By Jerry Jewett

August 27, 2022

I have always been a curious sprite, posing “Why?” queries in many dimensions. Some of those questions were in science, history, economics, and the like, but the greater bulk were regarding moral philosophy, ethics, social order, and such as that.

Well, there’s no end to learning, we can reckon on that: Death just transfers learning to another dimension. I have kept wondering about a great many things for a good long time, and although I get tired and frustrated in the search, I never really stopped looking.

Finishing Servando Gonzalez’s brave book, Psychological Warfare and the New World Order [1] was an important milepost. He connects all the dots and does so with a smooth curve, too! As with most books, I take most of it at face value, but I pursue Footnotes and End Notes with a vengeance, when my curiosity has been sufficiently piqued.

E.g., in Brad Linaweaver’s Moon of Ice, [disclosure: Brad was a big Anarcho/Libertarian influence for 25 years and a close friend] his references to Lawrence Dennis and Dennis’s compact history of American bellicosity and outbursts of wars since the Revolution spurred me to order and read the Dennis book The Dynamics of War and Revolution. There I found the complete list up through 1934.

Thus, when I found, in Servando’s book, a more complete listing up through the 1980s, I was not aghast at the idea that the American State has sent killing teams to places where East Coast Bankers, Big Oil, “Old Money,” and some other major Internationalists have large investments at risk of “the natives.”

Thoreau, A.J. Nock, Oswald Spengler, A.H.S. Korzybski, Jacques Ellul, Hannah Arendt, Norbert Wiener, Butler Shaffer, Brad Linaweaver, Servando Gonzalez; many have given me clues and insights, enough to knit together a working understanding of some things. I am grateful. I claim no originality. I sort and compile.

Let us recall some of the watershed divisions between Progressives and what for lack of a better term we may as well dub Conservatives. Progressives tend to be overwhelmingly Secular and also to think that the Nature of Man is good, only tainted by bad environment (smell the dualism, the Gnostic perspectives, the Manichean heresy there?). American Conservatives tend to be at least marginally religious, often of a Christian bent, and however feebly they “get it,” they know there is Original Sin.

Friedrich Nietzsche [hereinafter F.N.] may have been the best-publicized foreteller of the Death of God, though Nietzsche is dead and God is alive. But the work of F.N. with his Nihilistic, hubris-laden philosophy, has colored the views of the West, even if just tangentially, for the last 125 years or so. People who bought the God is Dead dogma also saw fit to cast aside Christianity (especially Christianity) and the mellowing influence of two millennia of Christian teachings and practice. Can we say you cannot cast stones at The Tao without bruising Christianity?

Another tenet of fanaticism and folly is F.N.’s “the Will to Power.” This was no new thing. The Bible features histories and legends of people whose Will to Power drove them to hideous conduct and heinous outcomes. Herod’s slaughter of the newborns (Mt. 2:16) is but one example among very many throughout The Bible. Indeed, Satan’s fall from Heaven stemmed from his Will to Power, to make himself equal to God.

Much of the history of the ancient world, and the world at large, is filled with accounts of tyrants trying to exact worship from those about them, wreaking havoc on those who would not do so.

The point is, F.N. sort of elevated the Will to Power and formally identified it as the thing it is, namely, an urge for broad and unmerited control over others for any end, however vain or evil, “just because I want to.” Really.

Because he is such an aberration and such a loathsome character, my awareness of F.N. is marginal at best. I have never read more than some selected quotes of his. I understand there are two schools of thought about F.N., one holding him in some regard as a prescient genius and sort of a prophet, the other recognizing him as a talented but evil mad man.

European social critic of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries Max Nordau showed a profound detestation for F.N. and his teachings. In fact, Nordau said,

“Mystics, but especially ego-maniacs and filthy pseudo-realists, are enemies to society of the direst kind. Society must unconditionally defend itself against them. Whoever believes with me that society is the natural organic form of humanity, in which alone it can exist, prosper, and continue to develop itself to higher destinies; whoever looks upon civilization as a good, having value and deserving to be defended, must mercilessly crush under his thumb the anti-social vermin. To him who, with Nietzsche, is enthusiastic over the ‘freely-roving, lusting beast of prey,’ we cry, ‘Get you gone from civilization! Rove far from us! Be a lusting beast of prey in the desert! Satisfy yourself! Level your roads, build your huts, clothe and feed yourself as you can!

Our streets and our houses are not built for you; our looms have no stuffs for you; our fields are not tilled for you.  All our labour is performed by men who esteem each other, have consideration for each other, mutually aid each other, and know how to curb their selfishness for the general good. There is no place among us for the lusting beast of prey; and if you dare return to us, we will pitilessly beat you to death with clubs.”[2]

Nothing too mild or conciliatory there, is there? I admire Nordau for his energy in stating his opposition. At core, of course, though not literally named, is, I think, the Will to Power. For those outside The Tao, that hubristic lure to Power must be great. In fact, for those who consider themselves divine or otherwise exalted, Power must seem a necessary accoutrement, to be had at any cost.

Now this is much more than I think of F.N. in any given week, or even month, but in the first week of July, 2022, I found a passage from an address given by Fr. Ivor Kraft to a church in Fort Worth, Texas.[3]  My Church does not subscribe to this periodical, and we are not in communion with the Anglican Church of North America [ACNA], whose periodical this is. But we get it. I asked my Bishop about the ACNA, which he told me to be wary of, so I am.

Even so, however, I once in a while find in the pages of this periodical something of durable value. Such was my recent experience. I read Fr. Kraft’s article, “Barbarians Within the Gates,” with rapt attention.

Fr. Kraft refers to such things as making women priests, same-sex marriage, and abortion, as “expressions of the anti-culture which denies all sacred order and of necessity exults in the will to power, which is all that’s left when men divinize themselves. Nothing so clearly symbolizes this will to power as the so-called ‘transgender’ which is why the anti-culture is so violently committed to imposing ‘transgenderism’ on everyone everywhere.” Pg. 15. [emphasis added]

This is the first time I have had a clue about the Transgender Movement. And it is more than a clue, it is the key.

In George Orwell’s 1984, the Inner Party inquisitor demands that protagonist Winston Smith prove his allegiance to Inner Party doctrine by demanding that Winston acknowledge seeing five fingers, instead of the four being held up. The parallelism with the Transgender movement is obvious: absolute denial of facts coupled with the demand to affirm blatant fictions. Only someone in a dominant position of superior power could make such demands.

A disquisition on power, the limits of power, the abuses of power, checks and balances to prevent the consolidation of Absolute Power, etc., exceeds the scope of this essay. A few passing comments must suffice.

In 2014, libertarian attorney James Ostrowski wrote, “Evil sorts will tend to gravitate to arbitrary power since arbitrary power is intrinsically evil. Good people will shy away precisely because they are good and have no use for arbitrary power.”[4]

What more is there to be said about Power?

In an April 5,1887 letter from Baron Acton to Bishop Creighton, Acton wrote:

“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. [comment: absolute immunity is the greatest corrupter of all] Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position, like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the gaoler to murder Mary, and William III ordered his Scots minister to extirpate a clan. Here are the greater names coupled with the greater crimes. You would spare these criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them, higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice; still more, still higher, for the sake of historical science.” [5]

Seeking and acquiring power over others for any sake is a questionable proposition in the first instance. And if the power is of an executive, judicial, administrative or legislative nature, the Power of Law, with a supposedly inherent legitimate privilege to initiate force and violence, what then? Who decides? By what criteria?

“[T]he essential premise [of institutionalism, which is that condition which obtains ‘When the preservation of the organization becomes more important than the informal and spontaneous practices that created it,’ p. 11] is that the self-interests of some are to have priority over the interests of others, and that restrictions upon the activities of the latter [regulations and laws] may be justified by the presumed superiority of purpose of the former.”[6] What could be a more clear shot across the bows of Progressivism, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the Federal State of which Lincoln is the godfather, these insidious agents of Chaos?

Turning away from the general to the specific, what is up with this Transgender thing, taking a long view? Some people seek “the Upper Hand.” In families, in schools, in corporations, in churches, anywhere people gather, the Will to Power and the desire to Have the Upper Hand raise their ugly heads.

Who can doubt it? What can be seen in Life? Is it not so?

For me, this recognition of The Transgender Movement as a free-wheeling and energetic exercise of The Will to Power on a huge scale comes as a near-complete surprise. It is that big a deal and no laughing matter to anyone who still thinks clearly. Do we resist Evil as we call a spade a spade, or do we respect the feelings of others so much we subscribe to lies about them, including lying to ourselves?

I recognized The Transgender Movement as something based on flashy abuse of language and the enshrining of “Feeling” above all else, early on. But I did not see the “Movement potential” that it carries, until I saw and was able to apply Fr. Kraft’s insights.

Now, my disregard for The Transgender Movement is more vehement than it was before. These times are worse than when Hunter S. Thompson cried “the pigs are in the tunnel,” for The Barbarians run the Big Table, setting snares and digging pitfalls.

Some pretty intense, principled, and long-term resistance is needed. My energy and focus won’t last forever. But while they do, I mean to pray this prayer and live by its intentions:

ALMIGHTY God, who hast created man in thine own image; Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil, and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice among men and nations, to the glory of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 1928 BCP, p. 44. [emphasis added]

And why will I pray this? Eph. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” KJV  That would be very great wickedness in quite high places.

And comes then the considered Afterthought, not by way of limitation but by way of illustration.

From an Acton Institute imprint,[7] we get this: “Political problems are preeminently moral problems, according to Lewis, and technocrats are not equipped to function as moralists. ‘I dread specialists in power,’ he said, ’because they are specialists speaking outside their special subject. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good of man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man’s opinion no added value.’” Pg. 10.

[Bio: Prior publications of Jerry Jewett were in Mondo Cult magazine, The Heinlein Journal, The Lamp-Post of the Southern California C.S. Lewis Society, and Prometheus (The Newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society). In summary: popular culture, Christian and libertarian publications. Certificate in Theology and Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ

Informal Education following graduation from Business School consisting of thousands of pages of reading in political philosophy, jurisprudence, Austrian economics, Christian theology and moral reasoning, history, comparative law, private social ordering, natural law, and such one-off writers as Spengler, Korzybski, Lawrence Dennis, and similar outliers.]

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  1. Spooks Books, Oakland, 2010.
  2. Degeneration Translated from the Second edition of the German Work With an Introduction by George L. Morse, published by Howard Fertig, New York, 1968 first published in English in 1895; 557 [emphasis added]
  3. It was published in full in Forward in Christ, The Magazine of Forward in Faith North America, Vol. 14 No. 3, March-April 2022.
  4. Progressivism A Primer on the Idea Destroying America, Cazenovia Books, Buffalo, NY 2014, p. 165. [emphasis in original]
  5. Quoted from The Online Library of the Liberty Fund Network, emphasis added.
  6. Butler Shaffer, Boundaries of Order, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL 2009, Pg. 63.
  7. Public Life in the Shadowlands What C.S. Lewis Can Teach Us About Politics, John G. West, Jr., Acton Institute, Grand Rapids, MI 1998.
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