Archive for July, 2013

Intelligence – The Architecture of Secrets

 

“Governments never tell their citizens what they know. They tell their citizens what they want them to believe.” Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence (1953–1961)

In 1951, CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith gathered a committee of civilian experts in their respective fields. These were everyday people: doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, electricians, engineers, and skilled laborers. Studying a vast array of publicly available sources, they were instructed to derive as much classified information as they could, drawing from their skills and experience. Smith and his staff were stunned by the results.

Despite no formal training, they were able to document a near complete picture of national defense planning and intelligence gathering methods. Following the study, each participant was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and all documentation was destroyed …

Western Civilization – Patriots and Tyrants

 

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” – Thomas Jefferson

A deep understanding of warfare in Western Civilization cannot exclude that wars are driven by economic forces.

Carroll Quigley’s Evolution of Civilizations and Tragedy and Hope are astounding resources on this topic. I highly recommend reading both.

Medieval Europe:

1000 AD – The pinnacle of defensive weaponry was the impregnable stonewalled castle. Castles gave the feudal lords who owned one, the power to say “no,” even to the King. The counterpart in offensive weaponry was the Knight in armor. Mounted on horseback, Knights dominated combat in the open fields, but were all but useless against castle walls. Laying siege to a castle required the besiegers to invest 3-5 times …

Western Civilization – Classically Liberal, Traditionally Conservative

 

Western Civilization’s success is unlike any other. Its lifespan has seen the destruction of hundreds of other societies, and at least six other civilizations. Each of its predecessors has followed the same life cycle, culminating in decay and destruction. (See: The Architecture Of History)

It has demonstrated an uncanny ability, unlike all others, to reform and reorganize itself, and adapt its success to each new age. Each Instrument of Expansion decays into an Institution, giving rise to an Age of Conflict as time passes.

First Instrument Of Expansion – Agriculture – Feudal farming, using serf labor. The Dark Ages were prolonged by excessive taxation and institutionalized religion. First Age Of Conflict – Medieval Wars. The Crusades. Witch …

Classical Civilization – Fall Of An Institutionalized Elite

 

The term Classical Civilization encompasses the Greek and Roman Civilizations.

These civilizations experimented with democracy, and brought forth the concept of the voting class, the “citizen.” But it’s not the pretty picture painted by school textbooks. The word “citizen” literally means “one who dwells in the city.” Those who were not citizens, were slaves. No exceptions.

Those outside the city had no vote, and were slaves for the benefit of the city dwellers. The lifestyle of the citizens was sustained by the rural slave-farmers and trade laborers. Country-dwelling farmers were conscripted to go to war to expand the wealth and empire of the city dwellers.

The citizens looked upon city life and its culture as morally superior to country life. The citizen lifestyle revolved around leisure, luxury, and intellectual …

The Architecture Of History

 

Our lives are shaped by forces larger than ourselves. There is no escaping this.

To understand our world and our place in it, we must understand these forces.

Civilizations follow an evolutionary process all their own. Just as school of fish reacts to the presence of a shark, so do human civilizations react to forces and events larger than any member of society.

Carroll Quigley gives a powerful account of these in Evolution of Civilizations. Not many in history, save the rulers of the day, have ever had such perspective. He deserves much credit for the following, though he is not my only source.

Societies are comprised of major social structures that exist in the areas of: Politics, Economics, Religious, Military, Technology, Education, Entertainment, Culture and Communications.

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