.

For the medieval, the sovereign temporal power was Caesar, conceived to be the single ruler of a world-wide “ecumene” or commonwealth with a single catholic and universal Church, whose single spiritual leader was the Pope. The chain of command led from the natural order to the supernatural, with God Almighty anointing and correcting Pope and Caesar: rebellion against lawful secular authority was also a blasphemy against spiritual authority.

After the Fall of Rome, the laws were matters of tradition and ancient rights, immunities and privileges, not the daily and hourly by-product of a never-sleeping Congressional and Bureaucratic regulation-writing machinery. The royal and aristocratic and municipal power was, in theory at least, limited to the upholding of those rights, including the rights of the universal church. The Church upheld cannon laws and had direct jurisdiction over civic matters such as wills, inheritance and marriages. The local barons and petty kings were basically military leaders concerned with keeping the peace and repelling raids, and were not supposed to meddle in clerical matters. The mischief of absolute monarchy which modern men associate with kingship is a relatively recent development, or, rather, a corruption.

For the ancients, the philosopher Plato analyzed the constitution of the ideal Republic (a somewhat prettified version of his city’s archenemy, Sparta) as if the central question were the moral education of the leaders: and came up with the ridiculous notion that philosophers should be kings. The question of limiting the power of the Philosopher-King to minimize the mischief he might otherwise do was never raised. Even the famed Athenian assembly, cradle of democracy, never contemplated the idea that certain matters were forever beyond its lawful reach. The trial and death of Socrates concerns matters modern men would regard as being in the distinctly private sphere. The ancients articulated no clear notion of such a sphere.

The emphasis in both the ancient and medieval thought was on the moral education of the ruling class. The writers wrote extensively about how to be a good prince, so that the prince would of his own conscience avoid mischief, but did not address the question of constitutional limits on his power to avoid the temptation to mischief.

While it was often lamented in medieval writers (see Dante) that wise and ancient ruling families must too soon produce corrupt and licentious and unworthy children, and while likewise  the Romans of the Imperial days looked back at the simplicity and poverty of their forefathers with nostalgia, the emphasis in their writings was to improve the character of the man who ruled, not to change the role of the ruler and limit his powers to particular objects.

What we call Democracy — a somewhat unfortunate term, because the notion is alien to the ancient Athenian institution of the same name — is concerned exclusively with the legal checks on power. The issues in the modern day argued either by sweet reason or force of arms (that final argument of kings) concern only the limits of the legal checks on power: both socialist and free nations frame the debate in terms of the Rights of Man.

I say “frame the debate” because the free nations speak honestly about being republics ruled by the people, and socialist slave-states speak with Orwellian untruth about “People’s Republics of Such-and-such” and “freedom for workers” and the like. In reality, the socialist cult is an hysterical denial of the reality of the science of economics. Socialism is the belief that the scarcity of goods and the disutility of labor can be wished away by fairy magic. In reality, extending the power of the state into the sphere of economic relations, contracts, the sale of goods and services, their wages and prices and rates of interest must of necessity be totalitarian: because to control a man’s labor is to control all aspects of life. But the telling point is that totalitarian socialist cultists adopt the language of the rights of man, the constitutional framework, of theorists and jurists of the Democracies.

So the modern debate is almost exclusively concerned with whether the sovereign power rightfully extends to private property rights or private chastity and sobriety.

Machiavelli put a stop to the practice of discussing the proper moral education for princes and leaders. Indeed, and large and vocal minority in the modern world is offended even at the notion that world leaders should be chaste or honest in their private lives, provided only they show up for work sober on Mondays.

Nothing more clearly shows the modern, mechanical and laicist worldview. The laws are imagined to be a machine, and the leaders, judges, lawmakers and taxpayers are imagined to be cogs. Provided the teeth of the cogs are properly fitted, the machine should operate: and the cogs are basically interchangeable.

Nor is this mechanical view wholly wrong. To pick a cogent example: it does not matter if the President of the United States is a Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jew, Unitarian or Atheist because the religious faith of the Chief Executive has no bearing on the Establishment of a National Church. Neither the Executive nor the Legislative has the legal authority to establish a National Church: the Bill of Rights expressly forbids any such thing. In contrast, the Prince of Wales may not convert from the Church of England to return to Catholic Church without being disinherited from the succession to the Throne of Great Britain, precisely because the English Monarch is the Head of the Church and Supreme Pontiff. The constitution, laws and customs of England forbid that she have a Catholic sovereign.

In other words, the American President, who serves only four or eight years, is an administrator, merely a cog, and he has a private life before his term, and returns to private life after. The Queen of England is a sacramental minister of powers both secular and spiritual, and her royal person is itself the sovereign, the mystical embodiment of the Empire. The modern triumph of the Parliament to arrogate all the sovereign power to itself, and reduce the monarchy to a figurehead, is a successful attempt to force ancient and customary institutions into the modern machine-like mode of operation.

Virtue and the Machine

Only Conservative writers, and not all of them, concern themselves with the Aristotelian notion that the state has a duty to instill and encourage virtue in her citizens and subjects.

For everyone else, the state is imagined to be a machine to keep the peace and to protect the Rights of Man.

If the machine keeps the peace and enforces contracts and nothing else, then the state fits the Libertarian notion of the role of the state.

If the machine keeps the peace and also rectifies the excesses of the free market, establishes fair housing and working conditions, rewrites contracts, controls the money supply, sets interest rates, uplifts the poor, prohibits race-hatred and ungoodthink, kills unborn children on demand at taxpayer expense, provides stipends for food and housing and education and medical care from womb to tomb, and moreover establishes recycling, prevents global warming, halts the rise of the sea levels, pets the polar bears, kisses your skinned knee when you fall, and tucks you into bed with a goodnight lullaby because the state is your Mommy and she loves you; but she leaves you free to get high on Friday , drunk on Saturday, blaspheme on Sunday, and sleep with whores on Monday, catamites on Tuesday, and masturbate over internet Porn on Wednesday, while providing taxpayer-funded therapy for your emotional problems on Thursday, then the state fits the moderate Leftist notion of the role of the state.

If the machine does all this but forbids the whoring and drinking and porning, and demands expressions of loyalty to the Dear Leader, it fits the radical Leftist notion of the role of the state.

In all three views, even in the totalitarianism of the radical Leftist view, the state is imagined to be a mechanism for securing the Rights of Man, and freedom imagined to be the ability to do whatsoever one wills or wishes to do without coercion. The idiocy of the Leftist view is merely adding, as “rights” whatever real or imaginary or impossible good things Caesar can promise to the proletarians and intellectuals, from good wages to good health to good weather.

Even when the idiots are fully and completely devoted to indoctrinating, conditioning, and enforcing standards of thought, outlook, and behavior on the subjects (or, rather, the patients) of the modern Bureaucratic state, the rhetoric continues to be firmly within the framework of the mechanical view of the role of the state. It is a matter of the rights of the minorities that no one shall disparage them or commit speech-crimes or be insensitive. The rhetoric never says plainly that the state has the right to use the power and terror of the sword to enforce virtue among her subjects, particularly the virtues of toleration of the stranger, charity toward the poor, and prudent stewardship toward the natural environment . This is because Leftist theory says that state has no authority to teach and enforce virtues (indeed, that word is rarely, if ever repeated among them: they prefer the relativistic, bland, and meaningless term “value.”)  But that the Left seeks to use the coercive power of the state, especially state-funded education, to indoctrinate and enforce the virtues of toleration, charity, and prudence is obvious.

They merely cannot admit that is what they are doing because their theory forbids it. The state cannot enforce morality, ergo crudity, profanity and blasphemy must be permitted, nay, encouraged. But the state can regulate speech codes to eliminate hate-speech.

A conservative, by contrast, has no problem saying the state has the authority and the obligation to teach men to be chaste, and to enforce marriage oaths with the power of the sword and the hangman, to forbid drunkenness, gambling, and harlotry on the grounds that those things are vices: and he shows no shame for so admitting, because his theory and practice agree.

But in so doing, the conservative, whether he know it or not, departs from the modern mechanical view of the role of the state and adopts a more antique sacramental view, as if the King is an anointed manservant of God, a shepherd sent to minister to his people and to His people; or perhaps he adopts an ancient view, as if the King is a philosopher wise to instruct us.

Logic and Tactics

The engineering approach to life is based on the assumption that the problem to be solved is inanimate, or, at least, not deliberately obstreperous.

When the Wright Brothers set about to create the flying machine, it was the nature of the motion of wind across a curved surface, the Bernoulli principle,  which enabled them to overcome the obstacles created by the relation of the mass and drag versus the lift and thrust. The wind was not out to defeat or frustrate their purposes. The air did not suddenly change its behavior in order to hinder or nullify their solution. It was an engineering problem.

On the other hand, when Odysseus set about to solve the problem of breaking the walls of Troy, he convinced Agamemnon to lift the siege and  withdraw the troops, and to hide a small rather than a large group of hoplites in a cramped hidden chamber in the Trojan Horse. Outnumbered, with bad ventilation, surrounded by enemies, and unable to see out or stand up, from an engineering point of view, the attack into Troy was illogical. It was the worst possible way to take the city.

But the military science is not like engineering. Odysseus withdrew the strong forces besieging the city to allow the weaker force to be left behind. The Trojans quite logically rejoiced at the retreat of the stronger force, and they suspected nor countered the weaker force hidden in the hollow horse.

An engineer, confronted by two roads leading to the battlefront, a large and easy highway and a crooked and cramped goat-path, would of course seek the easier and more elegant solution, and send his troops down the highway. But, of course, the enemy, anticipating this and seeking to frustrate the tactic, would place more defense on the highway, and dig in there. The goat-path would be little defended or undefended.

The tactician, unlike the engineer, has to take into account the perversity and malice of the enemy, who actively seeks to frustrate his design. He might well send the main troops down the goat-path, even if that is the poorer road, because he expects the weak spot in the enemy defense to be there, and breach it. If course, the enemy, knowing this and seeking to frustrate him in turn, might well put his main defenses on the goat-path and dig in there. And if he knows this in turn, he will send the troops down the highway, since the expected tactic would then be the most unexpected.

The almost comedic situation where one knows his foe knows what he expects the other to do, and so will do the opposite, and meanwhile the other, knowing he knows, will do the opposite of the opposite, and so on ad infinitum, would be unheard of in engineering. The factors of air pressure and lift and drag and thrust and mass and so on are inert. Inanimate objects (despite that it betimes seems otherwise) do not scheme for human downfall.

But this situation is commonplace in tactics, where it is not so comedic. By the very nature of the contest of war, each party is dealing with partial information, misinformation, and a deliberate and desperate attempt by each party to frustrate the design of the other.  Hence Churchill allows the bombing of Coventry to prevent the Nazis from learning that the Enigma Code was broken; or, in the example above, Ulysses convinces Agamemnon to lift rather than redouble the siege.

An engineering solution that is a good or workable solution is always going to be good and workable. The same logic will operate in the same way yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Had Leonardo DiVinci, or Simon the Magician, attempted the Wright Brother’s solution for his imaginary flying machine, the Bernoulli principle would have been just as obliging to him as to the Wrights.

In contrast, the Trojan Horse tactic is unlikely to work twice in the same way, because the enemy, deliberately trying to frustrate the Ulyssean design, will install metal detectors to scan all Greeks bearing gifts, or at least allow Laocoön to poke through the sides of the ambuscade with a spear, and wait to heed if anyone yelps.

Elected and Appointed

The approach to political economics and constitutional principles becomes quite different, and somewhat more fluid and un-straightforward, if constitutional law is regarded as a tactical solution to a present problem rather than an engineering solution to an eternal problem.

For example, which is better: that judges should be appointed for life by the executive, or should be elective for fixed terms of office by the public? Different states in the Union answer this question differently. I submit that the answer cannot be assessed beforehand, and cannot be deduced from first principles.

The answer depends on which point of the wall the enemy has selected for his attack. In this case, the enemy is the corruption of the Leviathan.

If prudence suggests that the judiciary’s fairness and objectivity has been compromised by too service a dependence on popular opinion, having the executive appoint the judge for life during  good behavior removes the incentive for the judge to placate the popular will.  An independent judiciary serves as a tactic to avoid the danger of judges going along with the common will.

On the other hand, if prudence suggests that a greater danger comes from activist judges who defy the common sense and traditional mores of the public, and if therefore the judiciary’s fairness and objectivity has been compromised by too much independence from the popular will, having the judge serve fixed terms before standing for reelection removes the incentive to defy the common will.  An dependent judiciary serves as a tactic to avoid the danger of activist judges defying the common will.

And, more significantly, if the general culture successfully obliterates the notion of objectivity, neither tactic will preserve the judiciary from corruption, nor the whole of the people.

For another example, consider impeachment. If the authority of the Senate to Impeach the President is used frequently, and merely in retaliation for factional differences, the tactic has failed, and the danger of the legislative overruling and over-influencing the executive would be paramount. On the other hand, if the power is used so infrequently that the President, no matter his personal or public wrongdoing need never fear the Senate, it is no longer a check on his power or on the abuse of his power, and, again, the tactic has failed.

Likewise with all constitutional mechanisms meant to prevent corruption, including voting itself.

One of the several purposes of electing leaders is as a tactic to diminish the incentive to armed revolution: the revolutionaries facing a popularly elected leader always face someone whom the majority supports, and presumably to the point of taking up arms in his defense. Of course, in nation-states where the general public is unarmed, the tactic is useless, and voting no longer serves as a deterrent to armed rebellion. In unarmed republics, the mere numbers of the majority form no credible threat.

But even the franchise of voting is still a tactic.

The Roman Empire “elected” (sort of) its Imperator, by the acclamation of the veterans and praetorians. This meant that any man, including barbarians with no drop of Roman blood in them, as Maximin the Thracian, could answer the siren’s song of ambition, and be elevated to the purple. This meant that prudent Emperors must regard every living man as a potential rival, potential usurper, and a potential threat.

The concept, which we Americans find risible, of eldest sons inheriting their father’s thrones, so that we are treated to scenes of barons and bishops  bowing to ermine-wrapped cradles or teenagers on thrones and avowing them their sovereign lord, makes more sense if we realize what danger the rule of primogeniture  was meant to obviate. By making all persons, from Dukes to Maximin the Thracian, illegitimate successors, the ambition of Dukes and Thracians was checked.

In theory, the crown-prince need only fear the members of his royal family, because the ambitions of a private citizen or commoner like Herr Schickelgruber or Gospodin Dzhugashvili or Signore Mussolini were in vain: such men, no matter their talent, ruthlessness, or popularity, cannot wear the crown absent a general uprising and a change of dynasty or a change of settled constitution.

Grotesque as we Americans find the idea of passing along the sovereignty as one might pass a private inheritance, from the tactical point of view, it is meant to discourage the rise of a Napoleon. In the same way a fortress wall does not stop all assaults, it does deter assaults by raising the price (in terms of losses of men) needed to take the prize, so too does a settled rule of primogeniture act as a deterrent to the Napoleonic ambition.

Historically speaking, like any tactic in a battle, sometimes it works, and sometimes not.  The formality of the constitution may or may not reflect the reality of power. Mussolini did not assume the crown of King Victor Emmanuel III any more than Tojo sat on the Chrysanthemum Throne.

But the failure of any one tactic does not mean that the opposite tactic, meant to stop an assault from an opposite point on the battlefield, will be any more successful. The institution of voting did not prevent the downfall of Socrates nor the rise of Caesar.

The Enemy Attacks the Breach

Much of the debate surrounding the current state of the West, and how, if at all, the rate at which the decline is accelerating might be slowed, takes on a different hue if viewed as tacticians discussing a losing battle rather than as engineers discussing a machine as it overheats and breaks down.

The main change in emphasis is to regard the corruption as the result of deliberate attempts to destroy the civilization. If the corruption is regarded as merely an natural process like tooth decay, the odd coincidences and odder alliances of forces ranged against the West become inexplicable. Why, for example, would hedonistic pro-porn pro-homosexual Leftists, who make a fetish of free speech and the abolition of all images faintly religious from public life, make a common cause with the Jihad, who routinely mutilate, beat, and kill disobedient females, torture and kill sodomites, and enforce an established religion, if not a theocracy, with draconian severity? The two would seem to be opposite.

This and other paradoxes can be better understood once understood as an attack. The enemy does not attack where the wall is strongest, but only where the wall is breached.  In the modern West the weakest spot is our wholesale renunciation of chastity and self-control in favor of the sexual revolution, the wholesale degradation of women, hatred of motherhood, atomization of the family, and glorification of sexual self indulgence so that any sexual excess, provided only that it is sexual in nature, even perversion, is held sacrosanct.

Only because sexual unchastity is sacred in our culture is abortion protected jealously as a sacred right: killing babies is used as a backup birth control. This absurdity and abomination could not be possible except in a culture where the false-to-facts notion that sexual reproduction is for self-gratification and not for sexual reproduction obtains.

As in a chess fork, when a move that forces you between losing your castle or your bishop, the most effective attacks are one which exploit a paradox or contradiction in the culture.

For example, the First Amendment, which forbids the establishment of religion, was a winning, even a brilliant tactic designed to bring peace between the conflicts between Protestant and Catholic that had broken the back of Christendom in hundreds of years of wars and insurrections. It was so successful that it carried the day: despite the comically exaggerated rhetoric of the atheist Left, no faction in the West seeks the establishment of religion. In America, Catholic and Protestant live in peace, and are far more likely to come into conflict with atheists than with each other.

But this tactic cannot operate, and was never meant to operate, against the brotherhood of Muslim states seeking to impose Sharia law, both by legal means, and by terror, and by war. Because their totalitarian political faction is one and the same with their religious body, the perceptions and laws of the West have no way to categorize it. In a way, the Western powers cannot even see the threat, or name the name of the war we are in.

For example, when the Jihad commits an act of war on American soil, the West could not imagine declaring war in retaliation, because the Jihad is not one specific nation state with the trappings and accoutrements of a nation state. It was seriously argued that no war could be waged because the enemy was decentralized, like a confederacy of pirates, and did not march under a single banner.

Another example is that since the Jihad combines religious practice into their totalitarian political party, the laws of the West, designed to allow Catholic and Protestant to live in peace together,  are required to regard the Jihad as if it is merely one more denomination of a privately practiced religious faith, and not a vehicle for spreading, recruiting, arming and equipping the troops who mean to impose  Sharia law on their enemies. Witness both the rancor and the absurdity of the debate surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque. Our First Amendment prevents us from taking the militarily prudent step of forbidding propaganda victories to enemies in time of war. Our Leftist culture prevents us from declaring war, or naming the enemy by his name, or protecting ourselves from Jihadists in our midst, lest we be accused of “racism” that one accusation that merely being uttered automatically condemns without hearing, without evidence, without sense.

The situation is a chess fork. Either we lose the bishop of our sacred protections from state interference in Church matters, or we lose the castle of our ability to fend off the enemy and prevent his recruiting efforts.

But the folly surrounding our war efforts is a product, not a cause, of cultural decay. The causes are many, because the attacks are many, and coming from many directions, wherever we are weakest.

Our unparalleled advances in the physical sciences have made us unwilling and unable to think logically about the metaphysical and logical underpinnings both of those sciences, and of ethics, economics, politics, and aesthetics.

The inability to think logically about aesthetics allows for the complete destruction of the concept of the fair and noble and beautiful among the fine arts: all are devoted to the most monstrous ugliness imaginable.

The inability to think logically about politics leads to a renunciation of the Enlightenment doctrines of limited government: all Europe is now merely a bureaucracy, run by the bureaucracy for the sake of the bureaucracy, and the change of governments during elections has no effect on business as usual.

The inability to think logically about economics leads to socialism, and even the breakup of the Soviet Union is insufficient to diminish the popularity of Castro-like schemes to socialize medicine.

The inability to think logically about ethics leads to absurdities like zero-tolerance policies in the midst of the most permissive society in history. We seriously debate issues like allowing two men to “marry,” we forbid both parents physically to discipline children and teachers from disciplining the child in any way, we flood porn into every crevice of society, we exact no legal penalty nor even social stigma for fornication and adultery, and then we also suspend small children from school for drawing pictures of guns, or bringing in a knife to cut a pie.

The inability to think logically about ethics leads to absurdities like Freud being taken seriously, so that “repression” of impulses is defined as a problem, while self indulgence is defined as a healthy condition. Even preachers no longer preach about sin very much. The central fact of human existence, the fact that we are fallen beings, has been obliterated from view by a shallow cult of self-help. Instead of seeking confession and penance for sin, the only sane and rational way to deal with it, our culture preaches and teaches that when we sin, we should lower our standards and feel good about ourselves, lowering and lowering until such time as we are comfortable with ourselves, no matter what our sins might be: and even to speak of sin is judgmental and unfashionable, and may be subject to criminal penalties as “hate-speech.”

Examples could be multiplied endlessly. The main point can be stated simply: in the discussion of how to slow the rate of acceleration of the decay of Western society, one is to keep in mind that our laws, customs, and institutions, are directed as a means to an end. Even if the end, to secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty and the fruits of our labor, is sacred, the means are not.

If history is regarded as a war rather than a natural process, this means that any autopsy is premature. Reversals of fortune in war are notorious.

It also means we need to keep the current dangers in mind, and no longer be afraid of dangers no longer impending.

It also means the future is uncertain. The Victorian notion that some invisible force of the Goddess History led mankind upward and ever upward with the persistence of an hourglass falling in reverse can be, with unkind laughter, retired to the wastebin of stupid notions. Nothing in the nature of the war we call history presages victory for the forces of Christendom and civilization, nor that the wealth and knowledge and splendor of civilization will endure. The near future may belong to the Chinese, and the far future to the Jihad.

The supernatural view of history, which is the view that history is a book written by God, with a beginning, middle, and an end, is by its nature tactical rather than mechanical, because it presupposes a plotline, a conflict between darkness and light, the culture of death and the forces of salvation. The central clash in history is not a mere mechanism acting out economic class conflicts caused by changes in the means of production: it is a war.

The supernatural view says the evil of history is directed for a tactical purpose by an intelligence: by principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places.

The test of any model is its coherence and explanatory power. The Marxist and Hegelian model explanaing history as an unfolding the inhuman and unintentional economic forces has, to date, never made one accurate prediction of the future nor, to date, offered even one coherent explanation to illuminate events past. As a scientific model it ranks below Phlogeston and hangs somewhere in the realm of the type of things telephone psychics say to explain away their missed guesses and to change the topic.

The supernatural model explains certain things that otherwise are mysterious, such as the downfall of the Soviet Union without a shot being fired; the success of the American Revolution despite the odds against it; the sucess of the Battle of Lepanto; the survival of the Jews as a coherent people, despite that all their old foes and contemporaries, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites, vanished before the onset of the Iron Age and despite the persecutions of all their new foes, the UN, the Socialists, Communists and Nazis, the Mohammedans and Christians, and Pagans before them for all of recorded time: and it explains the severity and hellish bloodthirstiness of the hatred directed against the Chosen People, which otherwise must baffle any student of history or student of psychology.