Announcement, Charles, Civil War, Classical History, Political Discussion & Analysis, War, Wars To Come
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What to Do When Caesar Comes

An article by me, “What to Do When Caesar Comes,” has been published in the new magazine Asylum, along with pieces from others, including Lord Conrad Black and Bronze Age Pervert. The theme of this first issue is the changes that may come, and my article is, no surprise, about what we can expect in the coming new dispensation. The first paragraph, and a link to the entire magazine, including my contribution, are below. (I encourage you to buy the print magazine; a free PDF is also available.)

(Credit for the image of Gaius Julius Caesar to Daniel Voshart, whose photorealistic images of Roman emperors (and one proto-emperor), generated by computer-analyzing extant images, are very valuable and interesting.)]

Is a Caesar, an authoritarian reconstructor of our institutions, soon to step onto the American stage? A betting man would say yes. The debilities of our society are manifold and will inevitably result in fracture and chaos. History tells us that such times call forth ambitious and driven men, who in the West usually aspire to reconstruction and dynasty, not mere extraction, what is usually featured in primitive societies. As Napoleon said of his accession to Emperor, “I came across the crown of France lying in the street, and I picked it up with my sword.” In human events, past performance is always a key predictor of future results. But neither you nor I is going to be Caesar, so this truth raises the crucial question for us—what to do when Caesar comes?

. . . . Read more at Asylum!

28 Comments

  1. What if Caesar is Woke Andrew Jackson, and we the Indians?
    Or In-The-Way-dians?

    I mean yes “Heritage Americans”?

      • I read your piece Sir and am not so sure.

        What I am sure of is Red Caesar today would have not a century never mind a Legion while a Blue Caesar would instantly have tens of millions at every level including all the Commanding Heights, the sinews of war that is endless money, Intelligence Community, academia, perfect publicity and media and a fighting conquering creed of power called Woke, the Religion of Power (which is based on laws decades on the books and HR in every company).

        Red Caesar has a DREAM, Dead and buried parchment, not a Centurion or a Century (80 men) and not a penny. He has only romance and nostalgia to offer the dispossessed- who can get that without risk on Netflix or the VFW. I will not March for Romance – I gave at the office already.

        This is today. Which means tomorrow.

  2. Michael E. Wysession says

    The issue at point is at what point will Sofa-Americans be salivating for Bonapartism ? The fields must be prepped, else the seed will have no place to take root. That Bonapartism is coming is axiomatic, but how much more prepping is required? A betting man would say at least another year is needed – the vaxpassport stuff needs to really be pushed down the gullets.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Economic collapse is almost certainly the trigger. Until then, people will not feel they can improve their situation by rocking the boat, no matter how dumb they think the situation is.

      • How does Economic Collapse trigger something that doesn’t exist; Red Caesar’s and their Legions?

        Write this as a business plan and see if it makes sense.

        Understand I want this or something to happen to save us, I see nothing.

        • Charles Haywood says

          As Orwell said of Burnham, his error lay in “always predicting the continuation of the thing that is happening.”

  3. Ser Charles,

    While I would welcome this development and indeed march for it literally, I have some questions.

    Where are the Legions that this great man can call on?
    We’re also skipping the decades that produced Sulla, Marius, Pompey then Caesar.
    We’re missing that system.
    Our actual system excels at degrading, corrupting and ruining Great Men.
    See for example MacArthur, Petreaus, even McChyrstal. McMaster. All of them were great or at least competent leaders destroyed and thwarted by the government they served.

    Moreover the system we have – the enemy – is extremely dominant in all fields, as if the Senate and the Optimates controlled every department and school and counting house down to the village level, and the Optimates we have are very sub par – hence a system that selects for mediocrity and rewards failure handsomely…but above all the system exists for poppy cropping- that is chopping off the heads of talent long before the talented can get position or traction. Being natural pornographers and consummate corrupters they very effectively tarnish or corrupt any and all …although to be hopeful it didn’t work with Trump, the problem being Trump didn’t work out.

    Elections are also closed, the only purpose elections can serve is to prove to the last true believers if they are any that the system admits of no reform. As long as the system has even the most risible legitimacy even our people will want elections – touching, sad, delusional but that’s America.

    But here is what really troubles me: where is the ruling class this man can appeal to or buy, or reward ? The Caesars had their legions march for SPQR until the end.
    What Senate can he cajole, threaten, bribe, win over?

    The great man would have to go to where Trump went – the people – and then get them to march.
    Now there’s hope there as that’s where all the soldiers, police and anyone who makes anything useful or essential reside. That scenario however calls more for a Ho Chi Minh than a Caesar, a Mao really. Never mind their politics, look at their methods.

    It is possible this can happen by the way, but if there’s an army and general out there that can lead and fight and would be followed it’s in the contractors. More hope there – the contractors in every aspect of government are the government in terms of doing anything, including welfare, never mind finance and all the rest, even intelligence. That is the government in waiting Sir, it’s already governing. All that we lack is a Prince, but that would be a very daring man.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Well, yes–I had a word limit! These are good points, but I have two core responses. First, modernity accelerates change; what took a century in Rome could take five years here. Second, the ruling class will have to be wholly stripped of assets and power, exiled or rusticated, and lustrated. A few may change their opinions and fit with the new fashion (this famously happened quite a bit under Napoleon). The legions of parasites we have today will also get with the new program, or starve; they certainly won’t get money from the government directly or indirectly.

      Yes, it will require a daring men. Throughout history, in times of turmoil, such men are never in short supply. Maybe our age, wealth, and diminishing testosterone make this less true now. But I doubt it.

      • May I recommend strongly BH Liddell Hart’s “Sherman; Soldier, Realist, Patriot” as a read if not review. Sherman turned down Assistant Secretary of War or Major General at the outset as he considered the Union fundamentally unserious about the problem, and Lincoln taking the matter too lightly.

        He accepted a Colonel slot when Lincoln began to take it a bit more seriously, and Sherman’s Brigade was one of the Brighter spots at Bull Run, or perhaps the cleanest dirty shirt.

        It would do to have a good look at BH Liddell Hart’s TE Lawrence as well, for what we have and what we could expect at *best* is no Caesar (this is not possible) but a Feisal.
        Feisal was the key that unlocked it all, and our actual position is much closer to that of the Arabs under the Turks- you are you know dreaming of a Red Ataturk – and we are not the Turks. We could be the Arabs.

        We don’t want to be the Armenians, which is the most likely outcome today – but done via Hunger and Economic suffering- aka the much dreamed of nightmare of Economic Collapse.

        The Economic collapse is child’s play and the enemy can trigger it any moment- simply let the slightest whiff of price discovery near the Dollar 💵 $ and the American Food distribution system collapses = Famine.

  4. The writing by Ser Charles and BAP are interesting and insightful, BAP makes the point there’s no tradition to defend.

    I think our situation past a Caesar and requires a Mao. I don’t mean a Communist, I mean we’ll have to do this from the ground up. Our situation is far closer to the Manchu at the end and we’re not even at 1911 yet.
    Nancy Pelosi does make a good Old Buddha though, and while we do have a baby Emperor that’s dementia not youth.

    Mao wrote On Protracted Conflict in 1937, thats 26 years into China’s terrible torment, we are at year -1 and holding.

    Sorry about the link but in fairness Mao and the Marxists do indeed (in those days) have much to teach about war.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Yes–but the ground is a lot closer to us than it was in Rome. There, the average person was relatively little discombobulated by the civil wars–or rather he likely was to some extent, but did not worry about getting enough to eat. A total collapse of our society is much easier to envision than was a total collapse of Roman society. But yes–the role of our Caesar will therefore be somewhat different.

      • The collapse; the most likely winner is the Strongest.

        The least likely winner is the non existent.

        The enemy most likely course of action is their most dangerous course of action:
        We, their enemies, starve.

  5. goodlander says

    The prediction that a red Caesar will rise is almost believable to me. One certainly gets the sense that there actually is a trillion dollar bill sitting there in the form a marginalized red America waiting for a person of superhuman competence to simply pick it up. A few thought Trump could be such a person, and maybe Bannon actually was, but the only thing superhuman about Trump was his ability to draw the ire of the left who are already predisposed to seeing Nazi’s under their bed. He was effective the way an allergen is effective and although he’s gone there’s no sign that the swelling he caused has begun to subside.

    Which is why I can’t quite believe in the Red Caesar–this attack vector on our political order is probably the exact thing it is most fortified against. It’s storming the beaches of Calais rather than Normandy. You send the Little Caesars mascot and it sets off an immune system response in our leftist elite that while excessively disproportionate to reality still serves to shock and awe. Red Caesar would be ingenious by definition so perhaps this is not the obstacle it appears to be, but at least since Lindbergh our society has been diligent in preventing any hero from getting too big for their britches, prioritizing the pruning of those who might be able to pull off a toga.

    Perhaps Red Caesar could arise from somewhere totally unexpected. Maybe some kind of based Obama figure could ascend on the wings of leftist self-flattery then do some Red Caesar shit.

    Maybe a slightly more believable fake Caesar could trigger full anaphylactic shock of our ruling class and provoke them to boil the frog too fast–creating the conditions for an actual Red Caesar. This could be one way out of the cold civil war we find ourselves in although I think there are better ways.

    Hell maybe precisely because of the allergic reaction to our last fake Caesar, all the pillboxes, bunkers, and nests are completely dry and all that’s needed is someone to surrender to.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Any plausible Red Caesar today would not get far, for the reasons you identify. By definition, a Caesar must take advantage of massive instability, which for him is opportunity. So, for example, Trump will never be Red Caesar. But if he were to run and win in 2024, the unhinged reaction certain to follow would likely open the door for a real Red Caesar. I think the pillboxes are not empty and will have to be sterilized with a flamethrower, though, because they have no possible retreat that leaves them anything–money, power, or prestige. There can be only one.

  6. Eugene says

    Thanks for sharing, Charles! This is a really thought-provoking piece, and it got me thinking about how a Red Caesar in the US might affect us (your ultra-woke neighbors to the north!).

    Your conclusion reminded me of something I’d just read in Out of Revolution (it’s by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, and I strongly recommend you consider reading and reviewing it – the book is so far shaping up to be a real tour de force). In connection with the demise of the German monarchy and its transition to a post-war republic, which ERH takes to be a problematic development, he writes: “Bad government is no specific attribute of monarchy; it is the curse of government itself.” I thought it was well put.

  7. bouncing ball says

    Read your article, and agree wholeheartedly – Need to reread BAP’s section again, he puts a lot of feelings I have had about “conservatives” and “monarchists” into words. Essentially that it is all role-play within (and thus subservient to) Modern Society, similar to the “gentleman” described in the other article.

    There is one sobering thought in all this – even if we are victorious and the Red Caesar rises, there will be cataclysmic death and suffering. We (as a culture and society) have definitely earned it, but it is impossible to imagine there will be no collateral damage, some of which could be personally devastating.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Yeah, BAP’s article was excellent. And yes to your second point–I discuss this in my review of Cercas’s Lord of All the Dead. There is no help for it, though, but certainly, what preparation is possible should be done.

    • Charles Haywood says

      This is an excellent question, and one I have been thinking a bit about for an upcoming piece (about Pinochet). The short answer is that unlike the very many Red Terrors mankind has been forced to experience, “White Terrors” do not exist and have never existed; they are a fiction created retrospectively by the Left to justify and excuse their inevitable and unparalleled crimes (which, as I have noted before, are the necessary consequence of utopian ideology).

      Slightly longer, without being exhaustive, is that in the modern era (1789 on) there is an essential qualitative and conceptual distinction between the violence of the Left and that of the Right. Violence of the Left is preordained and geared toward both extermination of any who would oppose the utopia, whose sin is infinite because they would deny future generations the utopia, and toward reforming the minds of the populace. For that latter, terror is an essential component, which means not only killing political opponents, but killing anyone deemed to have inherent characteristics of opposition (class and religion most commonly), and random killing to ensure that nobody challenges those who are bringing perfection to man.

      Such killing has never occurred on the Right. Killing by the Right is instrumental—to prevent harm to those in control of the state, and to maintain that control. Thus, what is called a “White Terror” has always merely been a combination of levying justice (and revenge) for the foul crimes every Left regime in power has always perpetrated as their first acts, and deterrence/preemption against a repeat of the same. You will note that in the Wikipedia article you linked, every single so-called White Terror was subsequent to a Red Terror. The order is never reversed, and never will be.

      Along the same lines, in so-called White Terrors, there is no “terror” involved, except in the minds of identified criminals of the Left who are being justly punished. There is no attempt to create an atmosphere of terror throughout society in the way the Left creates. They assume an equivalency, unable to get outside their own frame, but there is none, because the premises are different, because the Right never promises any utopia. In fact, unlike in Red Terrors, the rule of law in White justice is generally, though not always, maintained (although sometimes, um, accelerated through military tribunals and the like). (It is no doubt true that sometimes injustices occur, such as killing those politically associated with the Left in a Red Terror without specific proof of specific crimes. But maybe that’s not injustice; lie down with dogs and get up with fleas.) In addition, Right killing always ends soon after it begins, because justice is accomplished, and the Right does not need to continue killing. (Of course, those who are active enemies of the regime are still combatted on an ongoing basis—all regimes protect themselves, the more aggressively the less legitimate they are, as you can see in the terrorism levied against the heroes of the Electoral Justice Protest).

      For the same basic reasons, the number of people killed by Right regimes in responses to Red Terrors is trivial compared to those killed by the Left. (This is where you will hear, “But Hitler! And the Jews!” This is not to the contrary; Hitler would have been perfectly happy not to kill any Jews, but make them all go away. That probably would never have happened, but it was not an inherent part of the plan—unlike every Left regime ever, for whom mass killing is a feature, not a bug, and a celebrated and accepted, including by the dominant elements of our own Left regime today). White Terrors are essentially historical non-events; they are only remembered, and called comparable, because the Left controls history in the West. The number of people Pinochet killed in total was roughly comparable to the daily body count of Soviet communism for its first thirty years—and those Pinochet killed were mostly guilty of actual crimes, so it is doubly not comparable.

      Thus, if there is violence here, it will be begun by the Left, because it always is. I do not mean the violence inherent in a civil war; though that is very bad, and most people do not appreciate or understand what a civil war entails. I mean that if given the chance, by civil war or otherwise, the Left in America today will eagerly engage in mass killing of the “deplorables.” When they are defeated, to answer your actual question, from where they have fled, perhaps the dying capitals of Europe, they will complain of the “White Terror.” But there will not be one. There will only be justice, both formal and rough, for the Left, and they will deserve it, as they have in every so-called White Terror.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Interesting. Their existence is inevitable, and no doubt important to Red Caesar.

  8. spotted eagle says

    “Those who merely tend Left by fashion will quickly adopt the new fashion, and forget their former opinions.”

    This is true which makes me think that a coalition of science-based realists with a national vision of unity could be led by a liberal who talks up human nature and the common good, who wont let corrupt corporations get away with calling themselves “liberal” while they destroy the environment, families, and local communities. It would be a campaign against fake-liberal special interests which everyone could get behind, even those who consider vices no big deal, because they would see the destruction it causes by way of social dysfunction (drugs, suicide, broken families, crime, unemployment, obesity, chronic health problems) and their accompanying costs (prisons, police, welfare, rehab, hospital costs), all weaponized by oligarchic consumerism to control the little guy for profit and power. It could have an Arts and Crafts or Romanticist / Spiritual aesthetic like revivals of the past, calling into question the primacy of the 9-5 paper-pushing lifestyle. Maybe not Blue or Purple in the sense of sympathetic to cosmopolitan globalism, but more like a working class progressivism, like Blue Labour in England.

    “…without directly involving any of the common people in governance.”

    At the local level, I think we have a role to play because we identify the gifted, just as we identify good restaurants or good athletes and give them support so they can then move up into positions of influence. We shouldn’t be voting on the best restaurants in the region or who should make the baseball hall of fame because we don’t have expertise in those fields, but we had a role in bringing to prominence those who can and should make those decisions. There were problems with our state officials electing national representatives, but that seems more logical anyways in that it matches how the rest of society works. It’s not just necessary for the supply side, but it provides an authentic buy-in for everyday people so they correctly feel represented, and it bridges the gap between families and institutions, so the right people would organically find themselves with more responsibility without having to do the more inane games that comes with popular elections.

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