Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Hubris As The Evil Force In History

June 14, 2012 by  

I have always been intrigued by the Battle of Bull Run, the opening battle of the U.S. Civil War, known to Southerners as the War of Northern Aggression. Extreme hubris characterized both sides: the North before the battle and the South afterward.

Republican politicians and ladies in their finery rode in carriages to Manassas, the Virginia town through which the stream Bull Run flowed, to watch the Union Army end the “Southern Rebellion” in one fell swoop. What they witnessed instead was the Union Army fleeing back to Washington with its tail between its legs. The flight of the Northern troops prompted some Southern wags to name the skirmish the “Battle of Yankee Run.”

The outcome of the battle left the South infected with the hubris that had so abruptly departed the North. The Southerners concluded that they had nothing to fear from cowards who ran away from a fight. “We have nothing to worry about from them,” decided the South. It was precisely at this point that hubris defeated the South.

Historians report that the flight back to Washington left the Union Army and the U.S. capital in a State of disorganization for three weeks, during which time even a small army could have taken the capital. Historians who are inclined not to see the battle as a victory for the South claim that the Southerners were exhausted by the effort it took to put the Yankees to flight and that they simply didn’t have the energy to pursue them, take Washington, hang the traitor Abraham Lincoln and all the Republicans, and end the war.

Exhausted troops or not, had Napoleon Bonaparte been the Southern general, the still organized Southern army would have been in Washington as fast as the disorganized Union. Possibly, the Southerners would have engaged in ethnic cleansing by enslaving the Yankees and selling them to Africans, thus ejecting from the country the greed-driven Northern imperialists who, in the Southern view, did not know how to behave either in private or in public.

It was not Southern exhaustion that saved the day for the North. It was Southern hubris. The Battle of Bull Run convinced the South that the citified Northerners simply could not fight and were not a military threat.

Perhaps the South was right about the North. However, the Irish immigrants, who were met at the docks and sent straight to the front, could fight. The South was dramatically outnumbered and had no supply of immigrants to fill the ranks vacated by casualties. Moreover, the South had no industry and no navy. And, of course, the South was demonized because of slavery, although the slaves never revolted — even when all Southern men were at the front. When the South failed to take advantage of its victory at Bull Run and occupy Washington, the South lost the war.

An examination of hubris casts a great deal of light on wars, their causes and outcomes. Napoleon undid himself, as Adolf Hitler was to do later, by marching off into Russia. British hubris caused both world wars. World War II began when the British incomprehensibly gave a “guarantee” to the Polish colonels who were on the verge of returning that part of Germany that Poland had acquired from the Versailles Treaty. The colonels, not understanding that the British had no way of making the guarantee good, gave Hitler the finger, an act of defiance that was too much for Hitler, who had declared Germans to be the exceptional people.

Hitler smacked Poland, and the British and French declared war.

Hitler made short work of the French and British armies. But the British in their hubris, hiding behind the English Channel, wouldn’t surrender or even agree to a favorable peace settlement. Hitler concluded that the British were counting on Russia to enter the war on their side. Hitler decided that if he knocked off Russia, the British hope would evaporate and they would come to peace terms. So Hitler turned on his Russian partner with whom he had just dismembered Poland. Joseph Stalin, in his own hubris, had recently purged almost every officer in the Red Army, thus making Hitler’s decision easy.

The outcome of all this hubris was the rise of the U.S. military/security complex, more than four decades of Cold War and the threat of nuclear destruction, a period that lasted from the end of World War II until Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, two leaders not consumed by hubris, agreed to end the Cold War.

Alas, hubris returned to America with the neoconservative ascendency. Americans have become “the indispensable people.” Like the Jacobins of the French Revolution who intended to impose “liberty, equality, fraternity” upon all of Europe, Washington asserts the superiority of the American way and the right to impose it on the rest of the world. Hubris is in full flower despite its defeats. The “three week” Iraq war lasted eight years; and after 11 years, the Taliban control more of Afghanistan than the “world’s only superpower.”

Sooner or later, American hubris is going to run up against Russia and China, neither of which will give way. Either the United States, like Napoleon and Hitler, will have its Russian (or Chinese) moment, or the world will go up in thermonuclear smoke.

The only solution for humanity is to immediately impeach and imprison warmongers when first sighted before their hubris leads us yet again into the death and destruction of war.

Paul Craig Roberts

was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of The Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following, and can be accessed here.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Hubris As The Evil Force In History”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

  • GALT

    So, history in a nutshell, Paul, to make the point that the expansion of empire through conquest is essentially self defeating, defined as hubris? I suppose one might advance the theory that the posturing of soldiers regarding the prowess of the enemy following a victory or defeat may contribute to “morale” but it is no substitute for poor leadership…and the military results of your examples, have far more to do with a lack of understanding by the leadership, regarding the necessary tactics and strategy required based on ones available resources and the limitations imposed by them…….as well as a clear objective
    understanding of the GOAL for engaging in war, in the first place.

    For the Confederacy, that is was described as “the war of northern aggression” is more telling of the failure of leadership………..in all of the above, than your rather simplistic rendition of the critical nature of the Southern Victory at Manassas, which was not quite the cakewalk you describe…….and which ended in a rout, which tends to be disorganizing for both sides……but these were early days, and the proximity of capitol’s was viewed with
    equal significance by both sides. From this battle emerged the only general who actually
    understood what was required to win that war for the Confederacy, Stonewall Jackson…..but he was ignored, and when Robert E. Lee was finally given command,
    the South’s defeat was all but certain, because he fought precisely the wrong kind of war.
    Had it been a war of southern aggression, the war would have ended quickly, for Washington D.C. did not require occupation…….it simply needed to be isolated, with southern troops moving at will to the west and north, bringing the war to the northern populations…..and the South would have achieved its goal…….had Lee understood this
    he might have succeeded as late as Gettysburg……Your examples of both Napoleon and
    Hitler are both examples of leadership failure, Napoleon because he was paranoid and did not trust his generals, depriving them of the tactical understanding required to exercise initiative…..and Hitler, because he did not allow his generals to fight the war. Bevins, is the best source for the proper military analysis…….that should be applied here.

    So the question becomes, who are the actual “war mongers” in your current screed….
    for whose benefit are they being fought……..for while it is true that the military industrial complex has a vested interest………this does not require actual combat to maintain, the need to be prepared has always been sufficient……and all the requires is an “imagined threat”.

    We have also been very selective about where we have engaged directly…….and that to
    is telling……..and your ending scenario is interesting, but nuclear engagement is hardly credible with either Russia or China……..

    It seems that “proper identification” of ( those guys) shares some interesting similarities
    that might prove useful in finding a resolution……..for example:

    1.) Who owns the Fed ( really ) is far more useful information than any audit?
    2.) While Europe struggles with debt, who is the debt owed to? And how was it incurred?
    3.) Who are the “real war mongers” and WHY are they mongering?

    When we find out…..it would be possible to consider your suggestion….so do you have any USEFUL INFORMATION or is your work done here?

    • Void1972

      If you look a little closer at all three wars, and follow the money trail, you will see that the central bankers of Europe promoted the wars by funding them.

      Great article but I have to agree with Galt on his exceptional questions!

      God bless America and those who fight for her!!!!

    • Ken

      Like a f*cking laser as usual GALT – RESPECT!

      And for your reading pleasure;

      Lenin, Illuminati

      “The one who cannot see that on Earth a big endeavor is taking place, an important plan, on which realization we are allowed to collaborate as faithful servants, certainly has to be blind”

      Winston Churchill, 33 Degree Freemason

      “What we say, goes”

      George Bush, Illuminati – as a response to what would happen after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He referred to the Council on Foreign Relations.

      “… in politics nothing is accidental. If something happens, be assured it was planned this way”

      Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32 Degree Freemason

      “Give me the power of the money and it will not matter any more who is commanding”

      Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Illuminati

      The following is from the magazine Progress for all January 1991, an interview regarding the clarification of the Pyramid and the shining eye on the back of the US One Dollar Bill:

      “The seal of the pyramid was created by the Rothschild family and brought to North America by Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton before 1776. The Rothschild family is the head of the organization in which I entered in Colorado. All the Occult Brotherhoods are part of it. It is a Lucifer Organization to install his reign in the whole world. The eye on the pyramid is the eye of Lucifer . Supposedly the Rothschilds have personal dealings with the Devil. I have personally been in his villa and have experienced it.

      And I know it is true”.

    • al

      A bit of study in financial history and you will find that the same people who owned the Bank of England in 1694 were the same family who continuously drove the wars in Europe and in early America as they tried to get control of the new world in the west. In
      1913 they succeeded with the help of Nelson Aldrich, Senator from R.I., and maternal Grandfather of Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller. So twelve groups at the beginning totally owned the Private Closed Corporation called The Federal Reserve System of the United States.
      These same families still own the whole deal and yes they have financed both sides of every war that has ever been since the mid 1600s through their banking interests.
      After WWII thinks changed, they created the IMF and the World Bank as a middle ground between the private banks and the borrowers of the funds. Of course the backstop, the lender of last resort, for the whole venture was the Federal Reserve System of the United States which was supported by the American Taxpayer. So if there was profit on any loan the IMF, World Bank or one of the Privately owned banks could reap the benefit and if there was a loss on a loan, that loss could be passed on down the line to the Fed and the American Taxpayer and through inflation of our currency, a stealth tax.
      This scam has been running for the last 100 years and now they want to again enlarge the Ponzi schill game with the New World Order and a new Currency, this time backed by three Nations economic resources. This time the Targets are China, Japan and the U.S.

  • Will Smith

    Wow! Blaming the loss of the War of Northern Aggression on Southern “hubris” after 1st Bull Run and then pointing out the very real demographic and economic reasons for the loss , is there such a thing as a deliberate oxymoron? The South did not capture D.C. for TWO reasons – the chaos and disorganization of victory AND the fact that the North was the aggressor. The CSA only wanted to leave the union in peace. We never wanted to conquer the North, so taking and pillaging D.C. would have been an inflammatory act that would have only hardened Yankee determination to conquer the sovereign CSA. In hindsight, it WAS a mistake, but the South was not aggressive enough to take on a path of imperial conquest.

    As for British hubris causing both world wars, that is only partially correct in the case of WW I, and totally incorrect in the case of WW II. If you think the return of the Polish Corridor to a megalomaniac like Hitler would have prevented WW II, you should try adding a good filter to whatever you are smoking. The hate filled sack of crap we call Hitler would have inevitably started the Second World War no matter what concessions the West made.

    • jenersea

      There actually were Southern troops that did not cross the Potomac with Lee on the way to Antietam because they felt it was not right for them to invade the North. Just as they felt it was not right for the North to invade them. Right now we are fighting WW4 against Russia, China and their proxies. Notice Russia is funneling all kinds of arms to Syria and stands against any intervention by the UN or Nato against them.

      • GALT

        Really? Have you actually checked the military budgets of either of our opponents in this imaginary world war we’re fighting?

    • Winddrinker

      Will, I agree that the South did not want to follow the North To take Washington. They were not the “aggressors” they only wanted to “peacefully leave the Union.” If, anything, I believe the South was not prepared nor did they really expect War to be declared by the Lincoln. Most did not believe that Lincoln would suspend their Constitutional rights, and send an army against them.. They thought they had the right to leave the Union…

      I doubt seriously that the fall of the South was because of “hubris.” The Southern soldiers were farmers and hardly filled with the false arrogance that leads people to their demise. Any army must be given morale and hope, if that can be defined as “hubris.” The Southern soldiers were fighting for their “homes and families” against those sent to kill, burn, and pillage! They were under-funded and came right off their farms with little military skills. And, they did fight against a flood of immigrants that were put in the Union army right off the ships and given guns and uniforms.

      The fact that the South was overrun and defeated by the greedy North, does not mean that the Southern farmers were beaten by their own “hubris.” Yes, maybe, if they had followed the Union back to Washington and occupied it, the war may have been avoided….only for the time being. Looking back, Lincoln would not have let the South get away as long as he had the strength to make them submit to his “will” by denying the States their constitutional rights and declaring an illegal war..against half of the country.

  • ps

    A good read, thank you.

    • GALT

      Big fiction fan?

  • Publius

    Yeah, but the Problem is deciding who, precisely, the warmongers are, and when they are first cited, and by whom. Who is to decide who the warmonger is? You? Me? Grover Norquist? Please, follow-up on this for me! I need to know who should be our next enemy!! Jagoffs!!!

    • GALT

      That ain’t gonna happen……..this guy is just another space filler…..they don’t respond, hell they couldn’t care less what you think, but maybe Bob will jump in and help.

      • Opal the Gem

        “……..this guy is just another space filler…..”

        That is the most self-descriptive phrase I have ever seen posted here.

  • gene1357

    What a read; what a ride. Say what you may, sometimes, good writing is enough. That is the case here.

  • http://www.endureinstrength.org Raylyn Terrell

    Hubris . . .pride . . . arrogance . . . these are the hallmarks of selfish, fallen mankind. The flood of Noah’s time was our Creator’s way to wipe the slate clean and give man another beginning. Satanically induced blindness is what empowers the hubris-syndrome that infects us. According to Jesus Christ, this is a sign of the end of the age, before His Second Coming.
    We can be ever-grateful for God’s wake-up call in our lives from time to time.
    Since the writer learned to heed this call fifty-plus years ago, life is a peaceful, joyful, daily adventure. Can’t remember the last time I experienced fear.
    To get down on our knees and come clean with God and each other is the smartest thing any of us can do. We’re not talking “religion” here. The key is personal relationship with God.
    When any leader reaches this conclusion, submits to the Lord’s Word and obeys it, he or she will become useful to God’s plan.
    Has anyone watched Evan Almighty lately?
    The “hubris-syndrome” will always be the recipe for disaster. Laws will not stop it.
    Our personal commitment to heaven’s agenda is the only answer.
    Jump into the River of Life! The water is out-of-this-world-wonderful!
    Blessings to each of you, from this Manassas resident, a Cardinal-with Attitude.

  • http://gravatar.com/madgorilla madgorilla

    I guess this guy hasn’t studied much history. He probably thinks the reasons for the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War was simply hubris. To quote Bugs Bunny: What a maroon!

  • Tom Cook

    This is an interesting evaluation, particularly regarding the War for Southern Independence aka Mr. Lincoln’s war. Jackson should have pursued the defeated cowardly northern invader and hanged the Marfan freak Lincoln. Not Russia nor China seem to me to be as great a threat to humanity as the ignorant intransigent murderous worldwide cult of islam.

  • Steve E

    If the South had won the war, right now, the CSA would be the greatest free nation on earth while the USA would be in squalor having a socialist government.

    • Bud Tugly

      “… greatest free nation…”? What about slavery? Free for whom?

      • Buster the Anatolian

        The slaves would have been freed voluntarily by 1900 if not well before that. They would have been assimulated into society with little or no backlash and would be accepted as eaquals in the CSA.

      • Bud Tugly

        Unlikely… remember the resistance to civil rights in the 60s?

      • John Illinois

        Slavery was dieing long before 1860. That is why there were freed men to start with. When you owned slaves, you had to feed, house, and care for them, no matter how well your operation was doing. I don’t wish to claim slaves were on a level of cattle intended for slaughter, but you either take care of your property, or get rid of it. You can lay off a hired man, but a slave you had 3 choices–continue to keep them, sell them, or free them.
        With the increasing introduction of farm machinery, the need for slaves was beginning to be reduced, therefore, they were less and less valuable, not more so.

  • Michael in Iowa

    The truth is Hitler lost the war at Dunkirk when he failed to deliver the knockout blow to England and let nearly 400,000 troops with combat experience escape.

  • James Hay

    If General George.S.Patton Would Have Been Allowed To Decimate The Soviets As World War 2 Was Concluding It Is Very Much Possible That The Cold War Could Have Been Averted However The Liberals In Washington Were Scared That Such Justified Precautions Were Not In The Best Interest Of The Allied Efforts As Well As Upset The Proverbal Apple Cart And Chose The Path Of Offering Up Countless American Lives In The Years That Followed To The Communist Alter Of Slaughter In Such Places As Korea And Vietnam Among Other Battlegrounds Of The Cold War Era. I Am Convinced Gen Patton Was Correct And The Liberal Meatheads In Power At The Time Were Wrong But Undaunted By The Truth Proceeded Down The Path That The American People Lived To Regret With The Same EmphasisIn Regards To The Communist Purges Of The 1950s And The The Consequences Of The Liberals’ Decades Long Love Affair With Socialism That Were To Follow This Malevolent Turn In The Course Of American History.

    • Michael in Iowa

      Excellent. We have 100,000 fighting Russia’s Frontmen in Korea & Vietnam, plus billions and billions.

    • GALT

      James, 10% casualties wouldn’t have been quite enough…….nor did we have enough nukes, which is the only way we could have beat them……..

  • Raymond Carl Hardie

    Upon seeing the replies, I would say Mr. Roberts has written an article that gives one food for thought. There has always been debate over the cause, and ultimate end of our National division and the blood letting of that conflict which to date totals more casualties in killed and wounded than all other wars fought by the US combined. Regardless of who or what caused that conflict, It is certain that we as a people are being driven toward and into a conflagration with Russia, China, and their Allies. In October of 2011 the defense intelligence along with the NSA gave a report that says Russia as of 2010 increased their Submarine presence off both the East and West coast of the US and estimates are that perhaps 20 to 30 submarines are in constant rotation just outside our territorial waters and it perhaps up to three of their Iconoclast subs are among the packs. The Russian stealth submarines ( Iconoclast ) are equivalent in throw-weight to our Trident subs and with them so close to the mainland their initial launch to impact time is under eight minutes. I personally think that neither Russia or China want such a war, but it has become evident that the leadership in Washington has become self deceived by using our military thus far without any real interference from Russia or China, and so now the leadership in Washington filled with hubris will continue to push against these two countries until the unthinkable is thought plausible, and ultimately of immanent necessity under a perceived threat to their National Sovereignty and survival. Only a fool would scoff at or disregard the capabilities of our enemies, while it is true we have technology in weaponry that can offset an attack to a certain amount of defense and retaliation, the Defense Dept. says our shield is good to 80% of incoming, so for every ten missiles we should take out eight leaving only two that perhaps can hit their targets. With the current Russian and Chinese attack doctrine of overwhelming force in a first strike capability, the defense estimate is they will launch between 500 to 1200 missiles, that means either 100 missiles or 400 missiles will get in. Is that really reassuring to anyone? Yet we have our own chiefs of staff in the pentagon already saying we could have a limited nuclear conflict if necessary and Russia or China would likely withdraw! I ask again! Is that reassuring to anyone? Take heed who or what you put your trust in, because there is a lot of hubris giving way to bad ideas and hoping to influence the American people to continue supporting endless wars under the false assumption that we are always right and everyone else is wrong and we use a willing media to perpetuate what ever the military industrial complex wants the public to believe, more hubris!

    • Ken

      Nice reply Ray – this is why I’ve come to the conclusion; they looks at us like lab animals because the majority act like animals.

      I’ve railed on the subject of reason as well but to what end? “they” have been following their plan for what, 150, 200 years? their determination, patience and consistency is evident in history, with most people in utter ignorance.

    • Ken

      Tragedy and Hope: A History of The World in Our Time (Macmillan Company, 1966,) Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University, highly esteemed by his former student, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. [Bill Clinton]” The Council on Foreign Relations is “the establishment.” Not only does it have influence and power in key decision-making positions at the highest levels of government to apply pressure from above, but it also announces and uses individuals and groups to bring pressure from below, to justify the high level decisions for converting the U.S. from a sovereign Constitutional Republic into a servile member state of a one-world dictatorship.”

      Professors Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, writing in their study of the CFR, “Imperial Brain Trust: The CFR and United States Foreign Policy.” (Monthly Review Press, 1977).

      “The most powerful clique in these (CFR) groups have one objective in common: they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the U.S. They want to end national boundaries and racial and ethnic loyalties supposedly to increase business and ensure world peace. What they strive for would inevitably lead to dictatorship and loss of freedoms by the people. The CFR was founded for “the purpose of promoting disarmament and submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government.”

      Dr. Augustus O. Thomas, president of the World Federation of Education Associations (August 1927), quoted in the book International Understanding: Agencies Educating for a New World (1931)

      “… when the struggle seems to be drifting definitely towards a world social democracy, there may still be very great delays and disappointments before it becomes an efficient and beneficent world system. Countless people … will hate the new world order … and will die protesting against it. When we attempt to evaluate its promise, we have to bear in mind the distress of a generation or so of malcontents, many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people.”

    • Bud Tugly

      very observant, Ray… well thought out.

  • Dan Webb

    The South may have been flushed with victory, but they too were exhausted from the battle of Bull Run, especially as so many of them had been involved in an over-night forced march to reach the battlefield in time. To have sent such men into a siege against Washington would have been folly as neither army was ready to handle their massive causalities, let alone reorganize a massive attack. Even in their bloody state, the Army of the Potomac still had the advantage of being on their own ground and could have quickly fortified and reequipped their damaged, but hardly shattered army. It was also not so easy in those days to deploy troops (especially after such a pitched battle) and gather them into a hard drive into an enemy strong hold. To suggest otherwise if to ignore simple fact.
    Neither army made a serious attempt to take the others capital for some time, nor was it practical during the early days of the war as the materials were not available. There was also the simple fact that this was a new type of war that required tactics and strategies that had rarely been used in history. Never before had weapons offered such range and accuracy which caused great casualties no modern army had ever experienced. Even the humble musket had come into its own during the Civil War by the advent of the minie ball, which now made that weapon far more deadly in its accuracy then it had ever been.
    To say that it was Northern aggression or greed that lead to Southern failure is historical revisionism. The South was just as greedy and perhaps even more aggressive through their passion to keep slavery as an important economic resource and their demands to introduce the institution into the American western territories proves this.Yet they (the Confederacy) did not have the manpower or materials to win and long term conflict. It was only the inept leadership by the Federal generals in the first years of the war that allowed it to drag on so long. Better use of the North’s resources and manpower would have brought a speedy end to the conflict had Union leaders such as General McClellan (a Southern sympathizer) actually utilized the raw materials and full strength of the industrialist North.
    All in all, it was the unwillingness of the North to fight for total victory that dragged out the conflict. This is the same sort of attitude that we have seen in all major wars in the United States since Korea and is the very thing that has caused our nation to be looked upon with spite as a ‘paper tiger.” More and more, we seem incapable of learning our mistakes by paying closer attention to history.

    • GALT

      The problems with war generally is the difficulty you have trouble getting enough “volunteer’s” willing to “die” for the cause………but in the end, the North solved that
      problem with conscription…..and DIE they did.

      You did get another thing right too, the “mini ball”…….unfortunately, the rest of your analysis fails. The south could not afford to fight a war of attrition, and the extended range of the “mini ball” solved that problem………they lost because Lee insisted on fighting precisely the wrong war……….the move north, if made immediately or as soon as possible, would have ended the war in the first year………with Washington isolated, and supply lines cut…….as well as the northern cities threatened, all Lee would have had to have done is move from strong defensive position to strong defensive position, let the yanks chase him, and let them die in very expensive assaults against prepared positions…..has Jackson been given overall command, this is precisely what would have happened…..and he would have used his calvary to visit the destruction on the industrial cities and the population to have them clamoring for an end to it. ( see Bevin’s )

      The problem is that most wars are not fought well, for there are very few generals who are
      capable…….

  • Jonathan Martin

    I’m a huge American Civil War history enthusiast (as well as military history in general), and it was really interesting to me to see this perspective on the Battle of Bull Run presented here. I’ve often thought that the smart play for the South would have been to fight the shortest war possible, and the best chance of achieving that would have been to quickly march on Washington after their victory at 1st Manassas and lay siege to it. There never would have been a better time for the Confederates to do this; most of the extensive network of fortifications and defenses later designed to defend Washington from just this sort of attack had not been constructed by July 1861. Additionally, Washington is a very small city, and according to most military theory, for a siege to be successful the attacker should outnumber the defender by at least three to one, which the rebels could easily have done, especially at that point in time. Essentially, the rebels’ failure to follow up their win at Manassas ultimately doomed the South to defeat four years later.
    I do have to disagree a little, though, with the characterization of the British during the Second World War. The Poland stuff is basically right, especially since–considering how long it took the Allies to mobilize for war–they really couldn’t have helped Poland anyway. But after the fall of France, the British weren’t “hiding” behind the English Channel–they got kicked out of the Continent by the Germans and had nowhere else to go (and it was nothing short of a miracle that the British Expeditionary Force escaped the German onslaught on the Continent as well as it did!). Also, Britain didn’t accept peace terms from Germany, probably because Churchill knew that Hitler had made promises to end his territorial expansions before and had repeatedly violated those promises. So Churchill probably assumed based on past experience that Hitler couldn’t be taken at his word when he pledged not to invade England if the British accepted terms, and that in spite of any promises by Hitler, an invasion of England would probably be coming regardless.

    • Richard Pawley

      One has to wonder if the south had won would we have won WWI and WWII or even been in them? Would we be speaking German today instead of English? . There was an excellent science fiction program a few years back, called SLIDERS that covered many possible scenarios.

  • speedle

    Hubris??? Hubris is the cause of all the conflicts and world wars?? Although the stroll through history in this piece is in part informative and wholly entertaining, it seems that the writer has submitted a silly and gigantically over simplified conclusion. “hubris” is defined as “extreme pride” and “arrogance”, and everyone has a smaller or greater dose of it. However, hubris is not typically a strong enough emotion to impel one to shoot someone in the head. Rather it usually only results in the owner of hubris to not be invited to the next backyard cookout.

    Come on Mr Roberts, you can do better than this. Economics, greed, tyranny, religious and ideological differences are the causes of war (including the U.S. civil war), not hubris. I will admit that the personal hubris of leaders sometime have an impact in the tactical management of war, but certainly not primary to starting the war in the first place.

  • Alex

    The War of Southern Belligerence—-the Southeast got its collective and traitorous butt kicked and they have never really recovered. Look at the poorest states, the least-educated states, the most regressive states, the most violent states, and, states for just plain stupid legislative or legal interpretation—- they are in the Southeast.

    The Southeast just refuses to evolve with the rest of us, like Islamofascists, cannibals, or gun-toters.

    • Mom Henning

      Yankee go home….Mom Henning

  • Ron

    THANK YOU!

    Some HONESTY!

    You guys have been covertly skulking around calling Abe Lincoln a traitor for some time, so THANK YOU for finally owning that the Tea Party and sites like this one are actually reincarnating the Confederate States of America!

    Because the American people need to know what you’re up to–In November, we’re not going to be choosing between some weird CommuNaziHomoSocialistDeath Party–who is setting up secret FEMA concentration camps–and RealAmerican SuperPatriotism.

    We’re going to be choosing between living in the United States of America and the Confederate States of America.

    The Confederacy–a xenophobic, olde-timey religion, racist oligarchy run by a few rich white people and defended by lots of ignorant white sharecroppers (No WONDER Rick Santorum said RealAmericans don’t need no book learnin’) built their wealth on trafficking in human beings. (Libs called it “slavery”)

    They had expansionist plans to invade and enslave Cuba and continue on into Central and South America, creating slave nations who could create goods and services, continuing to redistribute upward the fruits of their indentured labor to wealthy plantation owners who controlled the wealth and power.

    Put another way: Slave owners were the Confederacy’s “Job Creators”–and it was their intention that the work would never lead to quality of life for the majority of the nation because that’s how you controlled them. Wage fairness would lead to leisure which would lead to thinking which could lead to the poison of “Uppityness” and “Servile Insurrection”.

    It was the Great, Big-Government Re-distributor-in Chief, Abraham Lincoln who destroyed the slave-owners racket and dragged America, kicking and screaming, into the evil prosperity of the 20th Century which saw lower-classes and non-aristocracy achieving a level of comfort that God never intended for them.

    For this treason, Lincoln was executed (Libs call it “assassinated” or “murdered”) by a Great ConfederateAmerican SuperPatriot named John Wilkes Booth–who exercised his “Second-Amendment Remedy” and Swiftboated Lincoln in the head with a lead ball in Ford’s Theatre. Think of Booth as the Ted Nugent of his day.

    But the South was never defeated. They just transmogrified into a new incarnation, retaining all the racism and class-warfare that made the Confederacy great (for 5 years or so), and in 1968, Richard Nixon cut a deal to give the Confederacy their own country again–in exchange for all the slave owners becoming Republicans.

    The Confederacy is alive and well. It is resurrecting, plank-by-plank, the same social, economic, and political platform they had in 1859, and, like W once said, they’ve never ‘made a mistake’ or been “wrong” or apologized–for anything. ‘Just like today.

    They envision an olde-timey America where the wealthy industrialists and plantation owners have the pick of everything, receive all the corporate welfare which is denied as personal assistance to the lower classes, and continue growing a lopsided economy that has nearly half it’s population near the poverty line while a tiny minority has received an endless windfall of increased wealth. And an obedient clergy will help whip people into line through the fear of “God”–the Confederate Theocracy brand of God.

    Not to worry: If the Confederacy succeeds, they will usher in a shining new feudal state like Mexico and most of Central and South America; broken infrastructure, inadequate healthcare for the majority of the population, widespread poverty, right-wing death squads made up of privately-paid armies to bully and cow any opposition, and razor-wired citadels for the wealthiest, who can keep the lower classes out, all the time accusing them of “class- warfare” for simply describing what they can see with their own two eyes.

    The good news: NO BIG GOVERNMENT in Mexico.

    Scarcely any government at all.

    Welcome to the Land o’ Cotton, brought to you by the Party of Jefferson Davis–the ultimate R.I.N.O’s.

    • Alex

      The post below was meant in reply to you, Ron. I applaud your intelligence.

    • Mom Henning

      My greatgrandfather, a confederate veteran said the war was a rich mans war and a poor mans fight.

  • Alex

    Amen to All of That! One of the great Personal Liberty Digest posts of all time, and Bob Livingston should send you flowers or a plaque or something.

    Still, I have to ask….how does it feel to scream into a hurricane?

  • Stuart Shepherd

    Mr. Roberts could quite possibly be given “prophet” status- a divine oracle. He is completely incisive spiritually. When something someone says (or prints) has the “ring of truth”- it probably is! That would explain history, but the next step is to understand that what’s going on around us (in the entire world) is the struggle between good and evil. God works through people and the devil tempts them (hubris, among other things!) and uses them. We live in Satan’s world. This is hell and always will be- consumed in fire on the Last Day. God would allow wars to be waged, etc. to pave the way for even a single immaterial soul to be drawn to Him, through Christ, for residence in His eternal world, long after the earth and the universe (the material world) are NO MORE. The battle within YOU is more important to God than the battles between nations!!

    • Richard Pawley

      This in neither heaven nor hell, it is a school wherein we all have many varied lessons to learn. God is always there in this struggle between good and evil and for the battle within. We simply need to call upon Him. Look up Dr. George Ritchie on the Internet for a one page explanation of how I see it.

      Many have added some interesting thoughts here but it can best be summed up by saying, “Pride goeth before a fall!” War is sometimes necessary but not as often as we find ourselves in war. I can’t speak with authority on all the historical aspects mentioned by many here but I can say that God is reaching His limits with what He is going to allow His beloved children (us) to do.

      I do not know the answer to all our problems unless it be a return to the core beliefs of our founding fathers. They were not all religious people, they were of many differing faiths and denominations, or no denomination, but they all believed in the God of the Bible. Today we are substituting dozens of other false gods and beliefs that are reducing this great nation to has-been status. I have on occasion thanked God that I was not a prophet as that is one thankless occupation but I can tell you that His judgement is coming upon the USA and the world. How soon I don’t know. Neither did those He spoke to in ancient times in the Old Testament, but I have seen the accuracy of many things He has spoken to me over the years. It’s one of the reasons I wrote my books, that and not having any children to pass on what I had learned in this life. To much to tell.

      I am just one of many of a very large family, adopted sons of God, the Bible calls us, but on November 19th, 2011, I clearly heard the Spirit of the Lord, in a voice like steel, say in my spirit, “MY HAND OF JUDGEMENT WILL STRETCH FORTH AND ALL WILL FEEL IT, SOME MUCH MORE THAN OTHERS. FEAR NOT!”

      How soon? I have no idea! Some believe that 9/11 was the beginning. My only suggestion would be to seek God while He may be found. He can do more for you than you can do for Him. I’m talking about God, not religion. I’d also recommend building up a six month emergency food supply like 90 percent of Americans had 135 years ago, and if you live in or near Los Angeles, I’d seriously consider relocating. Our scientists say the Big One is overdue and I expect it in the summer of 2014, the reason I updated my autobiography. I have friends who lived 125 miles away and they sold a very wonderful piece of property and are now two states away. Above all, if you are a believer, pray! Pray for the outcome of the most important elections in a hundred years, pray for guidance, pray for direction, pray for Israel, pray for the few good people in the government who are trying to hold it together against the hoards who are trying to destroy the country and the constitution, whose desire is to bankrupt our nation by spending so much the dollar and the economy are destroyed. If things continue on their present path of corruption, greed, and godlessness, no one, not even atheists, are going to like the future. May God help us and all who read this. Without His help it is quite possible that some reading this may not survive what is coming.

  • chuckb

    s shepherd, the more i see of this life i think we are in hell, where could you find a more suitable person as the devil than the guy sitting in the white house.

    • Richard Pawley

      I’m afraid the future world leader, the one the Bible calls “THE Anti-Christ” will be far smarter and perhaps even more charismatic than the president. The Book of Revelation indicates he will be some sort of banker because he will require his “mark” (or micro-computer) to be installed in the palm or forehead of all in order to buy or sell. I suspect it will be the fifth or six such system that will be used after the collapse of the present world money system, which this administration is doing it’s best to help along. There is also evidence that he will be of Jewish blood but not a true Jew.

      As for our financial demise, I believe we have one last chance and that is in November to change this. I don’t believe our dollar or our economy can be saved – and I hope I am wrong – but if we can replace the half dozen or so RINO Republicans and a few Democrats we might be able to slow this down. Romney alone is not likely to be able to do so. The fact that McCain supports him bothers me. Count on prices tripling before this show is out, but not houses. If the president is reelected I expect this will all happen in the next five years, from food riots to the rioting and looting of our major cities that Homeland Security seems to be preparing for now. This might even be a reason why some of the millions who have left the country in the past few years have done so. May God help us!

  • http://none CharlesM

    Anyone who believes Americans have lost their inventivness should read the previous accounts of history. Maybe we should start teaching it again in the schools.

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.