Author Archives: wayneallensworth

The Old Desperado is Gone: Jerry Jeff Walker, RIP

BY Wayne Allensworth

The old desperado is gone. Jerry Jeff Walker, suffering from throat cancer, passed away on October 23 at age 78.  We won’t see his like again.

Walker, or just plain “Jerry Jeff” to his many fans, was a folk singer who honed his craft in Greenwich Village in the 60s and wrote perhaps his best known song, Mr. Bojangles, after spending a night in a New Orleans drunk tank. The song was covered by a number of performers, including Bob Dylan, and helped launch Jerry Jeff’s career. 

That song also displayed some characteristics that marked a number of other tunes he recorded during a career that lasted more than 50 years—a poignant sense of the transitory nature of our lives mixed with a joy for living that was second to none.

Nobody could say Jerry Jeff didn’t like to have a good time.  That winsome grin of his told stories of its own. 

He made his big personal and professional move when he came to Austin in 1971. He was certainly the only New York import I can think of that Texans of the time actually approved of.

It was a time of musical ferment.  Willie Nelson left Nashville to make music his way in Austin, and the wave of musicians who landed on the banks of the Colorado in the Texas state capital created something new, something that came to be called “outlaw country.”  It was raw and fresh, a sound created far from the corporate board rooms of the music business, distant from the heavy orchestration of what had been called “the Nashville sound.” 

People like Jerry Jeff, Waylon Jennings, Nelson, and many others revitalized country music.  Call it “outlaw” music or “progressive country,” or “Texas music,” or what have you, it was authentic, and it was American.

No less an authority than Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson, who was very much a part of the 70’s Austin music scene, has said that Jerry Jeff was, apart from Willie Nelson, “the most important musician” in town at the time. He not only wrote his own songs, he popularized the work of other important songwriters like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Michael Martin Murphey, and Guy Clark.

Jerry Jeff’s smoky, boozy voice belted out rollicking favorites like Ray Wiley Hubbard’s Up against the Wall, Redneck Mother, cracked during soaring runs in his great good time anthem Sangria Wine, and whispered to us of the fleeting nature of our lives in songs like Guy Clark’s Desperados Waiting for a Train and his own powerful composition, Wheel, inspired by the scene of an accident that killed Jerry Jeff’s grandfather when he was a boy of 15.  Gary P. Nunn’s London Homesick Blues became the tune all of us young Texans in that era had running in our heads when we were far from home:

I wanna go home with the armadillo

Good country music from Amarillo and Abilene

The friendliest people and the prettiest women

You’ve ever seen

Backed up by his Lost Gonzo Band, of which Nunn was a member, Jerry Jeff’s signature album was 1973’s ¡Viva Terlingua! (All of the songs mentioned in the previous paragraph are on that album.)Recorded live in Luckenbach, Texas, the album covered everything that Jerry Jeff and his band had to offer.  Light-hearted, whimsical joy, lamentations, and wistful memories.  All of it was on that record (You can listen to the album here).  One minute, you might think Walker and his band were too loaded to go on, and the next Jerry Jeff spoke softly to us like a Hill Country bard.

A particular favorite of mine is Jerry Jeff’s rendition of Desperados Waiting for a Train.  The song begins with a fiddle playing Red River Valley.  As is so often the case in country music, Desperados is a story song, the story of boy and his relationship with an old man, a man the boy sees as “one of the heroes of this country,” a man who teaches the boy about life and death.

The man ages and fades as the boy grows up, the two of them waiting for the train they know must come someday for the old man and for us all:  

A day before he died, I went to see him
I was grown and he was almost gone
So we just closed our eyes and dreamed us up a kitchen
And sang another verse to that old song
“Yeah, Jack, you know that son of a bitch is comin’ “

Like desperados waitin’ for a train
Like desperados waitin’ for a train

There is so much more I could say about Jerry Jeff, so many more songs worth mentioning. They are all out there, waiting for a new audience. 

He was a hard living, wild and wooly original.  Ray Wiley Hubbard once told his friend, “I never thought I’d live long enough to see you live this long.”  But now, the old desperado is leavin’ Texas for the last time.

We’ll miss you, Jerry Jeff.  The train has come and gone.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

Jerry Jeff and the Lost Gonzo Band perform Desperados Waiting for a Train:

A Terror of Living

By Wayne Allensworth

The sprawl of the DFW “Metroplex” sometimes takes on the aspect of a vast concrete hive, the intricate, winding curves of interlocking freeways like tunnels channeling the inhabitants of that supersized apiary to their various destinations.  Gray office buildings seem to fly by, their long rows of standardized window panes signifying the locus of cells for drones who sit in cubicles staring at screens, wondering where their lives have gone. 

A society that truly has atomized.  The normless state of anomie.

Is this all there is?  Is this what we wanted? 

The things one thinks of when driving to a funeral.

The deceased, we’ll call her “Mrs. B,” had attended our church regularly until her condition deteriorated to the point that she became what used to be called a “shut in.”  Then came the corona virus scare.  And the elderly Mrs. B was left alone in terrible isolation, buried in a tiny “assisted living” apartment by a cruel “lockdown.”  

Mrs. A, a kind-hearted woman who had taken it upon herself to aid the old people of our congregation, would sometimes stand outside the widowed Mrs. B’s window.  She would tap on it, attempting to speak through the glass while Mrs. B, confined to wheelchair, strained to hear her voice.

I couldn’t help but think that there had to be some better way to manage the wellbeing of such as Mrs. B, the dangers the corona virus presented to people like her notwithstanding.

My own elderly father has simply ignored the virus, saying he’d take his chances and see his grandchildren and great grandchildren as often as he could.  What would his life be without their tender presence?   A little ray of light since my mother passed on over five years ago. 

But I digress.

Before the lockdown, Mrs. B, a reader of Chronicles magazine, a publication that I have been associated with for nearly thirty years, had enjoyed my weekly visits.  Our discussions concerned what had appeared in the magazine, the writers, society and culture, religion, and history, personal and otherwise, subjects that appealed to a literate and thoughtful person.

I had enjoyed our time together, and for just a little while, before Mrs. B tired, she would seem to light up, to become animated and lively.   

Now I have a box of books to remember her by. The books seem like a collective talisman, something connecting the possessor to a wonderous world that is fading quickly in a post-literate age.  

Sifting through the volumes, I find Dostoevsky’s The Possessed (I think I see them all around nowadays), Jean Raspail’s prophetic The Camp of the Saints, Robert Nisbet’sseminal The Quest for Community, and, to my mind, a most poignant volume entitled “Image of America: Early Photography: 1836-1900.” 

In that volume, I see the images of our ancestors, unsmiling and serious, jubilant, and weary, but so alive.  Gold seekers on the Yukon trail in Alaska.  A group of survivors of an Indian massacre.  A Virginia county fair.  Scenes from the Colorado River. 

It seems to me that is not only an inordinate fear of death that has drained the vitality of secularized post-modern people, but a terror of living.  A terror fed by the utopian notion that we must seek to stamp out every bit of perceived risk around us, making a complete, fulfilling life impossible.

I see the flags ahead. 

Mrs. B’s mortal remains are to be interred at the DFW National Cemetery, alongside those of her husband. 

The cemetery is rows and rows of simple markers for ordinary Americans.  I stop and look down at a marker for a navy veteran, a marker that matches all the others, telling of a branch of service, the conflict that particular veteran had served in, the dates of birth and death.  Perhaps a brief sentiment.  The marker I focus on reads “Loving Son.”

The day is overcast, the crowd quite small. 

The group quietly arranges itself around the pavilion.  Our Pastor reads a brief graveside service, and somewhere during our transition from the Lord’s Prayer to the warm, effecting lyrics of Abide in Me, the sun breaks through the clouds and I feel its heat on my black coat.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;

The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,

Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Driving home, the clouds clear off entirely, and the gray drabness of the concrete landscape dissipates.  On an overpass ahead, I see a banner hanging from the rail.

It reads:  Jesus or Hell.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

An Anti-Trump Coup Could Backfire


The Soviet State Committee on the State of Emergency, August, 1991

The period directly following election day in November may be a moment of truth for all of us. As our own country seems headed for a political crisis, with the enemies of deplorable America making noises suggesting they are planning a post-election move against Trump, the failed Soviet coup of 1991, and the collapse that it spurred on, might be instructive. 

The key point in the events of August of that year in Moscow came when Soviet military and security units refused to move against Boris Yeltsin and the defenders of the Russian “White House.”  Could something like that happen here, with Trump playing the Yeltsin role?

Election day chaos ahead

What yours truly has dubbed the globalist Blob has been signaling for some time that it has no intention of yielding to Trump come election day.  Hillary Clinton, in her guise as the post-American Madam Defarge of the present cultural revolution, has even stated publicly that Joe Biden should not concede the election to Trump “under any circumstances.”

Meanwhile, the Democrats, with help from the Never Trumpers, have been “wargaming” scenarios for preventing Trump from taking office should he win in November, developing a plan for what Trump has correctly described as “an insurrection.” The plan is to claim that Trump has stolen, or attempted to steal, the election.  “As far as our enemies are concerned,” as I wrote here last month, “they are on the right side of history, and neither election law nor the Constitution or any antiquated notions about fair play will stop them.”  

The mail-in balloting plan plays into the Blob’s wargaming. If the Democrats can’t swing the election their way by hook or crook, then the lengthy process of accounting for all the mail-in ballots could be used as a means to sow confusion and chaos, giving them room to maneuver in the aftermath of election day. 

The Blob’s minions have been signaling their intention to drag out the vote count.  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, for example, declared on “Face the Nation” that her state would not be held to any “artificial deadlines” for reporting election results.  In an example of psychological projection that has become typical for the Democrats, Whitmer further claimed that those who might want to expedite the vote count had “political agendas.”

Meanwhile, the Blob’s militant wing has been circulating a plan for post-election disruption. A leftist group calling itself ShutDownDC plans to prevent a Trump “coup”—more projection there—by shutting down the country and forcing Trump out if the vote is too close to call. The plan calls for “sustained disruptive movements all over the country.”   The militants also state that they intend to demand that “no winner be announced until every vote is counted.”  

ShutDownDC further proclaims that it has no intention of allowing the country to return to normal.  The goal is to “dismantle” what it calls “interlocking systems of oppression.”  This isn’t just about an election—it’s a blueprint for completing the left’s anti-American cultural revolution.

In the chaos that appears increasingly likely after election day, we may not even have a clear idea of what happened and, indeed, that may be part of the Blob’s design.

Could the military be used against Trump?

In a recent segment on “critical race theory” gaining traction at the Pentagon, Tucker Carlson wondered just why the left was so intent on capturing the military. Our answer to that was that the Blob was contemplating the possibility of using the military as part of an attempt to block a second Trump term.

It’s quite clear that the top military brass has been subject to “the Great Awokening” and Trump derangement syndrome as much as the rest of the federal bureaucracy.  The military bureaucracy has steadfastly resisted Trump’s inclination to disengage from foreign interventions.  Moreover, the Pentagon has also resisted Trump’s order to stop indoctrinating its personnel in “critical race theory.” 

In his book Rage, Bob Woodward reports that former Defense Secretary and retired Marine General James Mattis once commented to then Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that “There may come a time when we have to take collective action” against Trump, since Mattis deemed the president “dangerous” and “unfit.”  It’s likely that General Mattis’s view of Trump is widely shared among top level military officers.

So how might the military figure into the Blob’s wargaming plans?  Peter van Buren has contemplated a post-election scenario in which a “temporary” military government might be pitched as the only way to break an electoral deadlock and end post-election disorder.  Van Buren reminded us that Trump’s opponents have never accepted his legitimacy, that  “Russiagate” was good practice for them—good practice for a coup, that is—and that they are gearing up for an all-out effort to dislodge him from the White House.

Van Buren further noted that Joe Biden, who has claimed that it is Trump who “is going to try and steal this election,” has also stated quite plainly that if Trump refuses to leave the White House, he is “absolutely convinced” that the military would “escort him from the White House with great dispatch.” 

It’s worth mentioning that Mr. van Buren is not a Trump supporter, was a career foreign service officer, and is an honest man, an Iraq war whistle blower who wrote an excellent  book on his experiences in that country.  He does not believe that a Pentagon-backed coup is merely “paperback thriller material.”  It’s a plausible scenario. Van Buren, noting the media Narrative that is laying the groundwork for a post-election move against Trump, commented “They’re setting it up, aren’t they?”

Many Republicans might even welcome “our military” riding to the rescue as the country enters a period of political crisis—but just whose rescue would a “woke” military brass have in mind? 

Nevertheless, an attempt to use the military to block Trump’s re-election could result in the  coup plotters stepping into a trap of their own making.  

The failed Soviet coup and its aftermath

A review of the failed 1991 coup attempt in the Soviet Union raises some questions that could be applied here as well. 

On August 18, 1991, with Mikhail Gorbachev preparing to sign a treaty that would have de-centralized the Soviet Union, his political opponents in the Soviet leadership arrested the father of perestroika reforms at his Crimea dacha, proclaiming that the Soviet State Committee on the State of Emergency was in charge. 

The conspiracy against Gorbachev had been organized by KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov, Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov and six other top level political and security officials who were alarmed by Gorbachev’s reforms, reforms which had already loosed centrifugal forces in the USSR that threatened the power of the Communist party and the Soviet apparatus.

Within three days, the coup attempt collapsed.

Boris Yeltsin at the Russian White House, August 19, 1991

The coup failed because of resistance by then Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin and his supporters, and the refusal of elite military and security units to move against them. 

On August 19, Muscovites gathered at the Russian “White House,” the seat of Russia’s parliament in central Moscow, and erected barriers around it.  Boris Yeltsin climbed atop a tank to address the crowd.  Yeltsin condemned the State Emergency Committee as an unlawful gang of coup plotters and called for military and security forces not to support the “gang of eight.”  

Major Sergey Yevdokimov, a battalion commander in the Tamanskaya Division, had already declared his loyalty to Yeltsin (hence the tank on which Yeltsin made his historic stand).  Yevdokimov later said that early on he had decided that he would not fire on any Russian citizens.  As his battalion approached the White House, one of Yeltsin’s supporters climbed on Yevdokimov’s tank and asked him to come over to their side.  The major made his historically significant choice, setting in motion events that would help thwart the coup.

KGB special forces units never appeared at the scene.  When the planned assault on the White House (“Operation Thunder”) failed to materialize after a brief skirmish, it was clear that the coup had failed.  The end result was the collapse of the Communist party and the Soviet administrative apparatus and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

That was a surprise to the majority of Kremlinologists at the time.

Election Day=H-hour?

Of course, the situation in the US military and with Trump is not exactly analogous to that of Yeltsin and the Soviet officers and men who sabotaged the “gang of eight’s” coup plan.

For starters, Trump is operating in a hostile environment (“the Swamp”) dominated and controlled by his enemies.  The generals are not on his side.  It seems unlikely that a large group of citizens from the DC area would quickly materialize to support Trump if some sort of military-backed coup plan unfolded.  It’s possible, however, that Trump may not even be in Washington when a coup plan is set in motion, leaving him an opportunity to do what he does best—hold mass rallies to fire up his support base, most likely in “deplorable” areas of the country.

The deplorables could be galvanized into action if the Blob oversteps after the election.  Both “red” and “blue” areas across the country are effectively separating, threatening secession from the United States, and practicing nullification.  The as yet inchoate Middle American resistance has shown it is capable of fighting back.

We don’t know exactly how the military might be used, but its plausible, as noted above, that general disorder and a deadlock over the elections might act as a cover to deploy military units, then use them as part of a plan to force Trump out.  And that raises the same question Soviet officers and men were faced with in August, 1991: Would the “boots on the ground” obey orders? 

Trump may be despised by top level officers, but my sense is that he is popular with the rank-and-file.  What if a significant number of them refused to obey a clearly illegal order?  It may take only one Major Yevdokimov refusing unlawful orders for the whole plot to unravel.

Neither side appears to be ready to accept the results of the election if it goes against them—the deplorables have good reason to think the Blob will rig or otherwise steal or reverse the election results.  The past four years have already taught them that.  And the Blob’s media arm has been hard at it selling the Narrative of Trump stealing the election. The Democrats’  base appears to be ready and willing to accept drastic measures against Trump and the Middle Americans they loath. 

The potential for a seismic political crisis is clear.

The end of politics and the fate of the American remnant

With perhaps the most pivotal election in American history upon us, the Soviet example shows what can happen. The best-laid plans of coup plotters — in our case, the Democrats, Never Trumpers, and military bureaucrats who suggest they won’t accept a Trump re-election victory — could easily fail without support.

Middle American deplorables and troops in the ranks might not support what the anti-Trump coup contingent is planning.

What we are witnessing is what I’ve called “the end of politics” coming to fruition, as American elections become more like the zero-sum games they are in the undeveloped world. It seems likely that a post-election crisis, especially a force majeure situation precipitated by military intervention, would accelerate the centrifugal forces already at work in the United States. 

The failure of a coup attempt could do to the Democrats’ “coalition of the fringes” what the failure of the August coup did to the Communists in the USSR, opening up room to maneuver for the American remnant.

Given the circumstances, with the demographic ring closing in on Middle America, that may be a providential outcome for the deplorables

This article appeared earlier on VDare.com.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

Remembrance of Things Past: The Storyteller

By Wayne Allensworth

Storytelling is a lost art. Not just the storytelling we associate with literature, the stage, or cinema, though decent literature, stage plays, and films are in short supply in a culture that is heavily politicized, as well as manufactured, but the plain art of orally telling a good story. 

Storytelling was once the basis of oral tradition, which, in turn, was an early form of transmitting history, and the storyteller was often a parent or grandparent, not only a tribal bard, elder, or teacher.  Orally transmitted stories of a people’s origins, its heroic deeds, its fall from grace and redemption, were an integral part of a child’s education, before education became more formalized. 

The origins of history as a discipline are rooted in oral tradition, in the making of loyal members of a clan, tribe, and nation through the transmission of a heritage, the basis of the formation of collective and individual identity.  A sense of place and purpose, the foundation of meaning in our lives, developed from that sense of identity.  Relationships were close and personal, unmitigated by the segmented, atomized electronic “marketplace” that has helped foster the alienation and loneliness of our post-modern world.

The “communications revolution” and the end of storytelling

As face-to-face interaction was replaced by the telegraph and telephone, then electronic communications, the ties between individual and family, family and community, community and nation were weakened, with each successive stage of the “communications revolution” actually diminishing the most salutary and enriching forms of human interaction.   Letter writing, for example, was far more personal than e-mail, which looks relatively superior to texts and tweets.  And the time frame of instant communications diminished the substantive quality of those communications. 

Storytelling takes time.  Even the circulation of jokes (telling jokes is another lost art related to loss of storytelling in general) has been replaced by the impersonal, electronic meme.

I could go on.  The dissolution of the family plays a big part in this—how can an elder pass along stories when there is no extended family or even a nuclear one to transmit them to?

Remembrance of things past

The point is that the American Remnant, that portion of the population that is still attached to  a more traditional sense of place and identity, is faced with the long term task of transmitting its heritage in an often hostile environment.  Our contributors have stressed the need to counter the politicized, anti-American propaganda that passes for history with our real story, the epic story of America and the Americans. 

For all of us live out our lives as stories, we consciously or unconsciously take on roles that have been transmitted to us in the stories we have learned.  Unfortunately, the stories being transmitted to us today (and we are all the consumers of politicized stories told to us by the very people who hate us, those who frame the mass media “Narrative”) are too often unhealthy and debilitating ones.

One of our starting points should be the revival of oral storytelling.  It will have to begin with those of us who still recall face-to-face storytelling as a foundational part of early lives.

The most prolific and influential storyteller in my life was my paternal grandfather.  He was a working man of limited formal education who was a voracious reader and a gifted teller of tales. 

The scene was often his modest home, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon, where the family gathered for Sunday dinner (I still say my grandmother’s fried chicken was the best ever). Afterwards, we might step out to the back porch for watermelon or hand-cranked ice cream.  Sometimes, granddad and I would retire to his sitting room, where he kept his books on a stand by his easy chair. We both might read for a spell, and then he would pause, take his reading glasses off, and tell me a story.

It might be family history, one of frontier heroics and hardship, touched with a bit of genealogy.  He might expand on that with a related story—he especially liked to recount tales of the Old West, of epic cattle drives and Indian wars—but we would usually circle back to family, and stories that his father had told him, which, in turn, had been told by his grandfather.    

He had mastered the storytelling art, his voice raising to an appropriate tone at dramatic moments, and he well knew how to use the pregnant pause for effect.  I relished those stories and have told many of them to my own children.

Beginning again

It will be up to us, the American Remnant, to be the carriers of our story.  As censorship has tightened, and with the potential for more chaos, even “woke” totalitarianism, ahead, it will be up to us to be the keepers of that story. 

We will be the preservers, who like the book people in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, will be charged with maintaining our story and transmitting it.  Oral storytelling will be part of that.  Keeping old books, too. And dig through those old boxes of pictures.  Each one tells a story, and can be a fine jumping off point for oral history. 

The motto of Quebec is “I remember.”  It should be our ours as well.

We have to remember to know who we are. We have to know who we are in order to make a real effort to survive and carry on, to rebuild when, hopefully, this dark age has passed.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood

Gun Crazy: Globalism and gun control

By Wayne Allensworth

As you may have heard, gentle reader, millions of Americans are stocking up on guns and ammunition.  A significant number of them are reportedly first-time gun buyers.  In some cases, ammunition is getting hard to find. 

The country has the jitters, and understandably so.  The election coming up in November is the most divisive since that of 1860, and we all know how that ended up.

Come November, we will probably be in for another round of “mostly peaceful protests,” and a lot of us do not intend to allow the “protestors” to destroy our property or threaten our families.  The McCloskeys in St. Louis and Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha haven’t become popular heroes for nothing.  They stood their ground and defended themselves.  That’s what our 2nd Amendment rights are for, and if some folks previously hadn’t given it much thought, they may understand that more clearly now.

Chalk one up for that much maligned (in certain quarters) American “gun culture.”

Growing up with “gun culture”

My first gun was a shotgun, a single shot 20 gauge my father bought each of his sons when they reached a certain age.  I think I was ten or twelve.

I still have the shotgun.

I grew up in a neighborhood where most families had guns: rifles, shotguns, pistols.  It wasn’t at all unusual to see pickup trucks equipped with gunracks and rifles.  It was a rite of passage for boys to get their first gun, maybe a shotgun like mine or a .22 rifle, and learn to use it. 

My father and maternal grandfather showed me the ropes.  They were almost reverential in how they treated their weapons.  My father owned a Springfield 30-06 he had converted into a deer rifle, with a beautiful wooden stock he had made himself.  

It wasn’t just about gun safety, though I was taught early on that a gun was not a toy and I should always treat any gun as if it were loaded.  It had to do with responsibility and power. 

Owning a gun was, as I noted above, a rite of passage.  It was part of growing up, a stage in the age-old process of boys becoming men.  It was partly a physical process, of course, of being tested in some way, but also a psychological one.  A man had certain responsibilities, one of them being a responsibility to defend himself and his family.  That was part of what being a free man meant.

In that sense, the ritual of a hunt was an important, unspoken war game.  In deer season, it meant rising before dawn, dressing properly against the cold, checking your weapons, and proceeding quietly to your stand.  My father or grandfather took us boys out, and we went through the routine that was, in fact, an important ritual in the same manner each year.

My grandfather especially had no patience for yahoos who did not accord the hunt a proper level of seriousness, or who handled firearms recklessly.  Learning to handle guns and to hunt was about responsibility and power, the power that came with owning a firearm. 

A gun is a tool…

America, old and new

That was a very different America than the one we know today.  It was, as I wrote in a previous article, a place where risk and responsibility came with freedom:

If you are a person of “a certain age,” such as your faithful correspondent, then you may recall, as I do, those reckless days of yore when Americans didn’t use seatbelts, rode in the bed of pickup trucks, and smoked in restaurants and bars.  Boys and young men got into fistfights, and kids didn’t wear helmets when they rode their bikes.  Few wore a helmet when riding a motorcycle, either.  The country was less populous then, there was less automobile traffic, and far fewer people lived to be 90.  

We were freer then, and freedom has its hazards, as does any life that is worth living.

That was a country that put men on the moon, even after three astronauts died during an Apollo 1 pre-flight test. It was a country in which previously unimagined abundance and technological advances hadn’t yet bred a certain risk averse attitude, one that fostered a new culture that values comfort, safety, and security over achievement and the sacrifices necessary to achieve, or even to live like free people, one that is pleasure seeking and downright neurotic at times.

The feminization of American culture was sure to follow.  And that new, feminized culture dovetailed nicely with globalism and gun control.

Globalism and gun control

The old American culture was bold, dynamic, and muscular.  It’s no surprise that a more feminized culture would be one in which gun control became a key element in the new, globalized elite’s agenda. 

A globalized world means a borderless one, one in which “inclusion” is a means of destroying the particularism that is essential for nations, distinct peoples, and the peculiar cultures they foster to thrive.  People without those distinctions are easily transformed into mere consumerist cogs in a vast managerial machine, something the global oligarchs appear to be aiming for.

Masculine virtues include the defense of hearth and home. By definition, globalism aims to undercut the sense of belonging to a particular place and a particular people, as well as the reflexive urge to defend that place and people.  

Thus, disarming Middle America has become a globalist imperative and a necessary corollary to overwhelming Middle America via mass immigration and advancing the power of the managerial state.  A people that cannot defend itself will not be an effective threat to globalization.

There is a psychological aspect to disarming Middle America as well.  Just as the propaganda of white guilt has been used to morally disarm our people, gun control has an unspoken psychological aim of emasculation.  The “girly boys” of the ostensible right and the “soy boys” of the left, as well as their feminist allies, share an interest in emasculating Middle American culture via gun confiscation, i.e. “gun control.”

Protecting civilization: Tom Doniphon and Ransom Stoddard  

Our people have yielded much ground already—too much—by only sporadically defending their heritage, particularly regarding the iconoclastic wave of monument destruction that is a signal from our enemies that we are no longer in charge.  Anti-white propaganda has been effective in psychologically disarming Middle America, but it has not yet neutralized American “gun culture.”  

Yours truly has written previously that defense of gun rights may be the hill that Middle America has chosen to defend to the last, and that “gun control” could be the catalyst—or one of them—for a Middle American resistance finally gelling and becoming a real counter force to the managerial state. 

I think Middle Americans understand at a deep level that the globalizers mean to emasculate them, to reduce them to UBI-collecting drones in their globalist digital gulag.  Thus, the fierce protection of gun rights.

Some years ago, the late Sam Francis, the prophet of Middle American Revolution, and I discussed one of our favorite films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  Francis maintained that the film was telling us that behind the lawyerly Ransom Stoddards of the world stood the tough, violent Tom Doniphons.  Behind every civilization, at the base of any social order, was the threat of force.  Without it, no social order can hold together.   

That’s something all of us need to keep in mind. 

It is not our side that is gun crazy, but theirs, the globalists and their minions.  They are crazed by fear.  They fear the threat of force expressed as a masculine determination to defend hearth and home.  They are haunted by the threat of Middle American Tom Doniphons.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel Field of Blood. He writes at American Remnant

The Plot Against Trump: “Crossfire Hurricane” and the Swamp’s “war games”

The gang’s all here…

By Wayne Allensworth

If we really needed more evidence that our selfless civil servants were colluding to overturn the 2016 elections results, here it is:  

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents tasked by fired former Director James Comey to take down Donald Trump during and after the 2016 election were so concerned about the agency’s potentially illegal behavior that they purchased liability insurance to protect themselves less than two weeks before Trump was inaugurated president, previously hidden FBI text messages show. The explosive new communications and internal FBI notes were disclosed in federal court filings today from Sidney Powell, the attorney who heads Michael Flynn’s legal defense team.

“[W]e all went and purchased professional liability insurance,” one agent texted on Jan. 10, 2017, the same day CNN leaked details that then-President-elect Trump had been briefed by Comey about the bogus Christopher Steele dossier. That briefing of Trump was used as a pretext to legitimize the debunked dossier, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign and compiled by a foreign intelligence officer who was working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch.

Read more here.  Yes, Virginia, the “Crossfire Hurricane” plot should be a much bigger scandal than Watergate. And everyone involved knew exactly what they were doing.

The Swamp is still at it, “wargaming” scenarios for preventing Trump taking office should he win in November, something The Donald rightly called a plan for “insurrection.”

As usual, the latest plot (the “Transition Integrity Project”) is a case of psychological projection, casting Trump as the potential usurper, with billionaire’s club sponsored “activists” planning to help save democracy.  There will be more “mostly peaceful protests” in our future, no doubt.  At least it’s bi-partisan, with roles already cast for “Never Trumpers” to have some treasonous fun as well.

Hillary Clinton has already let us in on what the Swampsters are thinking, telling Joe Biden he should not concede the election “under any circumstances.”  Capiche?

Fasten your seatbelts. We are in for a bumpy ride.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.

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The Twilight of the USA and the Way Forward

The summer sun is fading as the year grows old,
And darker days are drawing near,
The winter winds will be much colder,
Now you’re not 
here…

It’s mid-September, and the sun already seems to be setting lower in a sky of lengthening shadows.  The temperatures have noticeably dropped off.  Autumn, such as it is in this part of the country, appears to already have begun settling in, like an early and unexpected guest.

I was walking along a sidewalk in my neighborhood a few nights ago.  During the summer months, I often stop by a large fig tree whose thick branches hang over a neighbor’s fence and pick a few of the sweet figs. 

It’s September, though, and the figs have already passed on. 

As I pass by the familiar branches, I reach out and feel the coarseness of the dark green leaves, and I happen to find one remaining fig, lonely and small and hard.  The last one?  It snaps off without my exerting any pressure and I walk on.

Summer’s gone.  It came and went so quickly.  What had been a regular evening ritual seems somehow sad and final. 

I’ve been feeling a lot like that lately, but I can usually shake it off and go about the daily business of life that continues, unconcerned, amid what seems to me like a nightmare, an episode of one of those old TV shows like The Twilight Zone.  Part of me keeps expecting to wake up and find it was all something that sprang out of a shadowy corner of my mind.

But it’s real and there is no going back on it.

Remembrance of things past

I leave the fig tree behind, turn the corner, and finish my walk, then climb the stairs to my home office. 

I’ve been cleaning up, re-arranging things, sorting through old pictures, some of which I want to frame and place on the walls of a hopefully soon-to-be orderly space.

One of them is a family portrait, a picture I particularly cherish.  Dating from about 1964, it’s strangely akin to a time capsule in itself.  It seems much older than that.

First is the sepia tone of the portrait, like an old 19th century picture. Then there is that serious quality about the looks on our faces that seems itself a rejection of the more recent insistence that everyone crack a wide, false, and servile smile at every opportunity.  The only color is at the margins.  My father’s blue eyes.  My mother’s lipstick.  The light tone of my little brother’s hair.

The world I knew then, and recall with such fondness, is irretrievably gone.  My neighborhood and the surrounding areas were like a warm cocoon, a web of interlocking relationships, of cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, all who shared their lives with an easy working class charm.

I seem to have found myself in a weird, autumnal world, a forever autumn in which so many of us know very well what has been lost, but remain stubbornly reluctant to face that.  Ozzy and Harriet aren’t coming to save us.  They’ve been cancelled.

How to explain the sense of loss, the longing I feel to my children, now grown?  They don’t remember that world.  They can’t.  All they have is me and their mother and older relatives to counteract the propaganda they have been bombarded with, try as we might to protect them, all their lives.

My America was no hellhole of oppression. Imperfect as she was, the old America looks all the better in retrospect.   An old friend.  A reassuring elder.  Something personal and real, not an abstraction in any sense.

I miss her.

Facing a harsh reality

What’s happening right now is more terrible than any imagined war of the worlds, as the battle lines are not clearly drawn, the front invisible.  It’s partly a war of people, partly a war of ideas, partly a war of information and disinformation, a strange hybrid war it is.

We’ll have to keep our heads about us.  The worst is undoubtedly yet to come.  Our enemies are planning for the disorder that will surely follow the election in November, and the resistance—the real resistance of the American remnant—has yet to fully find itself.

What to do?  All of us who are aware of the crisis and what it means are taking steps to ready ourselves, and are trying to warn others of what lies ahead. 

It seems I’ve been doing that for a long time.  The warnings have often been unwelcome.  I’ve been told, for instance, that what I’m describing is a worst case scenario.  My answer: What we are seeing now is the worst case scenario unfolding.

Old habits die hard, and the hardest habit of all has proven to be flyover country’s deep attachment to the old America, a good thing in itself that can become dangerous.  Dangerous, that is, if we fail to recognize and accept certain realities.

The rout of our civilization began a long time ago.  1914?  Earlier?  What we call “the 60s” was but one phase in a longer crisis that has not yet played itself out, but may be reaching its culmination.  The reluctance to acknowledge that the old America is gone, along with the cultural norms we took for granted, has become a weight we can no longer bear.  We have to rid ourselves of such illusions in order to see clearly what we are faced with, and then, attempt to formulate a strategy to fight back. 

This is far from the counsel of despair, but is, rather, a necessary prerequisite to building something new that can realistically serve the interests of our people.  The American core, Middle Americans, Legacy Americans, Heritage Americans, whichever of those we may finally settle on as a name for ourselves, existed prior to the Constitution, now largely ignored, or the United States of America, and it can survive the decline of both of them.  

What we can hope for is the eventual gelling of a currently inchoate Middle American resistance, opening the door for an authentic right to replace the false one that misled us for so long.  And that will mean scrapping the entire edifice of “conservative” boilerplate, and engaging in a re-evaluation of what and who we are, where we came from, and what we stand for.

To hell with the “new normal”

The “new normal” of riots (AKA “mostly peaceful protests”) protected and encouraged by state officials, school and church shootings, government imposed lockdowns, sexual license and perversity, the weird transvaluation of all values—patriotism is bad, loyalty a curse, attachment something to be jettisoned—and the disorienting fragmentation, the loss of decent manners, the slovenly disregard of any sense of decorum, are dreadful phenomena we all take for granted now.  We pretend that it’s all somewhere out there, but not here and now.  That’s how the nihilists win.

To hell with all of it.

I can try and explain that to my young relations, and will, however much an uphill climb it may be.  Correcting the distorted view of “history” taught by the “educators” of Year Zero is a good beginning. Then maybe we begin explaining some things that once didn’t need explaining—like the differences between the sexes (spare me the “gender” thing), or that you can have absolute equality or you can have freedom, but you can’t have both, or that our people are a nation like any other, not simply placeholders in an “experiment.”

My grown children, and lots of others besides, don’t have long to get ready. 

The answers to the questions of who we are, what the stakes are, and whose side one is on are unfolding on our streets right now.  I fully expect the presidential election to disintegrate into chaos.  The enemies of “deplorable” Middle Americans are even now preparing to take measures to win come what may, even to stage a coup.

As Trotsky once supposedly said, you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. 

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.

The Revolution Will Continue, Regardless of the Election’s Outcome

In a recent piece on “woke capital” in The American Conservative, Chronicles Editor Paul Gottfried wrote that “the fascist enemy for the cultural left never goes away.”  Dr. Gottfried went on to mention New York Times film critic Manohla Dargas, in a comment on the film Dunkirk, writing that “the fight against fascism continues.”

We know, of course, which “fascists” Dargas had in mind: Us, the “deplorables,” and our own Agent Orange, Donald Trump, who has come to symbolize all that the cultural left hates and wishes to destroy.

The fight will go on forever.  It cannot end. Permanent revolution is more than a Trotskyite imperative meant as a counter to Stalin’s “socialism in one country.”  It’s a feature of post-industrial cultural leftism.

There are at least two reasons for that. 

One is that the militants attract the disaffected.  They are, as pointed out by the perceptive blogger who calls himself “the Z-Man,” among those left behind by globalism.  Our pathetic militants seek a sense of purpose our society can no longer provide.  That purpose is to be found in the revolution. Thus, the revolution must go on. The enemy must never quite disappear.

It’s something we have seen before in other times and other places.

The revolutionary right of the interwar period (and some in the movement formerly known as the “Alt Right” today), for example, experienced modern life as a stultifying and demoralizing phenomenon.  As they saw it, bourgeoise society was soft, effeminate, and Eloi-like in its sensibilities.  The revolutionary right identified modern life with the castration of their societies.  They longed for something that was missing from their lives—the element of heroic struggle they identified with mythic pre-modern societies.  The struggle was what attracted the street fighters. 

The struggle, whether that of the left or the right, was an end in itself.  

The other reason for justifying perpetual revolution has been the hard reality of human limitations, limitations that have often undercut revolutionary utopian plans in the past.

In explaining that second justification, there are parallels with the Stalinist view that the class war intensifies as socialism advances that we should consider. 

Following the victory of the party of the proletariat in the Soviet Union, for instance, phantom “wreckers” and traitors had to be rooted out long after the reactionaries and deviationists had been defeated.  Something, you see, was spoiling the Plan.  

Collectivization and forced industrialization may have been necessary for the revolution, but Stalin’s application of blunt force combined with socialist theory was woefully inefficient from an economic perspective.  The Soviet regime, however, could not recognize such fatal flaws in its applied ideology.  The assumed presence of hidden enemies, therefore, offered an explanation for the shortcomings and inefficiencies of socialism.  “Wreckers” who were thought to be undermining the Plan had to be identified and eliminated.  Thus, purges and terrorism continued.  

In our own time, the cultural left needed something to fight long after their side had taken over our institutions and enacted “civil rights” laws.  The left won on those fronts, but it needed an explanation for the failure of the previous stage of the revolution to produce the expected result of absolute equality.  At the same time, it needed a justification for endless revolution that would perpetuate its own sense of purpose, as well as its tightening grip on power. 

Sensible people understand that the natural abilities and interests of racial and ethnic groups are unevenly distributed, therefore economic and social outcomes are unequal.  The cultural left will not, indeed, cannot accept that for the same reasons the Soviet regime could not acknowledge the flaws in its system and ideology.  

Thus, “white privilege” and “systemic racism” remain to be rooted out.  Since those alleged phenomena are undetectable to the naked eye, all the better.  

Do not expect the militants to go away, no matter the outcome of the election in November. The cultural left will have need of them. Human nature and other hard facts will not change over the next two months.

Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel Field of BloodHe writes at https://american-remnant.com/ .

Wayne Allensworth on the Cotto/Gottfried Webcast

The subject was my recent article, “George W. Bush and Friends: Enemies and Traitors.” You can watch the webcast here.  

An excerpt from the article:

“Your humble servant confesses to having never felt any deep personal animus for “W’s” pal Barrack Obama. Given Obama’s shallow American roots and his cosmopolitan background, I doubt that he ever felt any strong connection to our country. He is our enemy, to be sure, but Bush is something more—he is a traitor.”

What are we—and our enemies—fighting for?

In regard to my article “Revolution and Resistance: How Can Elections Continue?” , here’s an interesting observation from an astute reader:

“Nothing can save our country now, it’s already gone.  Obviously the Radical Left/BLM/Antifa hate it and are trying to destroy it, but on the other side the Middle American Resistance is no longer willing to fight for its preservation either (despite being very nostalgic for it, and possibly even thinking that they ARE fighting for it), because in fact it is no longer their country.  What they are willing to fight for now is, first of all, their own physical preservation in the face of genocide, and then possibly a new country which would be an organically grown entity (based on the concept of “Rodina”*), while the other side is fighting to replace the existing state with another “mechanical” (social contract) one.  And never the twain shall meet.”

*The reader was drawing from “Language and Identity: What’s in a name?”   Here’s the opening paragraph:

“I’ve spent the best part of four decades studying Russia and things Russian.  And I’ve always regretted that, unlike the Russians and many other nations, Americans don’t use words like “fatherland” or “motherland” to describe their country. The closest we have is “homeland.” When used by Americans, that word, like most of the language we use to describe ourselves and our country, has a civic, political, even a technical quality to it.  It lacks the aura, the sense of a mystic connection to the place of one’s birth, that a word like the Russian “rodina,” motherland, has.”  

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