Wednesday, 1 May 2013

After America - Zion

After America - Zion


    On Easter Sunday in the year of our lord 2033, John Matthews, President of the victorious Confederation of Southern and Western states of America had made a momentous announcement. It came after a solemn service in the Cathedral of Christ the King in the Southern capital of Memphis, to give thanks to God for complete and final victory in their war with the North (or 'USA v2' as it had been known in the rest of the world),to pray for reconciliation between the states, and to re-dedicate His people to His service. This announcement had been eagerly awaited and much, if quietly, discussed in political circles, for some months. That was why the cathedral was filled by representatives of all the states and the political class, as well as by clergy from as many denominations and areas as possible. It was a dignified and moving occasion with a fine turnout, although admittedly some of the delegates from Northern states looked strained and stiff, as if they felt the pressure of Southern bayonets up the backs of their jackets.

    As Cardinal Murphy intoned the final blessing and requested the congregation to resume their seats and listen to an announcement from His Excellency the President, Matthews ascended the pulpit and stood looking out gravely over the assembled representatives of the American people. "Fellow-countrymen," he said, as silence fell and all faces turned to his, " as we once were, and with the grace of God, shall be again; the time has come to put past enmities and strife behind us. This can not be done if we cling to old names, old identities and old grievances ever renewed.This is a momentous year. It marks not only the victory of God's people on this continent against the manifest powers of evil which had for so long oppressed, seduced and set us against each other. It marks the working out of that experiment which was America. An experiment made with hope, but too much pride. Pride in our own strength, the Pride of Lucifer, the pride which went before a Fall. Like Babylon the Great, America has fallen. Fallen in every way, morally, materially and militarily. The very name stinks in the nostrils of the world. It is an accursed name, source and fount of iniquity, hated throughout the earth, bringing shame at home. The hand of the Lord has brought it low. As a dog returns to it's vomit, so a fool returns to his folly! Two attempts at a United States of America have failed. Enough! Cease! Let us repent and humble ourselves, that the Lord may be merciful unto us."

    Although his audience was primed and knew something of what to expect, Matthews was pleased to see the emotional impact which his words had on them. All were paying attention, some looked grim or heart-struck, more looked thoughtful. There were no whispered conversations, no rustling of papers, no people slumped drowsily or staring listlessly around.These were devout attentive and serious people, assembled to participate in a most solemn occasion. The President was glad that he had not lost his oratorical  touch.

    "Kyrie eleison! The Lord has Risen! This Easter Sunday marks the two thousandth anniversary since Our Lord's crucifixion and Resurrection. Is it a co-incidence that this coincides so neatly with our situation and our need? I think not! The Lord has risen and He will rule! Where and when will he rule? As to the time, no man knows. As to the place, first in our hearts and then in our land. He is to rule in Zion. We must be Zion. John the Baptist tells us to make straight the way of the Lord, to prepare for his coming. He will come and he will come in splendour. His rule will be righteous. It may not be in our time, it may not be our destiny to see the Word fulfilled in our lifetimes, but like the Baptist we have a task, - to prepare the way for His glorious rule. Like the Biblical people of Israel we have been chosen and set apart. The rest of the world has cast us aside, driven us from the community of nations  to dwell apart in desert places, spurned and shunned - like John the Baptist or the prophets - because of the past sins of our people. Now we show our repentance, let us most earnestly implore His forgiveness and ourselves set foot upon that road which leads to His rule and shows him our intention to be worthy of his grace. 'Out of Egypt have I called my Son', God tells us in the gospel of Matthew chapter two verse fifteen.As forerunners of the Lord, the Children of Israel were called out of Egypt. They wandered in the desert enduring much hardship, until they won their way into the Promised Land. Some rebelled and murmured against Moses for taking them away from the fleshpots of Egypt, until they were punished by the wrath of the Lord. So have the rebellious people of America been punished. Again in the gospel of Matthew, chapter twenty, verse 16, God tells us that the last shall be first and the first last, for many are called but few are chosen. Here is hope for us. We were first among nations. Now we are last. The mercy of God may again raise us up if we turn from our past errors and persevere in His way, that way which we are to prepare for him. It is also said in the Revelation of John, chapter one and verse eight 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending saith the Lord', and again in the twentieth verse of chapter twenty eight of the gospel of Matthew 'I will be with you unto the end of the world' ".

    Where was this going? Were eyes glazing over? Was he starting to lose them in this thicket of Biblical quotations? Were some of the clergy sneaking discreet peeks at their watches?

    "Friends! Let me bring you to the mercy and opportunity which the Lord offers us today! Here we are in the city of Memphis, capital of our country. The name was taken from an important city and theological centre in ancient Egypt. God is making a link between the situation of America and that of ancient Egypt - out of which he called his people and his Son! Notice also that the holy texts I quoted are taken from the writings attributed to John and Matthew. Here stand I,John Matthews, your President, unworthy servant though I am, whose very name bears testimony to the relevance of these texts to our country today. America is now as dead as ancient Egypt. From it's ashes, like a Phoenix, let a new country and a new people arise. What shall we be called? Let the Alpha and Omega first and last letters in the Greek alphabet show us the way. The name America used the first letter of our alphabet, and the way we are taking leads to the holy land of Zion. Zion, which uses the last letter of our alphabet is clearly the name which God intends for us to take. Let it be a reminder to us every time we use it, of our intention, our dedication, our desire and our destination. Do you consent to this? What shall our new name be?'

    'ZION! ZION! ZION!' roared the crowd.

Political Life In Zion

    In Zion taxation was light. In a Gladstonian phrase, money was allowed to fructify in the pocket of the taxpayer. Not much even of this was passed on to the central government. In a very Biblically oriented country, people on the whole accepted the concept of tithing, but were firmly of the opinion that one in ten should be quite sufficient for any legitimate needs of government. Considering that the country was the only large state in their world and had no serious internal or external threats, there was no need for huge defence expenditure, and no proliferation of vast self serving bureaucracies, and no welfare state for either large corporations or a large dependent class, so the government agreed with  their people, and did as little as possible as economically as possible. Proposals to increase expenditure were a political graveyard, and could even mark the path to a physical graveyard.

    Charity, on the other hand, was given every encouragement.The parable of the widow's mite notwithstanding, large donors gained prestige in their communities. Those who had much were expected to give much, especially if they had any ambitions of social or political advancement. Generosity with their own money and parsimony with that of the public was now expected of aspiring politicians, quite the reverse of the situation in the old days. Politics was also rather different. Political parties were banned. Politics was local insofar as it existed and affected the bulk of the people. Appealing for votes on the basis of promising handouts to be paid for by someone else was a capital offence.So was self enrichment by politicians and civil servants. The revolving door between lobbying, politics and business now led only to a scaffold. There were no voter registration drives or campaigns to get the illiterate to vote. They would also have been capital offences. Voting was restricted to natives of a locality who were taxpayers of good character and reputation. No bums. No newcomers. Candidates also had to have been born locally or to have been there a long time and accepted as a valuable member of the local community. No carpet-baggers. Only people who were known and respected locally would be acceptable candidates, and voters were expected to vote for someone they knew and respected and thought a knowledgeable god-fearing and competent individual who would use his judgment well on their behalf and not on the basis of any packaged party programme. No payments to local politicians were allowed, and the few state and national officeholders were expected to live on relatively modest salaries. Anyone too poor to pay his own expenses in attending to his public duties was probably not going to be a worthy representative of his community; although to cater for rare instances when great oratorical or other talent might be unfortunately combined with such poverty, those who supported him were permitted to pay his expenses. Campaign expenditure had to be extremely modest, there was no point either in appealing to people who did not know you, or losing the good opinion of those who did through vulgar extravagance, or running ones head into a noose for electoral malpractice. Such rules were taken very seriously, expected to be closely supervised by local voters and officials, and monitored by another institution of which more may later be said.The intention and effect was to raise the moral and intellectual quality of those in public life. They were expected to be the representatives of the best their community had attained, not the worst.

    From this process of direct election at local level, indirect election proceeded. Representatives at each level elected those at the next. A state governor or national President could not be personally known by many voters, general repute would have to suffice them, and if dissatisfied they could blame their local representatives.

    This system did greatly increase the probity and competence of those engaged in politics, and as a result secured better and cheaper government, to the benefit even of those who did not vote.
There was much less 'politics', the phrase 'public service' regained
 some meaning and respect, the government became much less of a hindrance to recovery and development than it would otherwise have been.Professional politicians became rare. Many people would serve for a while and retire. It was less of a means of self enrichment and more an honourable but somewhat burdensome activity putting ones time and talents to the benefit of the public, available to those who had attained at least a  modest level of economic and social or intellectual success.

Templars of  Zion


    Zion without a Temple is inconceivable. A Temple without a bank would be a poor thing. Where there is a Temple, Templars may be found. The Knights Templar had been established nominally to guard and guide pilgrims on the routes to and within the Holy Land and had soon extended their activities into banking. Hence it had been deemed necessary by the rulers of the new Zion that a comparable institution should be established. Americans, or 'Zionists' as we must now call them, were not comfortable with the concept of knighthood, so these successors to the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon were simply to be known as Templars of Zion. To such a diligent and inspired searcher of the scriptures as President Matthews, it was clear that these Templars of Zion should be godly men who could give right guidance to pilgrims seeking the Way of the Lord, metaphorically as well as literally. Obviously, they should also be good fighting men, an elite force comparable to their namesakes, able to play an important role in war as well as to guard and maintain routes and assist travellers, receive funds and messages on behalf of travellers and transmit them to distant and dangerous places, as well as looking after the property of the Temple itself. Quite a tall order and a varied portfolio of responsibilities, to which intelligence gathering and diplomacy were added as corollaries in imitation of their precursors.

     There used to be an institution with functions as broad as that. It was called the Federal Government of the United States of America, and it's adjunct the Federal Reserve Bank. Not a bad day's work for a President to get away with, setting up such an institution in a country which had renounced the Federal government and the very name of America, where banks were hated and small government  was almost as much an article of faith as the Ten Commandments. All that work won't get done by an assistant with a desk and a filing cabinet in a corner of the President's office. 

    It hadn't worked out in that old high taxation, high service/interference way, of course. For one thing the country could no longer afford such efforts, economically or organisationally, and for another it was no longer in a mood to pay for and submit to such tyranny. Those who had thought otherwise were dead. What they would accept and what they got, was a light, loose, patchy and inexpensive network of people who  could give practical help in a variety of infrastructure projects, chivy local officials and volunteers into doing maintenance and encourage a bit of co-operation with other districts, assist in law enforcement, and importantly, maintain a sense of participation in an entity larger than the local district or state.Their loyalty was to the Temple of Zion. Somewhat analogously to the Roman legionaries, they were both artificers and fighters, albeit less numerous and less ardent road and wall builders, but with a strong corporate and religious identity.

 Temple of Zion Bank

    Sad as the history of banking in America had been, the change in the name of the country had not altogether discontinued the practice. Rare had it been for bankers to combine the virtues of competence and prudence with simple honesty. That slow alchemy for making gold had been shoved aside in favour of fast and flashy paper profits.The banks had been implicated in all the great economic and financial crises which had rocked the country since it's foundation, and the corpses of ruined depositors or shells of failed banks had littered the financial landscape even in better times. Banks had bred a brood of harpies which had fouled the food and made miserable the lives of many of the people, and no Argonauts had been there to pursue or destroy them. From their nests, in eyries rising high above every city, had spread this foul financial flock, preying upon the carcases of worthwhile industry and corrupting politicians and bureaucrats. From them had arisen many of the scandals and malpractices which had bankrupted the businesses and brought down the governments of the time. Indeed, they had brought the whole country into such disrepute with the other countries of the world that it had been barred from contact with the rest of humanity.

    Yet only a few decades later, here it was again; banking in a more sober fashion, new fashioned to the new fashions of the new times, and it may be, betimes,newly fashioning the times to suit itself. So much for continuity and change.

    No more speculative 'investment' casino banking. No more liar loans, no more market rigging, no more Federal Reserve to hand out free money to cronies, no more big bonus binge banking based on the laundering of drug money and the proceeds of other crimes.Those intoxicating and toxic times were over. Strict sobriety and probity were now much in evidence and all around.

    And yet.., and yet.., the money changers have ever been close to the Temple (and to the Throne). Even Jesus hadn't been able to keep them out for long, although they had been the only people against whom he had been said to have employed violence. It had been no coincidence that banking, money changing and usury had been intimately connected with the old Temple and city states, back to Sumeria. Low practices in high places were often decried. Temple prostitution had been commonplace in antiquity, especially in Babylonia. Although Deuteronomy chapter 23 verses 18-19 had prohibited male and female prostitution in the Temple, the Maccabees had accused their opponents of having practiced it there .The Temple in Jerusalem had been a huge banking operation. Jesus' scourging of it's bankers had swiftly been followed by the scourging and execution of Jesus himself by the religious and civil authorities. We can see who's really in charge. Caesar can strut his legions, Caiaphas can wear the priestly robes, but the money must keep rolling smoothly in, as that's what makes the world go round.

'My God, how the money rolls in, rolls in. My God, how the money rolls in.'
'Twas ever so, and so it shall remain unto the end. As Luke 17:26 tells us, 'And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of Man.' Matthew 13:49 'So shall it be at the end of the world; the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just.' Another text for John Matthews, the Prophetic President, last of America and first of Zion to ponder. Apparently the wicked had not all been severed, there was more to do, it was not yet the end of the world.

    Bankers Gothic had attempted to add an aura of sanctity to 19th century banking halls. Hushed reverence attended the ceremony of opening a bank vault, as of a tomb of antique sanctity.Lord Carnarvon had asked the archaeologist Carter when he opened a way and peered into the gold-stuffed tomb of Tutankhamun, 'What can you see?' 'Wonderful things', whispered the awestruck Carter. In the more recent and more debased era, it had been banks which had been 'too big to fail', until like a blind Samson their own avarice and folly had brought them and their temple down to the destruction of those attempting to uphold them. Great had been that fall, for financial and spiritual values had been inextricably mingled and confused and distorted, and their whole society was now one with the Philistines'.

    There was certainly less gold around now, but the Temple of Zion Bank cultivated an aura of sanctity around its operations. It was the only bank around, and as may be inferred, both Church and State, insofar as they were separate entities in this dispensation, closely supervised it. Prudent cautious loans to prudent cautious people was the old and newly fashionable method of making money, using the prudent cautious deposits of other prudent cautious people. Banking was boring once again and that was considered to be a very good thing, especially by all those prudent cautious people.

Temple Organisation

   It was the Templars who were engaged in economic activity who were most visible to the public. These were the only ones that most of the public ever saw or thought about at all, but there were others. The next most common group were the soldiers and lawmen. These assisted local government in maintaining order and in hunting down bandits, particularly in the sparsely settled regions, guarded Temple facilities and provided muscle for the searches and seizures of the TIA. The Templars didn't just work to pile up earthly treasure for its own sake, they used much of it to provide their own army, which was active in garrisoning and fighting in frontier regions, just as their namesakes had been. Hardly known outside the Order, there were also priests and Temple servants who ran the Temple in Memphis and the bureaucrats who ran the whole thing; as well as a few monks and contemplative mystics who composed the Temple on a spiritual level.

Templar Economic Presence

    The Templar insignia of a red cross on a white background was the most distinctive and common sign of unity. In effect it had replaced the Stars and Stripes as a flag flown from most of the buildings with which the public was likely to deal, except churches which had their own insignia. The official flag of Zion was less often seen, there being far fewer central government buildings from which to fly it, although it was flown alongside the more colourful flags of each local state on their official offices. The Templars had no monopolies, apart from banking, but they were well represented in all major industries in all states. Their flags, and their emblems on their vehicles and property, and on the uniforms of their members and employees were known and respected throughout the land, the only thing comparable to the commercial brands of the Old Times, but without the implications of sleaze, lies and distortions which the latter had accumulated, and without advertising, which was now heavily restricted when not completely banned. This economic presence had grown from the desire of a large and diverse organisation to supply as many as possible of its own needs, from its own resources, rather than from any attempt to  create or dominate civilian markets. When goods or services it wanted were better available fron outsiders, the Temple had no objection to buying them, and was willing to sell its own surpluses and keep its artisans employed making more than the Temple needed, so supply the demands of the public and make some income for the Temple. Some of these craftsmen even set up on their own after having been trained by and worked for the Temple. Their riverine and coastal shipping  provided transport for the goods and persons of the public as well as for their own needs, and out of this had grown  hotels, restaurants, hostelries and ostleries, postal deliveries, armed escorts, warehouses and even libraries and bookshops and printers, which served the public as well as the servants of the Temple.

     Even its involvement in banking had not arisen from a desire to make a lot of money, but from the desire of the public to create a system of honest and competent banking, free of speculation, which could be trusted because it was run by people of acknowledged probity, and closely supervised to ensure that it stayed that way. Greed was not good. Neither was waste or sloth or incompetence or arrogance. Their activities were well managed and subject to searching scrutiny for moral as well as material failings. Consequently, they were trusted, and had a reputation for demanding and providing goods and services of good quality.

Templar Militia

    The huge military forces of the old United States, and of the war between its successor states had disappeared. They could no longer be supported, even proportionately, by the changed economic and social and demographic circumstances. There was no longer any competition or rivalry with other powers. Indeed, there was little in their neighbourhood that could be dignified with the title of a 'Power'. The central government maintained a few units, an arsenal to make and maintain a few artillery pieces and smallarms, a few light aeroplanes about equivalent to those of First World War vintage, kept mainly for show, a small military bureaucracy and tiny training schools for officers and technicians. There was no navy, they relied on civilian boats and Templar craft to be armed if necessary, and no necessity was foreseen.The individual states kept small units of, in effect, ceremonial guards available as riot police, and relied on ad-hoc short term volunteers and conscripted militia in the unlikely event that military forces were required.

    Only the Temple maintained a substantial professional military force, and that was not large. It was expected to provide a disciplined and experienced core for any general military enterprise. The Templars had no difficulty in providing training and discipline, arms and munitions. Experience was provided , partly by law enforcement around the country, but mainly by service on the western and south-western frontiers. 

    There was a vast area of Western plains, desert, semi-desert and mountains which were very sparsely inhabited. Civilised settlement only really extended one tier of states west of the Mississippi. The rest was a wild landscape of wild animals and humans almost as wild. A scattering of Mormons based in Deseret, which had been Utah, tried to control it on behalf of themselves and of Zion, but there was much scope for the lawless there, and the Templars had established fortified garrisons, from which they tried to control the countryside, raiding and feuding with gangs and Mexicans far to north and south and even to the west coast. In the better watered northern portion, there were substantial pastoral farming interests, herds of cattle, bison and horses were bred and there was a railroad to take them east. This area was relatively secure. The arid southerly portion was home to a hardy and scattered population happy to live at or beyond the limit of the reach of the long arm of Zion's law. This was an excellent military training ground for active defence or aggression.

    Amongst the diverse and mongrelised population of this area were remnants of the Red Indian tribes who had had reservations there. The cessation of government handouts had forced them to become more self reliant. The cessation of tourism and gambling had limited their chances to make money legitimately and the opportunities for becoming alcoholics. Hence it was not surprising that the slimmer and more sober tribesmen's eyes often turned to crime. This put them in conflict with the Templars, and re-ignited the Indian Wars to a smaller extent. A life of raid and counter-raid was actually quite usual for such frontier areas, so this was no exception. What differed this time around was that the Indians had not regained all of their skills as trackers and woodsmen, so the Zionists were at less of a disadvantage. On the other hand there was also less disparity in weapons, since the Indians were better able to steal or buy firearms. The Zionists had of course the advantage of overwhelming numerical and material superiority, although they seldom chose to deploy it. A remote training ground with live firing exercises against  Indians, Mexicans, mestizos and bandits suited them well enough. It produced fighting men as hardy as their opponents, but better organised and eqipped and potentially far more numerous.


    What destabilised this situation was a spillover from the Mexo-anarchy of the Left Coast. Some of the squabbling gangs there patched up their differences and combined to raid across the mountains and deserts. As long as their raids did not go further afield, this was mainly of consequence to the Templars, who had to make additional efforts to raise troops and money and supplies to cope with these incursions. The situation really changed when a series of successful raids burned and looted their way through the cattle stations and horseherds of the northern part of the Great Plains. The howls of outrage and demands for justice and vengeance quickly reached senior and sensitive ears at Memphis, and effective measures of retaliation had to be put in train. A major campaign was planned which would eliminate the problem. The public was primed to cough up additional taxes to pay for it. Of course, there was no government borrowing to pass the problem to the future. Most of the surviving Templar forces were re-deployed to the northern plains. Recruitment and training of additional forces proceeded. The central government called for volunteers and levies from the states. Over the next year a force of several thousand men, perhaps as many as ten thousand infantry, and a thousand cavalry, with artillery support, was armed, trained and deployed westwards. Logistical and intelligence preparations were not overlooked. The government of Zion, and the Templar commanders had decided to simplify their strategic situation by reclaiming California in order to clear their flank and press any surviving troublemakers far to the south. It was known that the central valley had once been a very prosperous agricultural area, adjacent to a potentially great port in an area with a balmy climate. If these assets could be regained, the land could support a considerable population of good Zionists, and the war would more than pay for itself in a few decades.

    As soon as the mountain passes were free of snow and the campaigning season opened, the Zionist army, known as the Sword of Gideon, passed through and occupied northern California against only ill-coordinated resistance. They proceeded south, chasing any undesirables ahead of them. One night, as the main force entered San Francisco, against stiffening but inadequate resistance, and reconnaissance elements probed as far south as Los Angeles, a line of huge fires broke out in the brushwood choked valleys and hills inland from the coastal cities, set by advanced detachments. The blazes spread rapidly into the towns and added further to the panic already started by the sight and by the influx of refugees from further north. Agents had already spread rumours, so flames and fears were fanned until the population stampeded south. The main force chased them well into Mexico and returned to ensure that the clearance had been complete and that the area would be stable and efficiently developed as a new portion of Zion.They did not neglect to occupy and annex the long peninsula of Baja California to ensure that it would not be a refuge for troublemakers ensconsced on the far side of a convenient border.

    Zion was pleased with its new acquisition. Some of the soldiers were allowed to take up land grants and settle there. The grants given or sold to individuals and organisations including the Temple, proved profitable to those who held them for the long term, as settlers arrived and the area began to thrive again. This time, unlike in the Gold Rush, there was no stampede of unauthorised settlers. Settlement was strictly controlled, to ensure that potentially subversive types did not proliferate there. In future there would be no more lefties on what had been the Left Coast. Instead, there would be a turnaround and the area was intended to become a bastion of righteousness. Many soldiers returned home to be discharged, but some stayed, as in the case of retired Roman legionaries, to become the nucleus of new settlements, to which approved migrants from further east were admitted. It was intended that the new state, - as it would become in time -, which some wanted to call 'Occidentia' as a replacement of the old name 'California' which seemed to be a reminder and remnant of the undesirable past; would prevent infiltration from what was left of the Left Coast to their north, as well as guard against incursions from the south and become, first self-reliant and then a strong right arm for Zion.To this end, the settlement and communication links across the north of the Great Plains were strengthened, and the old transcontinental railroad was patched up, to form the bone and sinew of this re-connection. Strategically, Zion had cleared its western flank of enemies, geographically it had extended its reach right across the continent and was busy adding muscle to its grip, economically it had gained a fertile and productive province which would become a bastion of power. Theo-politically it had proved that it still enjoyed divine favour and that its organisation and people still merited it. Things were looking good, praise and thanks to God as well as celebrations were in order.


    Canada had disintegrated in the chaos after the dissolution of the USA and the subsequent war between the states. Sabotage by the South, intimidation and looting by the North, followed by the depredations of deserting or foraging Northern troops and a flood of refugees from the collapse of America, had overwhelmed it. The emergence of Zion had merely added incredulity to the loathing in which Americans were held, particularly by the Quebecois who had borne the brunt of Northern depredations and the influx of their locustine refugees. The collapse of cities had led to the demise of the worst of the problem, and a restoration of political power in the east of what had been Canada, to the rural population of French Canadians or Quebecois. These people were left with an abiding contempt and hatred for the 'English' to their south.They were not strong enough to be a threat, but neither were they willing to co-operate with Anglophone Zion. This mattered little, since there was little reason for contact or conflict between the two peoples. They were both stable, conservative, rurally based societies, not as different as they thought. There was little contact, occasionally bandits were pursued over the border or were apprehended and handed over if not executed on the spot. When the Quebecois authorities first encountered Templars they were rather contemptuous of them, even indignant, claiming that they were mere plagiarists of an originally French idea. They had to reluctantly admit that it had been a French King, Phillip the Fair, who had betrayed and traduced the Knights Templar, seized their assets in France and had them suppressed by his pet Pope. The 'Zionist' Templars solemnly assured them that this would not happen again, even if the Quebecois took up their offer of forming Templar units and institutions in their country.This generous offer was scathingly rebuffed. If the French wanted to have Templiers, they would create them themselves, and they would be infinitely better, and would not deign to notice their 'English' imitators!

    The west of Canada had merged with the Left Coast, from which the Mexicanised southern portion had just been recovered, so the rest was viewed with some suspicion as an enclave of Leftism and probable source of re-infection. Thus, more effort was made to prevent their infiltration into the new province of Occidentia, and as giving urgency to the need to strengthen control over the northern portion of the Great Plains. Consequently, efforts were made to cultivate cordial relations with the scattered English speaking settlements of central Canada and to give them some good trading or employment opportunities. The Templars were happy to provide small detachments to strengthen local law enforcement and provide training and a market for artisan skills. Cultural contact was encouraged. Libraries and teachers were provided. Their mental horizons were oriented to the south although they remained less religious and less conservative than the 'Zionists'. Slowly they were assimilated into a semi-dependent status, and provided cover for spying on their neighbours. Much the same happened to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, to a lesser extent. They were a small independent minded English speaking people, lacking natural resources, no real threat to Zion, except as a possible base for infiltration. Occasional goodwill visits and access to minor trade sufficed to keep an eye on them and encouraged them to remain peaceful.

    Right from the start the Americans had coveted Canada, and had failed in a couple of ill-conceived attempts to seize it.Well into the twentieth century they had maintained contingency plans for war against Britain, which included the seizure of Canada. Now it looked as if their northern neighbours might receive renewed attention. Some of the policymakers in Memphis talked about Naboth's vineyard and warned against misuse of power to oppress weaker neighbours and seize their property. This would displease The Lord. Others said that He had quite obviously meant for at least all English speakers in North America to be given the great opportunity of salvation and inclusion in the bounds of Zion. They had inherited a claim on the Left Coast, and it would be impractical to leave out the adjacent parts of what had been Canada, particularly those that had merged into the Left Coast. That territory included useful assets of good climate, fertile soil, timber, fishing and water power which would be worth conquering - er.. 'liberating', and which God obviously intended as blessings for his most devoted followers, namely themselves. Even some of the current population might be salvageable. It appeared to them to be justifiable, feasible and profitable; another war which would be fairly cheap and would soon pay for itself. Failure to act on the opportunity which He had provided might displease Him. Nobody thought the Quebecois worth liberating. Their territory was not naturally well endowed. Their Catholicism was rather vinegary, not altogether to the more Protestant taste of Zion, and their anti-English prejudice and abuse was offensive. They were probably not meant to be included in Zion. Equally, they were probably not the enemies of God and Civilisation that the Lefties had been, so they were not meant to be extirpated; although if they were so foolish as to cause trouble, they could well receive a dammed good hiding. It was agreed to watch and wait, prayerfully.  'Si vis pacem, para bellum' was still a prudent motto. God or the Devil might prompt the Lefties on the far coast to make an aggressive move, so it would be as well to be alert and prepared.


         Only towards the south did Zion face a large number of barbarian enemies. Zion's strategists thought that one more brisk campaign to their northwest would close their outstanding account with the remaining Leftists, give them additional valuable territory which would soon provide a peaceful and profitable accession of strength, and enable them to concentrate their military resources thereafter towards the south.

    They had no illusions or expectations of easy, profitable and permanent conquest in the south.There was certainly no thought of including any of its population within the ranks or bounds of Zion. The memories or records of life in the Old Times, in the Collapse, and in the run-up to the Second War between the States, as well as the more recent border conflicts and the campaign to liberate California and turn it into Occidentia, saw to that. No Mexicans were permitted to live in the settled areas of Zion. In the wild border regions, relations with the bands and settlements of savages varied unpredictably between hostility and attack.

    The triangular funnel shape of the geography was considered advantageous if enough territory at the top could be kept relatively clear to act as a stopper, or at least a great hindrance to serious attack from the south. The most populous and valuable areas of Mexico were well to the south.The north was sparsely settled mountains, desert and semi desert, an arid continuation of the southern zone of the Great Plains. Zion had no desire to pass this and to conquer and occupy the distant south. The Mexicans were welcome to live there and to kill each other there if that was their wish; provided they stayed there and did not take themselves, their drugs or their troubles to Zion. The ending of the Old Times, with its easy immigration, opportunities for employment, crime and government handouts which had attracted migrants like flies to dung, had greatly reduced its attraction.  Now raiding was the only opportunity available in the north, and it was risky and not very profitable.

     Hence it was intended that the Templars would provide garrisons and mobile forces to patrol and control a vaguely defined but vast area of little value, save as a cordon sanitaire against incursions from the south. This would keep a smallish permanent force permanently occupied, but would not be a great burden on the country.

Templar Economic and Cultural Activities

     The network of Templar stations (- dare we call them preceptories or commanderies?) encouraged artisan activity, especially wood and metal working. Wood workers of all sorts, carpenters, wheelwrights, cartwrights, shipwrights, millwrights (but not makers of wooden plays or bad puns!) were in demand throughout the land. The Templars made much use of them and in time developed a cadre of skilled workers who could in effect set standards for others. Their well known insistence on quality gave a cachet and competitive advantage to those who had worked for or been trained by them.The mines of the Appalachians and the forges of Pittsburgh and Birmingham produced enough coal and iron to make tools and nails and weapons. Here again the Templars had interests and helped maintain standards.

    This network grew along the main routes linking the main cities and providing a sort of highway linking many of the states, although of course the Mississippi and Ohio rivers provided the backbone of the transport system in the post-automobile era. Much of the road and railroad facilities had been smashed in the war, and never repaired. Local roads devolved back to muddy, rutted cart tracks, sometimes impassable in bad weather. Large fragments of the old 20th century highway system survived, although increasingly dilapidated and little used. They became like the earthworks of remote antiquity, imposing physical presences and remnants of vague purpose from incomprehensible times, yet clear evidence of great power and sweeping vision - the work of vanished 'giants'. 

    Life had become very local. Most people were employed on the land or close to it in processing agricultural and pastoral products. They had little need to move about and little knowledge of, or interest in, places further afield. Few had needs or ambitions which took them as far as the capital of their state, let alone the capital of their nation, - which in any case so far as they were concerned was the capital of their world. There was no TV or radio or internet or videogames to entertain, distract and entrance them. There was no advertising to spoil landscapes with its billboards, or to finance tawdry publications cultivating greed lust and envy. Literacy became less necessary and less common amongst the lower classes. There was no longer an overbearing exploitative state mandated education system to zombify the population with leftist propaganda. There were no more leftists and all those in positions of responsibility were determined that never again would there be leftists, or corporate conmen, banksters, media filth or politically dominant siren voices singing seductive songs of sensuality luring lovelorn sailors in the ship of state to frightful doom. Hence no earplugs were needed for the Odyssean crew.

    There was little long distance traffic by road. Local roads satisfied the needs of farmers driving herds, carters and horsemen going about their daily lives or to the local market. These footpaths or byways were not well maintained as the locals felt little need to do so and there was no longer a strong government to compel them to do so in the interests of through traffic and road makers and loan peddling bankers.The previous road network soon fell into decay and became overgrown. Long distance travel by land became slow, difficult and expensive. Steam locomotion kept some railways open for the transport of bulk freight and a few mails and passengers between mines, factories and river ports. The rivers in the centre of the continent provided the natural highways, and as naturally, the bulk of the people and their concerns lived close to these rivers. Along the east coast, small sailing and steam boats served the needs of coastal traffic and linked the greatly shrunken cities. All the old cities that survived had retreated to a core where their core functions  of commerce, specialised manufacture and administration could be performed in buildings close to the water and within walking distance of each other and of the dwellings of their inhabitants. The sprawling suburbs of the past were now dead cysts encasing the living cities, and slowly being scavenged and turned back to farmland or market gardens supplying the centre.The skyscrapers remained, like huge megaliths, enduring monuments to the engineering skills of the Old Times, although many were abandoned after electricity ceased to be regularly and reliably available to run elevators and lights and air-conditioning.The lower floors of many continued to be occupied, but it became too wearisome to climb beyond about five storeys carrying whatever one wanted, including water. The upper levels soon became dark and noisome, and the higher levels beyond use were shut off.

    The education-research-media-foundation complex had been another casualty of the Transition. It's wealth had been dissipated or seized by one or another of the recent revolutionary or religious governments. It had been the primary home and production centre for lefties and their poison, so was absolutely anathema to Zion. Any of it's survivors were prime targets for rigorous interrrogation, and rewards were obtained for denouncing them. Much of the work of investigation fell to the lot of the Templar Investigative Agency and its predecessors, of which more is said in the next section.

    There was no lack of education. Technical and vocational training had separated themselves from universities and were provided by the crafts and professions. Local communities were encouraged to organise teaching of the 3R's for those whose parents were not up to the task. Some parents paid for their brighter or more ambitious children to receive private schooling. The needs of the society were met. There was no attempt at universal uniform coverage, and certainly no longer any insistence that sows ears be turned into silk purses at vast public expense, or even that there must be no recognition of any difference or that the sows ears were ineffably superior. All such lefty nonsense had ceased.There were a few small universities for the tiny number of scholars engaged in such arcane pursuits as philosophy, but none of this impinged on either the public purse or the consciousness of the public. The Temple maintained a few trade schools for their craftsmen, and a leadership school for its cadres.

    Culture and conversation thrived. People whose concerns rose above their bellies were more free to muse over their own independent reading and writing and to discuss and debate with each other, by letter or in person. Lacking electronic entertainment people made their own music and attended public discussions, readings and performances. There were still professional entertainers, musicians, writers, artists and intellectuals, although they had smaller audiences and travelled more in search of new horizons and new patrons. There was some revival of a high as distinct from a popular culture, although naturally this was only relevant to a few.There were no longer a few vast corporations controlling, manipulating,vulgarising and debasing art, culture, news, sports, entertainment and learning, so they were able to improve.The culture destroyers had disappeared and the Temple was determined to prevent their re-appearance.

    There was no formal censorship or licensing of publications. Publication of anything later deemed Leftist was however very likely to be fatal to author, publisher, printer and distributor, so a prudent discretion prevailed. There were no legal ticklists.People in responsible positions were expected to have an understanding of what was moral. Lawyers pushing their clients luck in 'pushing the envelope' of acceptability were likely to swing from the same gibbet with them, along with any judge or politician who had been sympathetic to subversion of moral and cultural standards. Justice was swift and harsh, not amenable to delays and not accommodating itself to the relative depths of the litigants or defendents pockets or social prominence. Sensible authors and publishers therefore sought to have their work approved in advance by the Temple or have it published by the Templar Press. This was the best assurance available, but it was not foolproof. As the Great New York Scandal demonstrated, the Temple would if necessary execute its own erring brethren along with other sinners.

    This work of protecting cultural and moral standards came to involve the Temple in unexpected areas of activity. Art criticism and cultural aesthetics were not popularly associated with their better known craftsmen, fighting men, investigators and priests. However, those who toiled in the vineyard of the Lord had some surprising tasks to perform. Much of the cultural heritage of museums, archives, art galleries and private collections had been destroyed in the war and social upheaval, but enough examples and information survived for the Temple to be able to train and employ some people talented in that direction, and to assist the re-orientation of the training facilities for artists, fine craftsmen, sculptors and architects. Vitruvius and Pheidias were back. Picasso and Pollack were out. Warhol was waste.Scrap metal sculptures were scrapped and no-one any longer felt it prudent to fling pots of paint in the face of the public.

    Rich people were no longer permitted to express their vulgarity by crass displays of deliberately ugly and debased 'art' glorifying those who wasted the most absurd sums of money on it. Had such people survived to amass enough wealth to be wasted in this fashion, they would not have survived the attention it brought them. Now the rich were expected to display good taste. If it didn't come naturally they could buy advice and make sure that it was approved by the Temple. Much of the public was also interested. They wanted 'their' rich people to put on a good show, not only for them, but for community pride in competing with the achievements of the rich and famous of other communities. They wanted to be edified by the edifaces filed with works of art, erected by their leaders and successful people. They were not very discriminating critics, but they were enthusiastic supporters, apt to politically reward those who made them feel more civilised and less backwoodsmen.   

    As in European World Wars, the country houses of the wealthy had been requistioned for military and state purposes. The victorious South had come into possession of the mansions of the previously wealthy in the North, some of which had been passed on to various branches of the Templars. Records of such people and interrogation records of their associates had produced a reasonable picture of their activities and assets. Private planes, airports and golf courses were no longer in favour, but the possessions of many middle eastern thugs and Wall Street messiahs were now being put to far better uses. 

    The Templars had at first been financed by taxes, on a modest scale, but slowly they became self supporting as the banking profits started to subsidise them and then as they bought or were given property, and from the sale of surpluses from their own economic activities. They had interests in farming, ranching, meat distribution, leather working, horse breeding, river transport and boat building, to name but few of them, growing from their original needs.

    There were no longer any big companies, national brands or advertisements. Now a single state was more than enough scope for most companies and The Temple was the only large scale organisation in the whole country, and the only one with such diverse interests. Companies had also become local. The old system was not re-created. Investors now were people who were involved in the management of their companies. There was little market in shares. Financial speculation of any type was now viewed with suspicion. Anyone seeking to make a livelihood from financial dealing would have found it to be a very short and unpleasant life, dangling from a noose.  A theocracy with democratic trimmings turned out to be a much better place to live than had been the old debased kleptocracy pretending to be a democracy. 

    The Temple found it useful to have their members in many places, participating and knowing what was happening in many localities. The larger church denominations behaved similarly but none operated on the scale of the Temple. As when the Roman post system was overrun by bishops, much of the long distance movement of men and messages was on the business of church or Temple. Their emblem of an upright red cross on a white background was widespread and instantly recognisable. This flag flew from all their buildings and their numerous boats. It became the effective sign of Zion, although the official flag of the country was white bearing the letters ZION in red across its centre.

Templar Investigative Agency

    The New York trials after the defeat of the North, America's Nuremberg, had required a lot of work to identify, catch and assemble evidence to prosecute the leaders of the defeated regime. There ensued a long and thorough process of 'de-liberalization'. All this required a permanent and extensive organization, familiarly known at first as the American Inquisition.Obviously when America became Zion the name had to change. As the Temple grew in power it took over responsibility for a number of tasks amd agencies with various names including words like 'Research', 'Inquiry', 'Investigation' and 'Security' or 'Protection' in their titles. Governments, tending to consist of sensitive souls who will the ends but cavil at the means, and who do not want their populace to be disturbed by the use of words which might conjure unsettling images of pain-wracked broken bodies babbling and screaming out the dregs of their lives in blood and faeces stained cellars, prefer the titles of such agencies, however necessary, to be bland, vague and soothing. Hence after some bureaucratic havering the Templar Investigative Agency took up the task of discreetly monitoring persons who and events which would tend to deviate from the paths of righteousness and impair the celestial harmony of life in Zion.  Corrective action, when necessary, usually took place where the tranquillity of the general public would not be disturbed.

    Unlike their medieval precursors, these inquisitors or investigators were not much concerned with religious doctrines and heresies. The faith of the public was of a sentimental and moralising rather than an intellectual nature. The content was pretty much the same, whatever the brand name. There were too many competing churches and creeds for one school of thought to predominate. 'In my Father's house are many mansions' was a text which enabled sectarian conflict to be avoided. The practical more than theoretical orientation of the people prevented disputes such as those over the Real Presence, the filioque clause or the Papal Supremacy from undermining society and leading to massive conflict. No non-Christian religions were permitted, but no great ingenuity was required to find some obscure saint or legendary practice to serve as patron or give a patina of Christianity for a specially devoted cult within a very broad church. What was required of those who were not convinced Bible-thumpers was discretion. This virtue had been greatly undervalued in the old America. Now it flourished. Flaunting differences and rubbing them in your neighbours faces was no longer encouraged, approved, or a prudent procedure, and conversely, people did not go out of their way to 'make windows into other men's souls'. The velvet glove was an accepted article of apparel, but no-one doubted that, at need, an iron fist might be rapidly uncovered and put to vigorous use.

    The cast of mind which deprecated socially disruptive religious wrangling was capable of accepting Mormonism as sufficiently Christian  to avoid inconvenient conflict with useful allies, could swallow camels whilst refraining from straining at gnats, and accept the doctrine of one of the Church Fathers, Clement was it, or Augustine or Tertullian that under whatever name the earth had never lacked the true Christian faith. It was thought that the original druids had merged easily with celtic Christianity and become early celtic saints. There had obviously been far more overlap than the pious tales reported. It was quite incredible, for instance, that the story of St. Patrick using a shamrock to introduce the Irish to the concept of the Trinity could be true. One merely had to realise that this enslaved son of a Romano-British patrician had been carried past the Isle of Man whose later symbol was the triskele, that the Irish goddess of Sovereignty, celebrated in tale, was triune, that both Ireland and the Continent boasted Celtic stone carvings of heads displaying three faces, and that the saint had been operating none too far from the great megalithic monument of Newgrange with a massive stone covered in three joined spirals across its entrance, to understand that! Not to mention that triplicities of deities had been commonplace in pre-Christian Europe, and that the Indo-European societies had been based on a three caste system of producers, warriors and priests. There was no need to trouble the mind of the average pew-sitter with such matters, but those who wielded discreet influence within the Temple knew it well enough.

    Very few witch burnings proved necessary. When offered the choice in Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 19 'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live', most were sensible; only a few were taken to the extremity of Exodus chapter 22 verse 18 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'. No longer could there be blasphemous nose-thumbing publicity-seeking gimmicks such as a Church of Satan, without attracting the deadly serious attention of officials with absolutely no sense of humour in religious matters.

    Christianity had assimilated many other cults, or expressed old ideas in a new form. Christ had become the epitome of the old tradition of seasonally sacrificed Sacred Kings, dying for their people, for instance; and the bishops mitre and the title of Pope or Papa had supposedly been taken from Mithraism. Hence 'legacy' or ancestral cults such as Druidism, - or even Asatru where the dying and rising god Balder had been known as the White Christ, the emblem known to some as the Eye of Woden was called the Celtic Cross by others, and the amulet worn by some as the Hammer of Thor could also be called a Tau Cross- , although modern re-interpretations rather than survivals, (earlier Christians had made sure of that!) could be accepted with tactful discretion, bland ambiguity and only perfunctory application of holy water. Letting sleeping dogs lie and not frightening the horses were the prudent canons of social and religious civility.  

    What really interested the investigators was Leftism, subversive attitudes and practices, atheism, materialism and secularism - all the things for which the North had been notorious. It was in the North that their attention was focussed. The war had eliminated such people from the South and current society was uncongenial to them, so little threat was expected there. The death of the cities in the North had eliminated the chief locus of the problem. The changes to the education system were intended to prevent a recurrence. The survivors, especially in the countryside, had had a bellyful of Revolution, and had no stomach for any more of it, so the investigators concluded that there was no immediate major problem there either, although it would be necessary to continue to keep a close eye on those pesky Yankees.

    The  old-time secular religion of materialistic science had been badly battered by the economic collapse and social turmoil, which had greatly reduced its funding.The demise of lefty media, the increasingly religious public attitudes after the defeat of the North and the foundation of Zion had reduced the aura of awe within which the public mind had held it. The Temple was now the only large organisation willing or able to patronise anything resembling 'science' to even a minor degree. The universities and research establishments had been destroyed. Government and foundation funding had ceased.There were no longer cabals of hard-shelled materialists able to dominate the agenda, curricula and interpretation of intellectual inquiry, threatening and damming heretics to outer darkness. Attitudes had changed. In the generation after the defeat of the North, surviving scientists and technicians who could produce something useful from meagre resources had been put to use. The rest starved or found productive employment. Any who had been associated with Leftism or had a reputation as troublemakers or academic tyrants had failed the exacting physical examinations to which they had been subjected. At that, the physical scientists had been luckier than their colleagues in the so-called 'social sciences', well known as far-left crazies, subversives and degenerates, who had simply been shot when caught. Considering the excesses of the Revolutionary Northern regime, and the fact that no-one untainted by them could have continued to hold an academic position in the North, this treatment was generally regarded as brusque but fair.

    The intellectual climate was no longer that of the 19th century. Darwin, Marx, Einstein and Freud were all in bad odour, deeply unfashionable, and to be under their influence was to be in the shadow of the gallows, The climate indeed had heated or cooled, progressed or regressed, but definately changed, to something akin to the 16th century, wherein 'natural philosophers' were more in vogue than 'scientists'. Such of the much reduced intellectual class as were  interested, were more interested in Dee or Fludd than in Descartes or his successors. Iamblichus and the Theology of Arithmetic were more studied than Heisenberg and quantum mechanics. 'Science' was now regarded with some scepticism and even suspicion. Not exactly as being false, but as being a deceptive over-emphasis on superficial appearances, a snare of Satan. It's history showed 'Science' to have been a false god, promising world dominion to those who would fall down and worship it, but at the cost of their souls. Scientists were like the wounded man in the Buddhist story who would not let anyone help him until they had answered endless trivial queries about what the arrow that had stuck him was like and the appearance of whoever had shot him; he would die long before he ran out of queries. Science did not deal with knowledge of Salvation or Liberation. It had been the black magic of the Old Times, promising enlightenment but only providing wealth and power to the rulers with some material comfort for the masses; rather as alchemy had been perverted into being treated as early chemistry and its practitioners imprisoned by greedy rulers in high security secret projects to make gold for them.Very like all the secret projects of modern governments seeking wealth and power.

     As an aside it may be mentioned what had happened to the huge American arsenal of atomic bombs. They had not been used in the conflict between North and South. Deterrence had prevailed. Neither side had been sure exactly how many the other had had, where they all were, and how many were operational.They had agreed not to use them and had not done so, more perhaps because the North first lost the capacity to maintain theirs because of their purges and shortages, and the winning South had not felt pressed to that extremity. Afterwards they had continued to decay and the skills to maintain and operate them had been lost, until they had been buried and the locations forgotten, leaving only a vague legend of a great power for evil lying hidden beneath the earth.

    The investigators took an interest in elections, promiment individuals and the connections between them, and  in the membership and activities of voluntary associations. Parties had been outlawed, but it was interesting to see which birds by nature flocked together. Voluntary associations for purposes of religion, charity, self-help and community celebrations were approved, but everyone knew that not all of those who sported long beards and grave faces, or long faces and eloquent voices were prophets of God.

The Great New York Scandal

    One of the stories told and re-told to new recruits within the Agency to encourage alertness concerned the involvement of their local branch in the Great New York Scandal of 2083. This had marked and marred the celebrations of the half century since the Declaration of Zion. That was when the Governor of New York State and the Mayor of New York City had been publically hanged, and most of the State and City elected representatives had received severe floggings. After complaints of having been cheated, from an agrieved but influential person, had reached senior ears in Memphis, an investigation revealed a shocking underworld of 'high' finance to have been operating in some of the abandoned skyscrapers of New York, with the connivance of the most senior elected officials. There had developed a flourishing series of inter-connected criminal enterprizes, from  simple theft and fencing of stolen goods, through counterfeiting, forgery, loan-sharking, intimidation, prostitution, gambling, illicit distilling, and fixing sporting events to quasi-banking, market rigging, structured financing, insurance and pension funds, investment and tax avoidance vehicles, company manipulation and the bribing and suborning of officials. There were gambling dens known as stock and commodities exchanges and a whole class of parasites interposing themselves between honest buyers and sellers in all markets. This cozy situation, ideal for fleecing the more honest members of the public, had been facilitated by laws passed as a result of corrupt influence. The politicians and the bureaucrats who were supposed to supervise such activities had long since been corrupted. Even more disturbing than the economic thefts and frauds was the fact that as soon as these criminals made some money they applied it to influence peddling and to polluting and perverting the political and social systems, turning themselves into the Establishment, multiplying their influence through a maze of front organisations and phony charities. Soon they were in charge with the officials and politicians merely serving as their lackeys.

    Fearing that they had become so powerful that they could be able to spark military resistance and political revolution which might even spread to other Northern states, a large force was raised in the Southern states and sent to occupy New York city and state before decisive action was taken to round up the malefactors and their confederates.It took months to search every building in the city, and much of the state, to identify everyone living or working there, and their origins, sources of income and associates, and to track the network of influence that linked the perpetrators and their collaborators and victims; but finally a couple of thousand of these malignant parasites were caught and hanged or shot. It was found that their influence had begun to spread to other cities and states, particularly to neighbouring New Jersey, or that others had initiated similar networks of crime and influence, but that the disease was not too far advanced. The corrupted flesh could be excised from the body politic without much danger. Matthew chapter 18 verse 9 was often quoted: 'If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire'. Once reasonable evidence had been assembled the judicial process was swift. There were no appeals. There was no point in trying to bring anyone back from the dead. Jesus wasn't listening. Lazarus had been a one-off, and he hadn't been a crook.    

    The scandal shocked the country. It took the shine off the celebrations and made a mockery of the sonorous speeches. It re-opened wounds and suspicions between North and South that were supposed to have been healed. It was hugely embarassing, especially when rumours spread that the influence of the crooks in New York might have extended to taint some of the godly in Memphis. Re-unification on the basis of common criminality was quite the wrong message. Grim faced investigators confronted many ashen faced members of the elite of Zion, to clear either their names or Zion of their names. There was no cover-up. There was a great deal of effort which yielded few results; or on the other hand could be said to have yielded the important result of being able to show the country that their leaders were honest. It had not been anticipated that this would need to be done at this anniversary, but it restored the confidence of the public. It was a test that the leaders of the old America would certainly have failed.

    Having passed the test, the leadership of Zion and its Temple, much relieved and still more alarmed at the implications of this occurrence; took it as a sign and a warning from Divinity that they had been remiss in their responsibility to supervise the activities of the country and to guide it energetically along the paths of righteousness. But for their slackness, this evil could not have grown and prospered and escaped notice for so long. They prayed and fasted, concluded that God had alerted them just in time to prevent an insidious evil from successfully corrupting their society and undermining their state. They ordered public thanksgiving throughout the country and closer monitoring of just who came into wealth and prominence and how it was achieved. There was to be no regeneration of the unregenerate, no wealthy and influential class of sinners would be allowed to gain wealth and social position and use these assets to reduce the institutions of Zion to shams and mockeries of themselves. Money was not again to be the god in which they trusted. Slow investigation revealed that there were other family networks and innocuous seeming front associations which were composed of false Christians, and which were engaged in the same processes of corruption which had achieved notoriety in New York. These were eliminated. The Templar Investigative Agency would be all the more alert to 'who was who' and how they had come to be so and whether they should continue to be so. The Synagogue of Satan might not have been entirely closed, but it was intended to make its activities as unwelcome and unprofitable as possible in Zion.

    This scandal had two consequences for the Agency. It showed that they and the other leaders of their country really followed the old maxim that justice should be done even if the heavens fall. No-one was above the law. Nothing was too big to fail. The hounds of the Lord stayed always on the trail. Attempts to divert them would be of no avail. The public were reassured about their competence and probity because the other consequence was an equally searching inquisition into the failure of their New York branch to detect and deal with the corruption there before it had got out of hand. The chief agent was executed for incompetence, and his subordinates demoted and transferred. A new start was made in New York and agents throughout the rest of the country were shocked into taking a fresh and more searching look at their own areas of responsibility.

    The scandal pointed up the weakness of any system that depended on the public to be honest and competent in choosing honest and competent representatives or officials. The New York investigation showed that many of the electors were more impressed by wealth and show than by worth, which they were often unable to perceive, or even to perceive that there was a difference. Many were themselves venal and only admired those who appeared to be more successful crooks. Half a century of godliness hadn't sufficed to educate or inspire meaningful morality in them. You could take people out of New York, but could you take 'Noo Yawk' out of the people? Close supervision might help, but ultimately those who refused the call of Zion might have to suffer the fate of Sodom.

View from the Temple


    Edward Gregg leaned back in his chair and let his gaze fall on the wallmap in his office. It was a leftover from the old days, showing the landmass he lived on, proudly blazoned with the words 'United States of America'. How archaic that was. A previous occupant had scored them out and overwritten the word 'ZION', as it was now known.

    He had just completed some historical research and the results amazed and disquieted him. He was a student of history, and his position in the Temple allowed him access to a great deal of information that had survived from the Old Times or accumulated since then. It appeared that the population of the country around the time of the Dissolution of the Union, the economic Collapse and the Second War between the States had been about 320 million. That was a very large number. It was hard to comprehend how so many people had been fed at all, let alone enabled to live in the luxury that seemed to have been commonplace. It appeared to have much to do with oil-based chemical fertilisors, and an oil-based economy of vast industrial might with world-wide trade and economies of scale. Only remnants and relics of that survived, enough to give credence to what he had been reading. Comparable figures for the present day were harder to estimate. If anyone had them, it would be the Temple. Their figures were vague, but bore out the common experience that population, production and numbers of all kinds were very much lower than they had once been. Was that a good or a bad thing? He was not sure. The lack of statistics probably related at least in part to the Biblical story of how God had disapproved and punished a king of Israel who had attempted to number his people. Apparently, the population, having a well founded suspicion that such government interference was likely to prove a prelude to further military and fiscal exactions, had rebelled, and their success had been taken as indicative of divine approval. Nowadays there was much less interest in statistics and few resources with which to collect them, so estimates even for tax and military service were hazy, and levies depended more on past practice than on precise calculation of resources.

    Even using thumbsuck approximations the contrast was staggering. In rough terms, 100 million had gone with the South, 20 million were on the Pacific coast, leaving about 200 million in the North with the Midwest. He estimated that there were now 30-40 million in the South and West. The Pacific coast, before the Occidentian campaign was an unknown barbarous area probably heavily depopulated. The Northeast might have as few as 3-5 million. The Midwest was known to be recovering and the fertility of it's soil might be supporting another 30 million or so. At least three quarters of the previous population has disappeared! How had that happened?

    The war had killed a few million,say 5 or 10, but nothing like the missing 225 million. The social chaos must have killed a lot more, say 15 or 20 million; but that still left the equivalent of the whole initial population of the North unaccounted for. About two thirds of the initial Southern population had gone. It seemed that the North and Midwest had lost about 5 people out of every 6, a bit worse than the South. That was reasonable considering that they had lost and that the South had retained more of the old oil based agriculture and more cultivable land per head, especially after the fall of the Midwest. The real contrast and explanation seemed to lie with the fate of the big cities. At a guess, about half the Northern population had been in the Midwest, where the population was recovering on the fertile agricultural land, showing about the same numbers and proportion of survivors as in the South. In contrast, the population of the more heavily urbanised Northeast had fallen by about 95%! 19 out of 20 had died and not been replaced; that was impressive.

    It seemed strange that so much more attention was given to the war than to what had really been killing people. Maybe that was the way people's attention worked. People had died quietly and been buried without fuss. Life went on. Even the Black Death had hardly interrupted the Hundred Years War. Had the process finished? He did not know, although he did know that at the time of the first War between the States the American population had only been about 30 million. Was their productivity now double what it had then been? Perhaps his estimates of current population were optimistic? Would the population continue to fall? Time would tell, but he might not live to hear what it said.

    The big cities had died of starvation, and the culture of the North had died with them. Leftism  had been a very urban phenonomen, all it's constituent groups and their dependents and constituencies had been heavily urban, and closely associated with the propaganda and coercive power of a centralised city based bureaucratic state apparatus which physically, economically, socially and intellectually dominated, morally perverted and emotionally immiserated the countryside as well as the cities.  Any surviving rural strains of Leftism were likely to be far less virulent. When people have to stay productively busy to stay alive they have less opportunity to become mentally perverted, and oppress their neighbours. Cities were no longer allowed to be sinks and festering sources of physical and moral perversion and corruption.

    Edward now had a better appreciation of his grandfather's stories about the Old Times and the Transition. Life must have been horrible back then, he thought. Crowded into monstrous cities, concrete cancers defacing the land and clawing at the sky. Forced to own and travel in a metal box at high speed over long distances every day just to get to and from work, in constant danger of being killed or mangled by crashing into the boxes of other demented lunatics. No wonder so many of those people had been crazy. Crazy they certainly had been. Even the food they ate had been poisoned. Their medicine had been more poison. Their minds had been scrambled by their electronic communications. The content of their news and entertainment had been filth designed to pervert and debase them. Their education had been structured to the same effect. A crazily regimented life, restricted by a plethora of petty regulations enforced by thuggish police more interested in oppressing the decent than in detecting and preventing real crime. A corrupt judicial system run by venal interests. Monitored by  a fawning media compliant to the evil interests which dominated the society. Told they were free but enslaved by those who controlled what went into their bodies and minds and what they were allowed to do with them. Debt-slaves to the financial interests which sucked their blood at every opportunity and which controlled every aspect of their lives and all the institutions of their society. Taught relentlessly that good was evil, evil was good, that black was white and that there was no difference between black and white, but that black was ineffably superior, and that of course there was no one behind the curtain creating deceptive illusions. Brought up by aliens to hate and destroy themselves and their people in favour of aliens. No wonder they were crazy.

    He contrasted this with his own daily experience.He lived in a city where he could safely and enjoyably walk about, to and from work, and for relaxation stroll further out, nodding to those he passed, enjoying the private and public gardens and admiring the buildings, which were no longer just rectangular concrete blocks redolent of mean spirited avarice. The built environment now was expected to demonstrate and evoke more noble qualities.There was very little crime or squalor, partly because justice was swift and sharp, but more because of the moral nature of the people. All his fellow citizens were quite like him; there were no invasive intruders, no 'diversity', no insolent pampered criminally inclined 'minorities' battening like vampires on the blood and taxes of the People. There were no illegal immigrants supported by evil Leftists perverting the local laws to give them protection and sustenance. Both categories of such persons would now be shot on sight - or at least after rigorous interrogation to identify their contacts - and anyone who had known of them yet failed to act against them would suffer for it. There were no affluent and influential traitors openly subverting the public weal, sneering at and suppressing the locals. There were no areas of open dirt and depravity where the public feared to tread and the police were prevented from doing their duty by the evil influence of corrupt politicians and  bureaucrats in the pockets of cunning but inhuman kleptocrats. There were no longer such foul influences perverting the institutions and purposes of the society and the identity of the people. It was not Plato's Republic, but it was certainly closer than it had been in the Old Times to the Greek ideal of the city as a place and set of opportunities and institutions which encouraged humanity to develop their better qualities, where the citizens felt fellowship for each other as they were related by blood and common worship, and where 'a cry for help could be heard across the whole city'.

    Those old Greeks had not allowed foreigners to overrun their cities, claim citizenship, own property there, displace natives from employment or profitable investment, receive handouts from the public purse which the natives were heavily taxed to provide, corrupt their poltics and institutions, demand special consideration and import foreign religious cults to take precedence over their own - and have all this nonsense preached at them by depraved intellectuals and enforced by the corrupt lackeys of vermin which had infiltrated with the intention of destroying their identity and independence. No more would Zion.

    When he had gone past the University the students had been clean, sober, decent, local, intelligent, diligent and cultured. There were no unclean, uncouth, scruffy, sloppy, drug addled, third-world layabouts, no demonstrators, no protestors; no protected species of arrogant, insolent, nihilist trouble-making pseudo-intellectual academics; no avaricious administrators promoting paedophile coaches of gladiatorial sports teams taking precedence over academic achievement, or firing honest teachers who would not cover up for stupid, lazy or vicious students whose rich but coarse and cunning parents expected to buy them success. Academic curricula were no longer based on lefty filth and nonsense. Better intellectual and moral values had been restored. The Templars had seen to all that and Edward was grateful. 

    The Templars exercised supervision over cultural as well as moral standards. They rooted out evil degenerate and subversive influences and encouraged better behaviour.They were alert to the machinations of invasive aliens and their ways of corrupting weak or vicious locals. They retained enough of the old technology to have preserved information from the past. Potential leaders were educated in the nature, activities and associations of things like Cultural Marxism, the Frankfurt School, post-modernism and suchlike disgusting evils and perversions closely associated with the collapse of moral standards in all aspects of life towards the end of the Old Times. They were awake to the danger of  new forms of corruption being devised and perpetrators infiltrating the institutions of society, the Churches and the Temple itself. He prayed that they would remain effective and receive the aid of divinity in moulding and training a more godly society and country. It could not be the Garden of Eden, or Plato's Republic or Atlantis, but it might gain some inspiration from the ancient Egyptian concept of Maat, divine justice and proportion applied in all aspects of life, which had kept Egypt stable, prosperous, moral and civilised for millennia. The creation of a Holy land of Zion would be a long, difficult and uncertain task. He would not see it's end nor how it might appear, but he was glad to have seen an early stage and trusted that God would help his successors and fellow countrymen to make improvements as long as they remained humble, diligent and receptive to His advice, inspired and warned by the examples of other times and peoples, but bringing forth their own pattern. In my Father's house are many mansions, and in God's garden may grow flowers of many species. Zion would have its own distinctive flowering.

    He realised that the most dangerous difficult and unpleasant work had been done. He and his generation were blessed to live in easier times than those of his father and grandfather, and had the more pleasant task of building a worthy structure on the foundations laid so arduously by others. As he sat there pondering, it came to Edward that this might be an instance of the severity and mercy of the Lord. Many other better people had died, but the enemies of everything worthwhile had been destroyed. Without that it was not possible that Zion could have been created.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Friday, 4 January 2013

After America

This story was inspired by the entertaining and thought provoking series on how the American Empire might encounter defeat, and how the USA might be dissolved as a consequence. See
He ends his story on an optimistic note.

I suspect that the optimism would soon give place to acrimony, and that matters would pass from harsh words to harsher blows.

Beyond that , I wondered how not just the power but also the presence and the attitudes that have defined America and it's place in the world might pass away, and what might replace them.

This is a 'politically incorrect' vision. Caveat lector.



    "Look granddad!", said my young granddaughter, showing me an animated display on her laptop computer screen."It's a satellite image of the earth at night. See all the lights across Europe and Russia. Not many in Africa.There's lots in India, South East Asia and Australia. China is completely lit up. Isn't it pretty! I started where we are and followed the lights eastward, into the night. Now see the Americas come up out of the Pacific. There's plenty there, especially along the Atlantic coast of Brazil; but there's hardly any in North America. Isn't it funny? We now have two Dark Continents!", she said, laughing. "Tell me granddad, Africa I know about, but why do we see and hear nothing about North America? It used to be quite important, didn't it?"

    That made me pause, and ponder for a while. "To tell that tale, my child", I said at last "would be to tally  'a great reckoning in a little room', as the Bard put it." "Don't people live there any more?", she asked. "What happened to them? Is that why we hear ever so much about the Chinese, the Indians, the Russians, the Europeans, the Brazilians and everyone, but nothing about the North Americans? Do please tell me granddad, if you know, I would so like to hear."

Part One.

Awakening from the American Dream to the American Nightmare

Initial Excitement

     At first there was a great deal of excitement about the dissolution of the United States.The chattering classes of the whole world were transfixed by the event. It was the gift which kept on giving. The long drawn out, although remarkably smooth political process of elections, debates, arguments, demonstrations, celebrations, reorganisations and renewed lobbying and jostling for power, wealth, influence and publicity stoked a prolonged world wide media frenzy. Reporters for every TV station and newspaper wanted to be there, to bring breathless commentary to their audience as events unrolled or unfolded and the USA unraveled or underwent rebirth. The exact nature and significance of what was happening was subject to a variety of interpretations; all grist for the media mill. It was a dream assignment, far preferable to coverage of riots and revolutions in the Middle East or epidemics and tribal atrocities in Central Africa. It was still safe, comfortable, civilised. The natives who mattered spoke English and were easy to interview. There was no difficulty in obtaining human interest and vox populi stories. Life on expenses was wonderful. The shopping was great. The opportunities for one-up-man-ship over worsted rivals left at home or in less favoured destinations were outstanding. It was the highlight and most fondly remembered period in the careers of most of the media folk. Naturally they milked it for all it was worth.

    Initially the world had watched in horrified disbelief as the American fleet burned and sank, the American airforce was blown out of the sky and the cream of the American army was beaten and captured. All in a short time and on an obscure part of the world which had been of very little interest to the American public or to the rest of the world. How had Tanzania, aided by Chinese 'volunteers' done this? Were the Chinese about to emulate the amazing success of the initial Japanese attacks in the Second World War? Was Diego Garcia the equivalent of Singapore? Was this a Pearl Harbor attack on an unprepared American fleet? Would the Americans nuke China back to the stone age? Many questions were asked. The answers were seriously embarrassing to American pride. None of their remaining forces were able to change the situation. Russian Support for China prevented a nuclear attack and the rest of the world was not ready to join America in a suicidal war. In a way the Americans were lucky.Their own territory was not damaged or threatened. The Chinese were magnanimous in victory. The Americans could abandon the war abroad to focus on recriminations at home. The world watched in renewed amazement as the American ship of state scuttled itself,after the suicide of it's captain, following it's navy under the waves of history, whilst the squabbling and mutinous crew attempted to escape in the lifeboats. 

    This was all good fun for the media. The scandals just kept coming. Military disaster; attempted cover-ups; the suicide of the President responsible for the military disaster and cover-ups; impeachment and flight of his successor accused of attempting a military coup which the military rejected! You couldn't make it up. The gutter press was in ecstasies for months, life just couldn't get better for them. The 'quality' press of the Western world was filled with anguished assessments and laments. 'How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished' was the text of many a media sermon by pundits, preachers and prophets, not all of whom were well acquainted with the Bible, despite the general tendency to conflate America and Israel as both a literary conceit and a present concern. There was plenty of concern, of course, not just for the fate of Israel and the effects on other countries, but mostly for the effects on the journalists own careers. Would their expertise, contacts and talking points cease to be relevant as America ceased? Should and could they rush over there to renew acquaintances and scrape acquaintance with newly influential figures? If America was going down, one had better hurry to make as much money and reputation as possible out of it before it all disappeared.The instant-book writers got busy and soon a tide of purple prose poured forth producing eulogies which also served as epitaphs for the people, personalities, history and geography of the United States. At least the geography would still be there and for a while it would still be easy and pleasant to visit, The cartographers would be busy, as they had been after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and those of the public who were interested would get used to more colourful maps. 

    At a higher level It kept the Chancellories of the world busy assessing the likely course of events and their probable consequences. The sum of the parts obviously being much less than the whole, American power and influence had shriveled. In a few months, as the United States dissolved,it went from a giant to a gang of squabbling dwarves. From America to Pakistan during a single nightmare from which there was no's successors were themselves unstable and fissiparous. Their strength was untried, their territory and identity uncertain, their interests clashing. No one had confidence that any of them would last long. Easy come, easy go; here today, gone tomorrow, were maxims all too likely to apply to them and to any promises they made. Only a fool would trust any of them. The 'full faith and credit' placed in the promissory notes of a faithless and discredited  and now vanished government, had been sadly misplaced. The successors of those thieves, often the same people new-minted in shiny new political identities would take a long time to earn any faith and credit from the publics of their own new countries let alone from the rest of the world; a world now experiencing economic woes which were largely blamed on the deceitful and larcenous Americans. It was a poor omen and bad precedent for the financial prospects of the successor states of the old USA. Every foreign government immediately began to think harder about the Chinese, the Indians and the Russians. They were the important powers now. The EU was too sclerotic to count for much, but Brazil was now more influential than the fragments of the United States, and a better prospect for investment and trade. Even it's bonds were more highly rated than those of the disunited states.

     The disappearance of the influence of the United States was like taking your hand out of a bucket of water and seeing how little impression was left behind. The American impression on the world's organisations was just as transient. American membership of most international organisations ceased,and the organisations declined in importance as no-one else would pay the share that the Americans had done. The American veto in the Security Council of the United Nations lapsed as the UN would not allow it to any of the squabbling successor states, none of whom could even assert a successful claim to membership of the Security Council and all of whom had to apply for membership of the General Assembly as newly independent states. There were even anxious discussions, chaired by Pakistan, about how the safety of ex-American nuclear weapons might be assured. How were the mighty fallen, indeed. The previously dominant American influence in organisations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund evaporated. Plenty of American voices were still heard in their halls, but now it was a babble of American voices arguing with each other, until the Americans were left to argue amongst themselves and the rest of the world adjusted to the economic powers of the east. Attention soon shifted from the setting to the rising sun and countries and businesses began to pay a lot more attention to the newly important powers,anxiously analysing political nuances and seeking economic opportunities. Even the world's media paid less and less attention to the fragments of America, they were scarcely more important politically, economically or culturally than the smaller countries of South America. The strident voices were still vocal in north America, telling everyone what to do and predicting doom if they didn't, but few paid attention any longer. All the previously trendy liberal causes were forgotten by the rest of the world, although still influential within the ruling class of the EU. The Chinese, Indians and Russians were not interested in them, and Chinese, Indian and Russian opinion, or at least that of their rulers,now mattered to the rest of the world, far more than the noises within the North American freak show.

Adverse Consequences

    The disappearance of the United States and the insouciant manner in which it's successor states sought to shrug off liability for it's debts had consequences. Adverse consequences. The loss of the reserve currency status of the dollar and the devaluation and disappearance of the dollar had made imports very expensive for Americans, and made international trade more uncertain for other countries. The banking system which had dominated the finances of the world had been a fount of corruption and scandal. The government and banks of America had manipulated everything to suit their immediate interests, and the additional strains caused the web of arrangements to become entanglements strangling everyone involved. Financial panics ensued in which the collapse of major American banks and the credit of the American government, and then the collapse and disappearance of the American government and the whole political entity of the United States were dominoes whose fall pushed over the already very weak banks of Europe and the credit of their governments. The debts of the old American government were worthless, and no one would or could lend to the new ones, and now the same inability to borrow to roll over existing debt caused European governments to default and their banks became zombies owned by the state, which repudiated liability for the banks speculative gambles, whose paper now also became worthless, ruining the funds and institutions and persons who had invested in them. Bankers were already loathed, now those who wanted to stay alive went into hiding. It became difficult for governments to maintain even a simple retail banking system completely freed of speculation. Confidence in the currency was shaken, and hyperinflation loomed in both Europe and America.

     This mess was worsened by the fact that the gold held by American banks on behalf of many clients, including foreign governments was found to have been used, and lost, in the corrupt banking and regulatory malpractices which had been used to subsidise the banks and the governments my keeping interest rates low. Keeping gold prices low by surreptitious selling and speculation had helped reduce pressure to raise interest rates. The government had kept interest rates down, cheating savers and crippling capital formation in order to give profits to banks and to reduce their own interest charges, which made it easier for them to continue wasteful expenditure for so long.When they had to pay the piper, they had instead run away, and there was hell to pay. Much of the gold had been bought by the governments of China and India, and other rising countries. They may have had their suspicions as to what had been going on, but they were certainly not going to give back the gold, even if it could be determined whose gold it had really been. The main foreign losers were the governments of Germany and the Netherlands. The EU ceased to be on friendly terms with the old or new governments of America.

    Americans had long thought that they held the world's greatest hoard of gold, more than 8,000 tons of it, in Fort Knox, Kentucky. This site was heavily guarded. It had been chosen because it was near the centre of the American landmass, for fear that foreign invaders might seize it. There had been bitter wrangling over how it was to be divided between the successor states of the USA. Although other Federal property went to the state in which it lay, and Kentucky was very eager to claim it, none of the other states were willing to allow them to have much of it. Now it was near the borders of several of the successor groupings of states, and many greedy and envious eyes turned to it. Kentucky's local forces took control, and when representatives of the other states arrived, it was opened for inspection - a process of audit which had been resisted for decades by the old Federal government. To the surprise of no one who had followed the tale of the gold held by New York's banks - the same banks who had effectively controlled the financial policy of the Federal government, the cupboard was found to be bare.

    The days of being able to buy things from the rest of the world by simply printing their own currency or selling government debt abroad, were now over for Americans. Now they would have to sell something abroad, either by exporting some product or service or by selling a tangible asset before they could buy anything from abroad. This was difficult. No one would buy promises to pay from governments on that continent any more. No one would lend them anything, and the international financial collapse meant no one had much to lend anyway, and they would require good security for any loans. Hence many Federal assets were sold at fire-sale prices, after financial collapse and devaluation, by state governments desperate to get cash from any source, especially if it was foreign currency, particularly because tax receipts had fallen drastically due to the economic dislocation. Exports were also a cause of contention. The main exports of the old USA had been food and raw materials from the south and west and financial chicanery from New York and Washington. The latter would be accepted no longer, so it became difficult to feed let alone maintain the previous standard of living of the inhabitants of the big cities of the north, where government and welfare claiming had been the main activities after finance.

    The south and west could sell their products to the rest of the world. Even if it was not sufficient to maintain the old lifestyles in the new circumstances, they hoped to get by with a lot of belt-tightening. Now many Americans were foreigners to each other, and their money was definitely not as good as that of other foreigners. The northerners were more closely associated with the old regime, and much of the odium for it's financial and political scandals attached to them. Quickly their ex-fellow countrymen, together with much of the rest of the world came to loathe them. They were blamed for the financial and economic collapse and regarded as thieves and layabouts. They were blamed for causing the loss of the old prosperity and power and prestige. They were abused as fast talking Yankee crooks, although most of them had more negro and Amerindian than Yankee blood in them by that time. They were not popular. The population of the south and west was far more inclined to fundamentalist Christianity than the atheism and exotic superstitions more prevalent in the north, so it was widely believed that God was punishing America for it's sins, and the main sinners were in the north.

    This aversion was fully reciprocated by the northerners. They despised many of the beliefs, practices and identities of most of their ex-fellow-countrymen. For decades before the defeat and dissolution of the United States, 'Political Correctness' had reigned. The whole value system was inverted. White men, especially Southerners, were increasingly insulted and demonised, blacks were exalted, and G-d forbid anyone should say 'boo' to a Jew. In this evil atmosphere it had become common for statements to be made, such as the following direct quote from a Jewish commentator who looked to see what was wrong with America, and saw, 'poorly-educated Southern suburban white trash religious fanatics'. Black crime, arrogance, sense of entitlement to live at the expense of whites and over-estimation of the own abilities and worth were all approved and encouraged by the loathsome vermin in control of America. Many of them therefore felt justified in attempting to seize what they wanted from these politically incorrect racist redneck rural retards, and confident of success. Big mistake.  

International Reaction

    The disappearance of the United States was so quick and so slick that it left many people astounded and incredulous. It had a fictional quality about it. The 'with a single bound he was free' type of implausible escapist fiction. It seemed to be a conjuror's trick, providing an escape from responsibility and punishment for those who had caused and profited by the mess they left behind. There was an impression of debtors making a midnight flit, changing their identities and hoping to carry on blithely fleecing the gullible. These were impressions which the rest of the world did not like, especially when they had been left holding the baby, or in this case holding the now worthless government paper. Just as after the fall of the Soviet Union there were suspicious souls who suspected that it was all a trick and the communists would suddenly come together again when they had lulled the West into a false sense of security; so now there were people who suspected that this was just another trick by the cunning, corrupt, devious and treacherous Americans to shrug off their debts whilst continuing their larcenous ways.

    In this atmosphere of anger and suspicion, it was an act of folly, insensitivity and chutzpah for the northerners to revive the name of the United States of America for their new confederation whilst simultaneously disowning the liabilities of it's predecessor of the same name. It was even pretty much the same bunch of politicians and bankers and bureaucrats sitting in exactly the same buildings! It was like a fraudulent bankruptcy where the criminals started a new company with the same name, in the same premises and run by the same directors whilst denying responsibility for the previous enterprise. Insolent contempt just couldn't get more blatant.Nor was there any sense of contrition or realisation that they needed to do anything different this time to avoid the same results that had destroyed the previous effort. No, that had all been someone else's fault or just bad luck. Even if they failed again they would once more attempt to shrug off responsibility, dust themselves down and get back in the saddle as soon as possible. That, after all was the American way, was it not? 

    All the old arrogance was still there and on display. At first foreign visitors who had known the old America were a bit confused. So little seemed to have changed. The same, but increasingly stale,hot air was emitted; 'land of opportunity', 'hope and change','new birth of freedom','temporary difficulties','reform', 'equality', 'feminism','racism', 'climate change', 'minority rights' ad nauseam. The second time around it was even less convincing; 'the first time as tragedy, the second as farce'. The people who had demonstrated their incapacity and dishonesty were still in charge! The lunatics really were running the asylum. It was a smaller asylum with more and poorer inmates, on bad terms with their neighbours, but as far as they were concerned it was everyone else who was mad.  The old Americans had been keen to 'win friends and influence people', their successors appeared indifferent to losing friends and making enemies, despite no longer being the Masters of the Universe that they still assumed themselves to be.

     This was a dangerous attitude to have. The world had changed. It was no longer dominated politically, militarily, economically and culturally by the United States version one, and would not accept the same nonsense from it's small brother United States version two. At least the other successor states showed some signs of prudence and adjustment to the new reality, trying to cut their government spending and increase their exports to achieve solvency. They did not continue to spout nonsense whilst threatening their neighbours, hectoring the rest of the world and demanding that they invest in their new financial scams or just give them stuff for free because they were so wonderful!

       The rest of the world looked to the new United States to reimburse them for losses caused by the old USA. When those politicians simply shrugged and turned out empty pockets, the reaction of many countries was to seize any American property that they could lay hands upon, without caring about it's relevance to their losses or regard for which successor state it was now affiliated to. This included the personal property of American individuals including bank accounts, investments and real estate. Such assets were likely to belong to rich and politically influential Americans, so they received a painful message, and relations between all of the American successor states and the rest of the world rapidly soured. All those ill-gotten gains squirreled away in offshore bank accounts and safe deposit boxes were suddenly at risk. Some countries remembered and revived the old custom in modernised form, of issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal to privateers who were thereby authorised to wage private war on the persons and property of Americans to obtain compensation for their losses. Discreet bankers in places like the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and the Channel Islands became discreetly richer as American depositors were no longer able to reclaim what they had thought was theirs, not all of which went to governments and privateers. A good many affluent Americans abroad were simply kidnapped for ransom, tortured and murdered, sometimes by the men they had paid to guard them. Poorer Americans were likely to be assaulted by aggrieved individuals or enraged mobs, under the indifferent gaze of local authorities. Foreign travel became almost impossible for Americans, and foreigners soon became almost as unpopular in America.

    This meant that media as well as tourist travel to America almost ceased. The mood had changed in any case. The elation and interest which had greeted the first developments changed to impatience, disgust and anger. There was still plenty of news from America, but it was of a harsher and more strident sort, with no good resolution expected. The great cities and their citizens were becoming shoddier, down at heel, unkempt, malnourished and aggressive or surly in demeanor. The old American openness and sunniness of disposition disappeared. It became difficult to get useful interviews with prominent officials and politicians, who were the only people who still appeared to be doing well. The hotels and the shopping deteriorated, life there became unpleasant, restrictive and dangerous. The international media circus moved on.There was still electronic communication, but the rest of the world's attention moved away from America. They lost interest and knowledge and understanding of the place and the changes it underwent. America became like Africa as far as most of the world was concerned, a faraway place about which little was known except that it was dangerous and uncomfortable, a place whose ferocious native tribes murdered each other in varying combinations for obscure reasons but with tiresome predictability. It ceased to be news except for the most dedicated specialists.

 American Word

    With apologies to St. John, in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. That word was America, the same which was Washington and New York and occasionally Boston, Chicago or San Francisco. Foreign correspondents rarely went anywhere else. That's where the people they talked to lived and worked, and those were the people who mattered as well as the people who nattered in print and on TV. Thus it was the views of the northern elite which formed the view which the rest of the world had of America. By no coincidence these views were very similar to those held by the elites of Europe and the academic and media personalities who gave them publicity. The lessening  of the influence of these people in America and around the world was distressing to their ilk in Europe, all the more so as relations with their government deteriorated and the European elites themselves came under pressure. Their parroting of American ideas and policies had brought similar evils upon their own countries. The loss of American influence, the growth of poverty and the rapidly increasing arrogance and violence of the 'culturally enriching' immigrants at the expense of the British and European natives, produced angry reactions and made it difficult for the 'liberal elite' to cling on to power and have their ideas universally trumpeted as the only acceptable possibility. These were the people who had performed the black magic of perverting the good name of America into the opposite of what it had originally meant.

 Part Two.

Words come to blows

Angry Words

    Initial euphoria at finding themselves free from the ghost of the United States had not dissipated or exorcised it's surviving spirit of moralistic declamation and legalistic wrangling. There was much to argue over. Even the most amicable divorce could leave questions, not only about division of the property. How much of the old legal system would survive, for instance. Whether or not it had been intended, the dissolution of the United States ended the relevance of the Constitution and all that stuff about freedom and rights. Even when the newly sovereign States made grandiloquent pronouncements on such subjects, they were unenforceable rhetoric, irrelevant to the new situation. The Federal laws which had been used to extend the crushing power of a centralised bureaucratic state had not been popular in many states, and a new jungle of local legal codes and jurisdictions sprang up. Extradition of criminals from state to state became more difficult. Federal programs, entitlements, contracts, employment and pensions disappeared. Even when the states and their new groupings promised to honour them, they were now at the back of the queue behind local interests and were squeezed out as money became harder to find. Federal handouts had maintained many blacks in the South, and when they ceased, many blacks flooded north, convinced that they would have a better chance there of continuing to be supported by the taxpayers.They were able to vote themselves money from the remaining productive people, even though this led to even faster inflation as the northern government printed more money. There were many bureaucratic casualties. Florida, for instance, found itself the owner of a space program which it neither wanted nor could afford. Science turned out to have less political clout than the illiterate denizens of the barrios and ghettoes. America's loss provided a slight boost for the space programs of China, Russia, India, the EU and Brazil. The desperate need of the newly powerful states for increased revenue led to much wrangling over fees and tariffs imposed on each other's products, people and trade. The vast American common market, standards, legal system and currency dissolved in a welter of snarling and competing local interests. The need for a visa to visit an adjacent state was something few Americans had anticipated, and fewer still that it would be expensive and hard to obtain, or that the journey might be to a strange and dangerous foreign country where they did things differently and the accustomed legal and constitutional protections no longer applied. Nonetheless the vast new boundaries were porous and impossible to police strictly. Many confused angry and fearful people were on the move, some of them in search of prey.


    The loss of wealth status and power was deeply resented in all quarters of the old America. Although the chosen villains differed, there was widespread agreement that it was all the deliberate fault of someone else. Americans who lost their 'previously advantaged' lifestyles were generally not easily resigned to the passing. Nor were many willing to 'cultivate their gardens' when they could cultivate their grievances.


    The First War Between the States had been highly organised, with little disorder behind the fighting lines. The Second was much more confusing. There was a great deal of disorder behind the fighting lines, which themselves were more often zones of desolation, debatable burning lands of raids and counter-raids than firmly defined front lines. This was partly caused by each side's aerial bombardment and special forces infiltration of the other, to destroy their infrastructure; but mainly it was caused by the chaotic breakdown of the old society, itself already in advanced moral decay, and the emergence of several 'new world' orders. Their births and stillbirths were midwifed  by a fistful of ideologies and attended by much suffering, bloodshed and tears. The formal 'war between the states' defined by solid blocks of colour on maps, could hardly get started or be more than a secondary consideration until those solid blocks of colour had been assembled.

    Each state was consumed by the fires of ambition and jealousy as aspirants for power and influence vied with each other. Not much government business could be done until it became clear who was to govern and who would be governed and by what means. The old way was dead but there were many claimants for a share of the spoils and innumerable would-be Madisons, Jeffersons, Hamiltons and so on out-shouting each other before coming to out-shooting each other. Whilst the politicians wrangled, the bureaucrats intrigued, and the thieves and opportunists made out like the bandits they were. The public became increasingly fearful, confused, divided, angry,hungry, lawless and violent. The police and military kept out of the way and served their own interests by protecting themselves and the closest officeholders who might be able to pay them. Only later could there be much question of cooperation or conflict between the states.

    People soon sought safety by sticking close to those who were most like themselves in race, language, religion and attitude, fearing others and directing their hostility outwards towards them. This led to much violence and to people fleeing from areas where they were actually or potentially at risk.

    In the South the churches became the framework upon which society organised itself, much as it had originally been. The church leaders became the political, social, economic and even military leaders. Loyalty to race and religion became the basis of citizenship; social and political institutions became organs of that godly society rather than separate and superior. Anyone who was not known to be active within a well respected church could not be trusted in other matters, and soon became the target for suspicion.

    In the North, it was the other way about, or perhaps one could say that there atheistical Lefty organisations were the Churches. In North as in South, as in medieval Europe, there was to be No Salvation Outside the Church. 


    The Second War Between the States began and continued in a manner more confusing than the First. The Pharaoh Lincoln had refused to let the Southern People go, and lacking a Moses capable of performing miracles they had by force of arms been subdued, humiliated, butchered and execrated; obliged to remain in a union they despised, under an identity which was not their own. At the time of the Dissolution, both North and South were glad to see each other's backs. They opted for Apartheid, for Separate Development. They did not want to conquer each other, they wanted to ignore each other. This state of happy ignorance the South was willing to maintain, they wanted nothing from the North, they did not want to tell them what to do; had the continent split and the northern portion sank beneath the waves, they would have felt no sense of loss. Problems arose because Northerners did not maintain the same detachment. Instead of minding their own business, they increasingly made it their business to meddle in their neighbours affairs.

    To begin with they had not intended to do so. Once again, it was embroilment with the negroes which got them into trouble, seconded by their habit of self righteous and hypocritical preaching and interference with other people's business - and it was very noticeable that the causes which they preached, the moral and financial superiority of wage slavery over the chattel variety, 'democracy', 'human rights', 'free trade','colour revolutions' richly and chiefly benefited their own business interests.  This two-fisted assault had beaten much of the world into submission, the left broke up other peoples identity and institutions with their propaganda attacks, and the military and economic strength of the right reaped the benefits of wealth and power, recycling some of it to feed the left via grants from foundations and government. The Left made great play with Eisenhower's reference to the military-industrial complex, but smothered the whisper that he had also contemplated making a similarly minatory reference to the government-research complex where they luxuriated. However much public antagonism the two factions showed towards each other, they worked well together.

    After the Dissolution, and even before it, Big Business had turned away from America in search of bigger fortunes elsewhere. Interfering leftists and bureaucrats in large numbers were left as outsized mouths on a shrunken body, screaming all the more shrilly for food and ordering everyone else around. The Northern government became increasingly dominated by these shrill self-righteous leftists. They and their favoured supporters, the black criminal and beggar class, throve basically at the expense of the remaining white population, who were the victims of the crime and the taxation and the regulation that occupied their rulers. Now, as the economy crumbled, and the socialist demands of the state increased, the black underclass got increasingly out of control. Venting their savage lusts on their miserable white fellow citizens and overburdened tax-slaves was no longer sufficient. They started to make pillaging raids into the South and West. At first this was simply criminal enterprise and completely unofficial. When the Southerners responded by killing the raiders and making revenge raids of their own, at first also unofficial, the Northern lefties were completely outraged by this. Outrage was what they did best, (both in sentiment real and false and in perpetration). It was meat and drink to them, they were uncomfortable without it. As blacks in the South and West, still under the comfortable Federal delusion that rioting and violence would frighten the whites into giving way to them, went on their own rampages and were shot down, the Northern lefties attained paroxysms of indignation and ecstasies of outrage that blacks should be submitted to justice and that whites should stand up for themselves. That threatened their whole mental universe - and it would loosen their own grip on power.

 The Magnolia Revolution.

    The North still did not want to conquer, occupy and directly rule the South again. They were also aware that any such attempt would be difficult, dangerous, bloody and expensive. Casting their minds back to the American instigated 'colour revolutions' of the early twenty first century, they devised what they thought would be a cheap and cunning plan. A 'Magnolia Revolution' would be fomented in the South. This would leave a bunch of violent and corrupt black thugs in charge of each of the Southern states, and they would do more or less what the Northern lefties told them. Reconstruction Mark Two.

    Of course it was botched. The South soon became aware of the infiltration of Northern agitators and saboteurs and their recruitment and payment of local thugs. There was no longer much tolerance for the 'civil rights' nonsense. They knew they were fighting for their families, homes, identity and way of life. TV was no longer an effective lefty weapon. Government was no longer in the hands of enemies. Southerners were enraged, not only by the attacks but also by the hypocrisy. They organised and fought well. Tens of thousands of whites were killed or maimed. Hundreds of thousands of blacks were killed and millions fled or were driven north. Any who remained were extremely well behaved and polite and eager to prove useful, or at least very humbly and ostentatiously Christian. None were enslaved; slaves have to be productive and hence valuable. Soon there was a chaotic situation as refugees packed the roads, blacks fleeing north and whites fleeing south or west. Skirmishes began between regular military units, semi-regular militias and informally armed mobs on both sides. This was in addition to the widespread opportunistic criminal upheavals, murder and looting across the whole continent.

 Oil War

    Another route to conflict was provided by economics. Oil was becoming scarce, and increasingly expensive to import. The main domestic oil and gas fields were in the South and West, who were disinclined to sell it to the North when they could use it themselves or export it for harder currency than the wastepaper emanating from the North, which had little with which to barter. What the North did have in abundance was a self righteous sense of entitlement and a large population with criminal tendencies and poor self control. Self interest and self righteousness combined to launch raids intended to capture oil wells and facilities and refined fuel from those evil- white-racist Southerners and Westerners. This left them on the wrong side of a guerrilla war, with long lines of communication to protect, vulnerable garrisons and the need for strong escorting forces to take the oil out and bring empty tankers and replenishments of supplies back. This substantially reduced the net gain. There were other losses. Large Northern convoy movements were road bound and their movements were highly predictable. Southern and Western Americans proved as adept at the use of mines, roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices as the Iraqis and Afghans had been, and it was more difficult for the North to replace their destroyed or damaged vehicles than it had been in those earlier conflicts.In contrast, cannon fodder was now much cheaper and more readily available.


    The Northern political and diplomatic losses were perhaps the most severe. Initially the North had been the biggest, strongest and best coordinated group of states, which had perhaps fed their arrogance and determination to throw their weight around. The other states were far more individualistic, reluctant to combine in a single strong group. It was Northern aggression and arrogance which convinced them that they needed to co-operate , that what they had in common - the hostility of the North -was more important than what divided them. They ruefully revived Franklin's realisation that unless they hung together, assuredly they would be hanged separately. The Southern and Western states were soon screaming to the United Nations about Northern aggression, and they had the evidence to prove it. The UN was no longer a vehicle for American propaganda. The rising powers of the world had little sympathy with the leftism espoused by the old USA, and even less for the more extreme creed evangelised by the USA v2. The rest of the world was heartily sick of America and it's financial deceits and ideological aggression. It was no longer a source of wealth and stability. In it's new incarnation as the Northern states, it was just a dammed nuisance. The rulers of these countries had no desire to find their own lower classes agitated and enthused by American propaganda and infiltration. America was no longer significant in world trade and finance; it was spending it's military strength to destroy itself; it was time to act against it. Hence the complaints against the North were well received, and the UN imposed sanctions against it. These were mainly of moral effect, making clear that the rest of the world disapproved of the North, and creating some sympathy for the South and West. It sent the Northern lefties into renewed paroxysms of indignation, bitterness and outrage. How dare anyone criticise them! Their racism card was trumped; the Chinese, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Indonesians, the Egyptians; indeed the leaders of all the large non-white countries in the world opposed them. Even the Africans, who well knew which way the wind was blowing, failed to support them. This was infamous! After all they had done and continued to do to advance the coloured man at the expense of whites, such ingratitude was intolerable! In practice it was the economic bankruptcy of the North which kept them out of world trade and finance, UN sanctions were just a formality which justified refusals to become involved. There were no eager blockade runners happy to profit by bringing in much wanted goods in exchange for equally valuable goods or bullion. The UN did not need to bother imposing a more than formal blockade, although it did give the Russian, Chinese and Indian navies the chance to discuss co-operation in mounting such a blockade or joint patrols of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of America, perhaps from a base in Brazil or Panama.

    A few years later the Russian navy was actually in action in the North Atlantic against what was left of the Northern navy. As their economic circumstances went from bad to worse they could no longer maintain much of a fleet to venture out of port beyond the protection of their anti aircraft and anti missile defences. Fuel was almost unobtainable anyway. It was the imminence of starvation which drove the North to desperate measures. Memory of their commerce raiding New England predecessors and their current political approach to the level of Somalia, made the Northerners take to the Atlantic as pirates. Small ships roamed the sea-lanes seeking prey. Prize crews sought to bring home the stolen merchant vessels with their cargoes of food or oil or anything at all. By then the south had also run out of rockets and fancy technology, so a lot of them managed to sneak in to a quiet bay or small port along the northern coast. Some crews took to voyaging on their own account, forgetting America and selling what they captured in out of the way places in Africa or South America or the Levant with the aid of bribes and false papers. This piracy became a nuisance to world trade and the Russians were willing to garner some prestige by taking the lead in sinking these pirates. Times had indeed changed when the Russian navy patrolled the coast of the North, close inshore, seizing or sinking any vessels found, bombarding coastal settlements and generally behaving like cocks-of-the-walk, even landing parties to seize and hang Americans on their own soil.

    The descent from sole superpower to pariah state in a single lifetime was steep and shocking. It had been a rapid slide down the sequence of grandeur; Sole Superpower, Unclothed Emperor, Successor State, Just-Another-State, Failed State, Pariah State, 'Hu dey?'

    One sign of the declining situation came when the rest of the world voted overwhelmingly in the United Nations that the USA v2 was a threat to world peace and that sanctions should be imposed against it. Outrage, scandal, riots in New York! The trendy lefties and their underclass followers were energised for weeks, marching, waving placards,shouting slogans,appearing on TV, throwing rocks and firebombs at diplomats and other foreigners. Previously such antics would have been the main feature of world news and the subject of earnest confabulations within many governments. Now the world and it's media was bored and impatient with American news. The main effect was to energise the assembled worthies in the UN to make the sanctions more stringent and to move themselves and their headquarters to Geneva. The shopping was now much better in Geneva than in New York. The city was much cleaner and safer and more central to the concerns of the world. Those world famous Swiss banks were at hand, their clients freed of concern that they would be forced to disclose any information to prod-nosed investigators and their media contacts in New York or Washington, which cities would be free to relapse into their primeval state of swamp or urban jungle at their own pace. Geneva had been the setting for the short-lived League of Nations, short-lived because of American refusal to participate in it. Now it's successor would be happy to return there, freed if possible from the incubus of the dead but still blustering corpse of America. Geneva was a city and in a country far more congenial than USA v2 was proving, to it's distinguished diplomatic community. Those tiresome humanitarian agencies which the old Americans had insisted on appending to the UN as a means of meddling in other countries affairs, although they had largely to pay for the privilege, had withered away. Now the diplomatic community could resume their proper business of discreet back-scratching and back-stabbing and equally discreet visits to even more discreet bankers, without all that tiresome humanitarian claptrap.


    In any case, by that time there was very little in the way of American foreign trade or financial transactions for the rest of the world to monitor or prevent. The Americans had already done an excellent job of sinking each others' ships, and the ships of neutrals visiting each others' ports. North and South watched each others' ports and used rockets and torpedoes and mines from drones, small boats and submarines to sink ships moving in or out. There was no pretense of applying the old fashioned rules. It was not possible to stop and search ships for contraband or to take off passengers and crew before sinking them. Those were niceties from bygone days. Any ships in the vicinity of the enemy's coast were simply sunk on sight. Since the South had still had an export trade whilst Northern trade had dried up, this exchange tended to benefit the North.

    Part of the reason that the North no longer had an export trade, in addition to their economic problems, was that the export of grain from the mid-west and ore from the Great Lakes region via the St. Lawrence Seaway had ceased. To begin with, after some hesitation these productive areas had joined the North or USA v2, and thereby had provided it's main source of foreign exchange. As the economic situation worsened the government had insisted on selling as much as possible of these materials abroad to gain the money with which to buy oil and chemicals and other things they needed. At the same time the need for food increased as more and more refugees flooded the northern cities. One day a freighter loaded with explosives transiting an important lock had  blown up and put the whole system out of action for years. Around that time ships plying the Great Lakes began to disappear. Suspicion soon fastened on the South. Survivors reported that their ships had suddenly blown up and sank. It became clear that mines, frogmen attaching limpet mines, rockets from drones and torpedoes from small boats had been responsible for a very successful campaign of destruction which had crippled the North's ability to move large quantities of material or men by water, or to replace the lost ships.

    As a result, the North had lost it's main source of foreign exchange, and found it very difficult to transport food to the starving cities of the east coast. At first the attempt to transport food by road and rail imposed a further strain on their limited supplies of fuel and on their rolling stock. Further developments caused the virtual cessation of such attempts. One was the liberal way in which each side bombarded the others' infrastructure and transport facilities. Americans, North and South, proved very adept at dealing out large doses of 'shock and awe' to each other, as long as their fancy munitions and the capacity to resupply them lasted. The targeting of railroad bridges and freight trains soon made the rail service extremely unreliable. Another was the fact that much less food was being produced, because of the economic and social and military disruption, and there was little left for transport to the east because of the fighting and the claims of local cities on what food they could find. The third factor was the devastation caused by the incursions of raiders from the South. The link between the farming and mining area of the mid=west and northwest and the big cities of the Eastern coast was a relatively narrow territory between the water to the north and the hills and mountains of the east and south which were inhabited by predatory enemies.

Nature's Law

    The previous raids from the north, together with economic stringency and the growing war fever had aroused the fierce instincts of the hillmen. Seeing their hated foes, the despised Yankees, in trouble, the immemorial habits of the hillmen who saw opportunity at hand took over and they gleefully sallied forth to 'spoil the Egyptians'.

    The hillmen knew opportunity when they saw it. Like Wordsworth's Rob Roy, and as free of moral qualms, they followed nature's law and fell upon the booty of the plains.

    "The creatures see of flood and field,
          And those that travel on the wind!
          With them no strife can last; they live
              In peace, and peace of mind.

          "For why?--because the good old rule
          Sufficeth them, the simple plan,
          That they should take, who have the power,
              And they should keep who can.                          

          "A lesson that is quickly learned,
          A signal this which all can see!
          Thus nothing here provokes the strong
              To wanton cruelty.

          "All freakishness of mind is checked;
          He tamed, who foolishly aspires;
          While to the measure of his might
              Each fashions his desires.

The War Song of Dinas Vawr may not have been upon their lips as they leapt forth from their hills of West Virginia and Kentucky to harry the plains to their north, but it's spirit, redolent of the age old conflict between the desert and the sown, hillman and plainsdweller, Abel and Cain, doubtless sang in their hearts.

    The mountain sheep are sweeter,
    But the valley sheep are fatter;
    We therefore deemed it meeter
    To carry off the latter.
    We made an expedition;
    We met a host, and quelled it;
    We forced a strong position,
    And killed the men who held it.

The Politically Correct denied it with all their venom and hysteria, but the poet Horace had told the truth long before: 'Naturam expellas furca, tam usque recurret..'. You can drive nature out with a pitchfork, but she always comes back, over your foolish contempt. Those whose plans and actions accorded better with nature fared better than those who strove to alter nature and deny her reality.   

God's Shadow

    Jungians could say that the Devil functions as God's Shadow. Whilst the government of each side saw itself garbed in robes of light and it's opponent robed in the darkest hues, their intelligence services functioned in the same murky shadows using the same dark means to the same dirty ends. The old tradition in American intelligence services of criminal involvement and participation in the trade in illegal drugs was maintained, partly to extend their reach, partly to finance themselves and partly to undermine the morale of the opposing population. This had more effect on the North, because in the more godly South, drug dealers and addicts were fewer, more likely to be caught, and when caught were usually executed promptly. God's quality controller found much that was lacking on both sides, but when they were weighed against each other in the balance it was the sins of the North which weighed more heavily; and it was upon Northern walls that the writing appeared, 'Mene Mene Tekal Upharsin',although the readers thought it was just graffiti.

 Apostolic Blows and Knocks

    In the South, Christianity of a somewhat anarchic sort, fissiparous and vociferous, was strong and prevalent.If these congregations might have been considered theologically or philosophically weak, yet they were strong in emotion and physical action - an excellent basis for a Church Militant. Those amongst their members who were more intellectually inclined were sympathetic to the idea that the originally strongly Christian settlers of America had been subverted and betrayed by deists or atheists, who had engineered the coup that replaced the original confederation and subordinated the States to the Federal government, changing from a Christian people, via religious neutrality, to an oppressive anti-Christian rule. They easily accepted that the subsequent corruption, decay and decline of the United States was God's punishment for these sins. The Dissolution of the Union appeared as a providential gift from God to his faithful remnant, blessing them with the opportunity to regain his favour by mending their ways and returning to organising themselves as a Christian Commonwealth. All that religious tolerance and separation of Church and State malarkey had been an error, grievous in the eyes of the Lord, who now gave them the need and the opportunity to repent.

    God, it seemed, despite the saying, 'vox populi vox dei', was not a big fan of democracy, elections, majority voting and minority rights. There had been that still unresolved issue with Satan over which of them was to rule in Heaven, and the loser had been expelled along with about one third of the angels. That had been a shock. He had had no idea that he was expected to curry favour with an electorate. He was known to be keen on hereditary monarchy. He had made his son his Chief Operating Officer. He liked families. It was horrifying to consider that Lefties might have pressured the Virgin Mary into having an abortion, or encouraged a divorce because of her husband's mental cruelty in forcing her to travel by donkey when she was heavily pregnant, and given her and her offspring government subsidised housing and medical attention after that inappropriate birthplace in a stable. Lefties always seemed to hate Christmas.Strangely, so had Puritans. Cromwell had abolished it. It was confusing. Much prayer would be needed, and many appeals for divine guidance before they could see what sort of political system God wanted them to adopt. Perhaps a heavily armed Commonwealth, retaining Christmas?

    As among Galapagos finches, so among Christian Fundamentalists who preached against evolution, a certain Darwinian selection became evident. As their environment changed they adapted. Those who prospered in the competition for followers and resources were those  preachers who best adapted their message to the circumstances of the time. In a time of Liberalism the gospel had been social. When red war, famine and disorder was at the door it became Old Testament. Biblical Joshua and Oliver Cromwell became favoured models. It was not lost upon them that the New Model army had been the most formidable host of it's time, and that the Lord of Hosts had abundantly favoured it with victory in a civil War and made it, for a time, the mainstay of a godly government. It was not a canonical text, but it might as well have been the text of many days, that 'the God of Battles has an eternal preference for the better troops', and there were indeed many amongst those grim, tough, disciplined, passionately prayerful, earnest, efficient and deadly serious men whom the Lord Protector would have praised God to be able to welcome amongst his Ironsides. Naturally all units were not of such a high standard, but the leadership and their best units set the standard and the tone for the others to emulate as best they could.

    Those who searched the scriptures pondered upon texts such as Matt. 10:34, 'think not that I come to bring peace, but a sword.'They noted that their Father Yahweh was a god of war who delighted in his servants smiting his enemies 'hip and thigh'. The precise anatomical significance was obscure, but easily translated as 'terminate with extreme prejudice'. Prejudice became extreme, terminators abounded and the pace of the smiting waxed mightily and the smiters waxed mighty wroth. A godly thorough reformation was underway. Another great and terrible day of the Lord was at hand, and this time the terrible swift sword of the Lord was to be wielded by Southern hands.

     Putting aside doubts and books they submitted their cause to trial by combat, girded up their loins and followed, all unknowing, but with less bathos, the example of the Puritans of Sir Hudibras, and became:

    Such as do build their faith upon
        The holy text of pike and gun;
        Decide all controversies by
        Infallible artillery;
        And prove their doctrine orthodox
        By apostolic blows and knocks;
        Call fire and sword and desolation,
        A godly thorough reformation,

Oliver Cromwell

    Oliver Cromwell seems an unlikely figure to be the godfather of the renewed South, but his energy, rectitude, ruthlessness, military and political ability, prolix and passionate prayerfulness seeking God's guidance and approval and finding it in the results of battle and debate appealed strongly to the newly aroused Southerners. Like him and his Cause, they felt that they and theirs were beset by enemies determined to destroy them and undermined by the less godly brethren on their own side. God's Englishman with Welsh connections had not been expected to influence the history of America; but there had been Americans involved in the English Civil War. Now Cromwell's great and brooding spirit was more welcome in the new South than in his native land.

    Many of the Southern religious groups were of an independent spirit. Although the Independents of his time had been Cromwell's supporters, he had well known the risks of anarchy which a drift in that direction could pose. He had opposed the Levellers and the Diggers, imprisoned Lilburne and resisted that tendency in the Putney Debates. In America such trends in religion and society had been associated with the North, becoming Abolitionists and Lefties. Somehow, the spirit of the Lord, or at least of the Lord Protector, kept the Southern divines sufficiently united to give their people firm and united leadership.

 Jihad vs Crusade vs Revolution

    In the decadent dying decades of the old America, an amazing number of Muslims had infiltrated or been encouraged to settle there. They added their invocations and imprecations to the cacophony of confusion, and their murders and martyrdoms to the tears and bloodstains that bespattered the land. The Dissolution and the consequent chaos and criminal bonanza provided superb opportunities to those obliged by religion and inclination to rob murder or enslave infidels. Jihadis roared into action. This was a heaven sent opportunity to show their mettle to Allah and to each other, enrich themselves, kill Americans and spread Islam in the traditional way - by force. In the South this soon proved to be a fatal error. Nothing else could so efficiently have united Southerners, crystallised the new identity of the South as a Christian nation of Christian soldiers marching as to war, and enabled them to cast off any remaining liberal secular tolerant 'American' attitudes, as to find themselves treacherously attacked in their own homes on their own territory by Muslims who had been allowed to live amongst them. Many of them had served or lost family in the American wars in the Middle East, or remembered incidents such as 911 and the Fort Hood massacre. A great wave of patriotic and religious fervor arose, sweeping aside the quarreling politicians, achieving effective cooperation between states and institutions and churches. The military and the semi- or unofficial militias, police forces and gangs enthusiastically cooperated in finding and fighting Muslims. Muslims were soon eliminated from the South and West, and the experience led to strong common political and military institutions and units, which were immediately applied to the similar elimination of other internal security problems such as Mexican immigrants and gangsters, black criminals and agitators, drug addicts and layabouts, Northern infiltrators and those who sympathised with them, and eventually the rich criminal dross and the members of the old political regime who failed to 'get religion' in time to avoid a bullet or a noose. lord Protector was not a title which appealed to the South but the personality and achievements of Cromwell became an inspiration. His insistence on military efficiency, godly behavior and radical political reform towards a Rule of the Saints were examples that were followed. The spirit of the South, like a Phoenix had risen again, and it was incandescent with rage and fervor.

    In the North there was much less reaction to Muslim violence. It was all just part of the rich multi- cultural and vibrantly multi-ethnic rainbow community they praised to the skies in public, although their leaders took good care to avoid  suffering it's consequences in person. They were too busy advancing a social revolution to be bothered by anything as reactionary and old fashioned as religion. They took their inspiration from Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Pol Pot, Fanon, Toussaint and Dessalines.

 Second Coming of the American Revolution

    In times of turmoil and crisis it's not really surprising that people go to extremes. In the South they coalesced into a Church Militant. In the North the militancy of the Atheist 'churches' was no less extreme. It was the opportunity for which all the 'activists', agitators, 'trustafarians', 'occupiers', squatters, protestors, unheeded prophets and aggrieved academics, third generation hippies, criminals, race-hustlers, bearded-weirdies, avant garde artists, psychos, deviants, transexuals, feminazis, socialist splinter groups and wannabe revolutionaries had dreamed of all their miserable wasted lives - a chance to inflate their egos by inflicting misery on everyone else. Like demons allowed out of Hell to afflict humanity this pandaemonium of evil burst into a cacophony of slogans and with a devilish infusion of energy took to marching, rioting, protesting, demanding, looting, burning, occupying, organising and taking over political power. Millions of angry, confused, worried and impoverished people were eager to follow anyone who claimed that a little violence and some changes in the organisation of daily life would bring 'Justice', 'Fairness','Equality' and anything else that sounded like a new and improved version of 'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness', 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity', or even 'Bread, Land, Peace and All Power to the Soviets'. Police, bureaucrats and soldiers were also infected with this revolutionary mood, so the country was soon in the grip of bloody-minded revolutionaries who persecuted and executed everyone else when they weren't persecuting and executing each other, until a certain stability was achieved under the heel of the most competently cruel and cunning tyrants.

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

Yeats knew a thing or two about revolutions and their effects.

All the worst elements in America, the most bestial, passionately enthused by the prospect of feeding on the corpse of decency, of continuing their practice of drowning innocence in blood, of making their degraded selves supreme over better people, had not just slouched but ran to Washington and the other state capitals of the North, as rough beasts to Bethlehem to be born in a Second Coming of revolution in America.

    This anarchic Dionysiac rout was thirsty for blood, and soon became drunk on it. Well primed with the histories of the French and Russian Revolutions they sought to emulate and outdo their mentors and each other in ferocity and brutality, and to complete the work begun by the first American Revolution by making it's second incarnation the most sweepingly nihilistic of them all. Isolation from the rest of the world and conflict with their neighbours increased their certainty and made them all the more zealous in their efforts to destroy everything from the past and create, not just a desolation to be called peace, but a tabula rasa of the minds and souls of man, upon which they would inscribe, like paradoxical antinomian anti-Moses', new laws for a new humanity and society made in their own inhuman image.

    Things certainly fell apart under such management. Sanity fled, competence was punished, mere anarchy ruled Northern endeavors.The politically correct nonsense became even more vicious and intense. Arrogant and corrupt thugs with political connections filled the senior positions in all organisations. Competent subordinates were blamed for the follies and failures of their superiors and their inability to do the impossible things that were frequently demanded of them. Guillotines were not in fashion, but machine guns, clubs, knives and pistol shots to the back of the neck NKVD style, efficiently slaughtered far more people than those over-rated French revolutionaries had ever managed. This was the application of 'good old American know-how', new style. Killings on an industrial scale, in the post-industrial age, rivaled the achievements of the Bolsheviks.Gulags of concentration camps sprang up, where class enemies and actual or potential counter-revolutionaries were incarcerated and worked to death to dispense with them and to keep some production going and to terrify the rest of the population. These emulated and endeavored to surpass their Nazi, Soviet and Chinese precursors. All the rumours in the old America about FEMA camps being established to jail dissidents under cover of providing help to disaster hit areas, proved  the merest hint at the truth that emerged. White men and their alleged anti-revolutionary inherent and institutionalised racism, became the scapegoats for the inability of the increasingly hysterical revolutionary regimes to build heaven upon earth, let alone accomplish such more modest goals as keeping the populace fed, clothed and housed. No one expected miracles such as heat and artificial light, and resentful stories and complaints about how much better things used to be were treated as counter-revolutionary activity, subversion and defeatism. The works of Tolkien, along with most English and other literature, including the Bible and Homer, were banned and burned along with their possessors. Still it was whispered that in the USA v2, the Dark Lord ruled from the White House. The Orcs ran wild, killing, ruining, perverting, proclaiming that the Age of Man was over and the Time of the Orcs had come.

     In the South the old American civic religion of Democracy gave place to Rule of the Saints. In the North it was sacrificed on the altar of Revolution. The anti-religious anti-religion of Political Correctness and it's priests, the diabolic rabble previously mentioned, destroyed what was left of civilisation in America, rather as the Taliban had blown up the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan and disposed of historical relics from the museums. It's shrines were desecrated and the Founding Fathers besmirched for being insufficiently black and female and insane. The White House was quickly re-designated the Black House, and repainted whilst stocks of paint were still available; whether as the government alleged, as as act of restitution to acknowledge the undervalued role of blacks, or as their opponents whispered, because of the heinous crimes plotted and committed there by the increasingly black revolutionary rabble, who were said to maintain torture chambers stained with the blood of their mainly white victims in the basements there.  All the old monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial in Washington and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia were destroyed as counter revolutionary distractions and reminders of an evil past unfairly dominated by evil-racist-white-men. Museums and libraries were closed and cleansed, only to be re-opened when they were able to present a Politically Correct display.

    Education and the media had been prominent in the subversion and demoralisation of the old America. Lefties had buzzed and fattened there like flies around carrion. It was no surprise that in the new North they were kept under very tight control so that only Lefty views were permitted and all children were brought up as lefties. Families were broken down even more, children were obliged to spy on their parents, if they had any. The full Communist programme of education and social engineering was introduced, or more accurately, accelerated, since the introduction had already occurred under the old America. Soon the hatred of white people became so intense that they were increasingly squeezed out of education, and skilled training, regardless of ability, and prevented from obtaining or retaining good jobs or attaining positions of responsibility unless they were the most rabid leftists.

    Christianity in the North had already become weak and insipid under the old America, little more than a kindergarten for wishy-washy leftism, grovelling and fawning over all anti-Christian, anti-white and anti-civilised influences, a grotesque parody of itself. Consequently it had little depth and when persecution came there were few martyrs. Most were willing to bow and sacrifice to the new Caesar.

    Perverts, paedophiles and parasites of all descriptions had flourished in the old America. They were made extremely unwelcome in the new South and West, so flooded into the North, where the revolutionary ferment suited them and they flourished all the more, preying as ever on the weak and white.

    Before the French Revolution Haiti had been it's most productive and profitable colony. The revolutionaries freed the black slaves and made them equal to the white citizens. Before long the blacks had murdered all the whites. Then they killed the half-castes. Then they fell upon each other. Soon the island became and remained the most primitive and impoverished in the western hemisphere. Black revolutionaries did the same for the North, and thereafter it might as well be called Haiti North. Most of the old American people and attitudes had disappeared by the time the North went down, destroyed by being taken to extremes.

 Southern Phoenix

    The North had been happy to repudiate the debts of the old USA whilst continuing it's identity, attitudes and antics. The South repudiated the identity which had been forced upon them, as well as the debts which had been incurred in that name. They wanted their own identity, as well as their country, back. All the cant of the previous couple of centuries was rejected, not all at once, but gradually as defrauded and impoverished heirs awaking from the spell that had been cast on them, now determined on restitution and revenge. Rage and fury brightly burned. Their hearts to wrath and vengeance turned. All Northern lovers quickly burned. Instead of being the insultingly termed 'crackers' - white and easily broken, the fires of adversity baked them into biscuit - the old 'ships biscuit', bread twice baked and hard enough to break teeth.

The Left Coast

    California and the whole 'Left Coast' of America went it's own way. Indeed, it may be said that they fulfilled their wonted boast of leading America into the future. Sympathetic to the North, yet separated from them by mountains deserts and plains occupied by the sort of 'redneck' white people whom the liberal elite disdained and strove to do down. Well, it was California which went down, and not in the long expected mighty earthquake which dumped it under the sea.

    A large, populous, previously very wealthy, state, it was bankrupt even before the Dissolution - broken by lefty fiscal and economic policies, huge bureaucracy and provision of benefits to illegal immigrants and state employees. It soon dissolved into Mexo-anarchy. Black and Mexican gangs took control from the PC bureaucracy, fought amongst themselves and killed or ignored the liberal elite. Any sane surviving whites soon fled. It descended into the Third World failed state category, twinned with Somalia. Although California had been a major agricultural area, the violence, chaos, loss of skills and loss of water for both urban and agricultural use, as the irrigation supplies and facilities were shut off or destroyed, brought it to ruin. Order and civilisation only resumed beyond the mountains, where the Westerners and Southerners were too busy to restore water, electricity, farming and civilisation to the Left Coast, which became the first part of the old America where  the lights went out permanently. Not to worry, most of the Hollywood glitterati had prudently and promptly removed themselves to the safety of substantial estates in Canada or other safer and warmer parts of the world where they could continue to sparkle, even if only in front of a smaller and less admiring public.

 The Mormons

    These people were more successful in asserting their identity and obtaining a territory of their own in the new America. They already had a history of attempted independence from the United States, having been forcibly suppressed and incorporated into the USA in the mid 19th century. Now they were able to spread their wings and free themselves. They became the buttress and bastion of the South and West against incursion by their enemies from across the mountains and deserts. Clannish and secretive, they were sober, conservative, well armed and well organised. Soon they gained control of Utah and surrounding regions.

    This useful but somewhat isolated geographical position reflected their political and religious position in relation to the new South. They were more respected than liked. As America's native Christian offshoot or heresy they were regarded a bit askance by the main Christian churches, but their help against the ungodly was appreciated, and no one was yet in any position to persecute them. It may be that they will have a larger role to play in the future history, if there is any, of the continent as it lives apart from the rest of the world. 

Aggressive Mexicans

    The Mexicans, or the variety of mestizo and amerindian admixtures posing as such, were amongst the elements seeking advantage in the Dissolution of the United States, to develop and assert their own identity and territory at the expense of the Americans. Mexico itself had already developed or devolved into a corrupt and brutal dictatorship masquerading as a 'democracy' whilst trying to control a diversity of regions, interests, ethnicities and criminal enterprises all of which had their own political and military power. The confusion and chaos following the Dissolution gave plenty of opportunity for aggressive criminals. They were able to raid, rape, torture, and slaughter with little to stop them. Their revanchism and contempt for the soft Americans who had allowed themselves to be imposed upon led them into overconfidence. As the Southerners and Westerners became better organised and in control of their core territory, they eliminated all such trash from their cities and towns and went on to bring superior numbers, weapons, organisation and tactics to bear in hunting the remaining troublemakers in the remoter regions. Any Mexicans they met were sent 'to Hell or Mexico' by the business end of a bullet. The Lefty 'human rights' nonsense no longer applied, or at least only applied to those accepted as worthwhile humans. The economic interests of large corporations in importing cheap and disposable labour were no longer allowed to overrule the rights of the People, the only people who counted, to physical, economic and cultural security in their own territory. Some arrogant, greedy, unpatriotic and old fashioned businessmen took the trip 'to Hell or Mexico'. This hunting provided training for the Southern forces. Few Mexicans survived unless they fled either to Mexico proper, California, or the North - and stayed there. Some Mexican military units were so cocky as to invade Southern territory, but the survivors went home with a convincing message not to return.

 War readiness

    By the time the conflict with the North became serious, internal and external threats from Mexicans, blacks and Lefties had been almost eliminated. Southern territory was socially and politically cohesive, well organised and secure, and the coloured map gave a reasonably accurate impression. The spirit, organisation, armament, disipline and training of many of the Southern forces had been thoroughly tested. Competent, cunning and ruthless officers were coming to the fore. The public were roused and broadly content with fiery political and religious leadership who inspired a sense of destiny. They were ready for war. This was not as true of the North.

Part Three.

The Fighting

Stomach rumbles

    Napoleon was right about an army marching on it's stomach , as he was about many things which were illustrated in this war, including the line that large armies starve and small armies get beaten. Much of the fighting took place in the breadbasket of the north and west. That was partly why there was little food left to transport to the eastern cities, and partly why units from the east were sent there to fight.
    The fighting which began with Northern attempts to grab the resources of the Western states led to much raiding from both sides, destroying mining and transport facilities and crops and farms. The big cities such as  Chicago and Detroit and Buffalo began to starve. They requisitioned and pillaged the farmers of their own states with increasing severity and desperation. 'Racist','kulak' white farmers were accused of hoarding food to deprive the black urban proletariat. Many were tortured and executed, which didn't improve food production, or fled to the South, which didn't help the commissars to meet their targets. In true Soviet style, production statistics became artifices of creative lying, the urban trash sent to replace the farmers could scarcely grow enough to feed themselves, and famine and disease stalked the big cities.The comrades were soon the only people to be reasonably well fed or even fed at all.

    Washington and the Pentagon were soon ringing with demands for larger forces with which to drive back the Southern and Western forces, consolidate a grip on the resources of the north central states, and administer a good hiding to those insolent Southern 'racists'. That was the easy part. Difficulties began when they tried to get the troops there.The Southerners happily harassed the marching columns, keeping them hungry in a landscape of burning farms, attacking and withdrawing, avoiding their angry attempts at pursuit, weakening and wearing them down before they reached the designated theatre of operations. Difficulties increased when the Northern troops found themselves tired, short of supplies, frustrated by marching around a desolate landscape without being able to bring the enemy to battle, or tied down in large garrisons which ceded control of the countryside to the enemy because small garrisons were picked off. Reinforcements made things worse. More casualties, less food, still no success. The Northern strategists even found a cunning way to lose more troops. They persuaded the Canadian government, contrary to their position of neutrality, to allow Northern troops to use Canadian roads and railways to pass around the Great Lakes.


    Canada was in an awkward position.It's people mostly sympathised with the North. It's government was under heavy pressure from the North to comply with it's demands and to declare war on the South. The destruction of the St.Lawrence Seaway and the sinking of shipping on the Great Lakes had damaged their economy and made the South even less popular. Prudence whispered that Canada was not sufficiently strong to make a decisive difference in the American conflict, but that it was very vulnerable to much greater destruction if it declared against the South, even if the North eventually won. Turning a blind eye to Northern movements through their territory prevented them from simply being annexed by the North. Everyone knew that the North was broke and their currency of little worth. Northern troops expected to 'live off the land', whether that land was North, South, West - or Canada.Canadian merchants and farmers had the normal expectation that they would be paid for their produce. The experience of being looted by the North was displeasing. Even when the Canadian government tried to cover up the requisitions and promised payment in Canadian currency, this upset other Canadian taxpayers. Soon the Quebecois took the opportunity to resume agitation to break completely with the rest of Canada. When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled. Between Northern thefts and Southern sabotage to destroy and deny supplies for the North, the Canadian wheatlands were wrecked. All varieties of American became deeply unpopular throughout Canada, except in the far West, where isolated from contact with the war, and in contact with the trendy lefties who ruled the Left Coast, the trendy lefties who ruled there remained sympathetic the the North. Thus a side effect of the Dissolution of the United States was a weakening and almost dissolution of the ties binding Canada. Eventually, the destruction and chaos in the North spilled over into Canada. The hordes of refugees, mobs of looters and detachments of disobedient or deserting soldiers destroyed order in eastern and central Canada, and took the country down into the same darkness as overcame the North. The Quebecois bitterly and despairingly recalled stories of the Hundred Years War, when 'English' and other foreign troops and local bandits had devastated, pillaged, raped and murdered their way across the fair face of France, torturing and flaying and burning the wretched population. When the lights went out in the North the same fate overwhelmed Canada,

Loss of the Midwest and Lakes Region

     None of this helped feed the cities, where disease and discontent increased as population dwindled.It wrecked several Western states as well as the mid-west, but left the Southern forces undefeated. Smaller numbers of Southern forces were able to tie down larger Northern armies and wear them out. The South was quite content to bleed the Northern armies slowly, without seeking major battles, until the Northern troops were obliged to retreat or surrender. The South did not wish to capture the big cities, being content to keep them bottled up, and repulsing raids and attempts to escape into the countryside which had increasingly come to support the South, until the cities died. Eventually the North ceased to reinforce failure. The leading politicians and generals escaped back East via Canada and the cities and remaining Northern forces surrendered. They still continued to die as there was little food available, and that was destined for more friendly stomachs. The states from Ohio westwards withdrew from the USA v2 and accepted occupation and Reconstruction at Southern hands.

    This was a huge military, political and psychological success for the South and a corresponding defeat for the North. It ended fighting over a large area, allowing recovery to slowly begin and it concentrated conflict along a shorter better defined line, much further east. It gave evidence of God's approval  of the South and encouraged them to continue the good fight to not only achieve independence for themselves but to bring God's blessing of liberty to His people in the North from the oppression of godless savages, estranged brethren though they might be.

Southern Shieldwall

    The West had not been the only theatre of operations. The North had flung large forces into attacks on the Shield of the South, the hilly and mountainous area from West Virginia through Kentucky. This was stubbornly defended, so progress was slow and bloody although weight of numbers did achieve a measure of success. It pushed back but did not break the Southern Shieldwall. Along the coast the situation was similar, although less strongly defended by the South. The South did not wish to fight their way north through heavily defended urban terrain. They were willing to allow the North to assume the burden of attack south through a townscape increasingly open to flank attacks from the hills as Northern forces advanced into a zone of elastic defence. Tactical gains in the east did not compensate for strategic losses in the west.

    In the beginning the North had had greater numbers and resources, but the South had had several advantages, of which they made better use. Despite a smaller population Southerners were more likely to serve in the military, and to have military bases on their territory. Their forces had more rapidly become battle hardened and their people inspired by the new spirit of militant religion and patriotism. Their leadership was somewhat more effective, so all in all they had the edge and it was only to be expected that they would have more success. That however had not been expected by the North which had inherited the arrogant old American expectation of easy and overwhelming superiority  in all areas simultaneously.

    It should not have surprised anyone with common sense, and some knowledge of history and of the Old Testament, although it did from time to time surprise the North, that on the whole God's followers made better fighting men than the followers of multicultural political correctness. Men in touch with their masculine side tended to beat men in touch with their feminine side, officered by women in touch with their masculine side. Battlefield promotions on demonstrated merit produced more effective generals than selection by politically correct box-ticking. Not even the Soviet-type innovation of Political Commissars to supervise planning and operations, and to shoot those who gave signs of 'defeatism', could stem the tide of defeat which inexorably engulfed the Northern forces.   

Three Generals

    Among the most effective opponents contributing to the defeat of the North were three generals. General Shortage, General Hunger and General Discontent. Most of the better Northern troops and equipment had been lost by the time the Midwest surrendered and the fighting line contracted to the east. It's always hard to negotiate an ending to a war, as the party in the ascendent is likely to press their advantage further and the losing party hope to gain a better position by fighting on. Thus, despite mutterings on both sides that there was really nothing to be gained by fighting on, the war continued. The North was relieved to go on the defensive and attempt to hold a defensive position. It increasingly lacked the material and the morale to make further large scale attacks. Most of it's troops were dispirited, poorly supplied and of low quality, reluctant and hardly able to do more than huddle in large fortifications and hope to fend off Southern attacks. This left the initiative with the South. Their troops and leadership were of higher quality, better supplied and organised and better able to employ effective infiltration tactics. They flowed around and nibbled away at the smaller Northern positions, isolating the larger ones and making movement reinforcement and supply difficult for them. Many Northern troops deserted or surrendered at the first opportunity. The Northern generals found that they could only keep their armies in being by keeping them concentrated, which made it harder to keep them supplied and ceded freedom of movement to the Southern forces. They were like icebergs slowly melting, adrift on a current of fate. Thus the South was able to lever the Northern positions backwards out of West Virginia and Kentucky and through Pennsylvania and into New York. A shrunken Northern army attempted to hold the line of the Hudson river, but a strong Southern assault achieved a decisive breakthrough and the whole Northern line crumbled, it's soldiers surrendering, deserting to rove as gangs of looters through the dwindling and already impoverished territory still available to them or fleeing back into the big cities,leaving the New England hinterland open to Southern occupation.   

    General Discontent had made a significant contribution to this result. People in the north were tired of the war. It had brought them nothing but misery and failure. They were also tired of a leadership which had brought this about and which was increasingly tyrannical and socialist and incompetent, although they were also afraid to voice this discontent until liberated by their enemies. Southern treatment of the occupied Midwest had been fairly mild and outside the cities the area was starting to revive. This was known in the North despite it's rulers claims to the contrary; so the country districts resigned themselves to Southern occupation, put up little resistance or even took control of their own areas and declared neutrality before any Southern troops arrived. The Southern forces were well behaved when they did arrive. Short of food like everyone else, they saw that the locals were in worse case, and tried not to take much from them, and even to help them when they could, such as in repairing damaged structures and offering medical attention. Northerners and Southerners still did not like each other, but with care and courtesy they might be able to get along together.

Southern Occupation

    That left what was left of the lefty government of USA v2 in only tenuous control of only the coastal cities of the North East.As order there collapsed amid wild rumours and panic, the political, bureaucratic and military leaders abandoned their positions and attempted flight to Canada or the Caribbean. Some were successful, some were caught, some were betrayed, few lived happily ever after. There was no formal surrender, the Northern government just ceased to exist. There was turmoil and starvation in the Northern cities. Individuals fled towards the Southern forces, hoping for food and security. The remaining Northern units disbanded themselves or surrendered as soon as Southern forces approached. Strangely or not, it was the Islamic jihadis who put up the fiercest resistance when Southern forces approached the areas they controlled, but this was soon overcome.

    One of the things that shocked white liberals and surprised blacks in the North, was to find that the first representatives of the evil-white-racist-Southerners to enter their cities were often black. Some blacks gave loyal service to the South. They were useful spies whose Southern accents combined with or countered by a sob story about having been driven out of the South by evil-white-racist-Southerners allowed them to evade suspicion. Seeing something of both sides, they were shrewd enough to stay with the winning side. Sincerely religious blacks, of whom there were quite a lot in the South, were just as disgusted and offended as sincerely religious whites (of whom there were a great many more) at the immorality, crime, perversion and disorder tolerated or promoted in the North, and often perpetrated by blacks upon whom the white liberals fawned. Such malefactors were indignantly surprised to find that instead of going easy on them as fellow-blacks, black administrators and judges were often harsher than whites in their judgments on them. Liberalism was a mental disease which mainly damaged whites. There had been no trace of it in traditional African societies, where within the elastic limits of custom and public approval manifesting as the will of the gods, the chief's word was law. Criminals, deviants and the insolently disobedient had swiftly received the harshest punishments. Even when modern politicians were enabled by white liberals to displace the chiefs their rule was no less harsh or arbitrary, despite cloaking itself as a 'democracy'. Brutal physical treatment was normal. West Africa was still a place where drivers who infringed a traffic regulation could be taken out of their vehicles and flogged by traffic policemen; and where a tourist who asked a traffic policeman why he had whacked a motorcyclist in the face with his baton was told, 'He no wearing his helmet, sah!' When God's justice came to the sinners of the North, it was often administered by a strong black arm.   

     The outcome of the war was taken as conclusive proof of the failure of the experiment of the USA v1 and v2 and as the clearest demonstration of God's favour towards the South and it's people, who were obviously His People.

 Part Four.


American Nuremberg

    Following the soldiers came the inquisitors.After the collapse or overthrow of the North, victor's justice was meted out. New York was deemed a suitable location to host judicial proceedings modeled on the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War. The leaders of the North were arraigned on charges of plotting and waging aggressive war and of committing crimes against humanity. All those who had been politically or bureaucratically or intellectually or culturally or militarily or economically prominent in the Northern regime were hunted down, imprisoned and those who did not manage to commit suicide were tried and executed. Since they had termed themselves 'Liberals', to the indignation of those who knew that their emphasis on overwhelming state power and hatred of individualism, the family, private property, racial and national identity, and promotion of everything perverted, debased, immoral and evil was socialism and not classical liberalism, there had to be a 'de-liberalisation' programme, (or was it pogrom?), equivalent to the 'de-nazification' campaign in Germany. Communist methods were applied to those who had 'objectively' been Communists or their dupes. Those, unto the third or fourth generation, whose ancestors had been leftists were assumed to carry a hereditary taint and were to be denied access to jobs, positions, education or influence beyond the most basic. They were not to interbreed with the rest of the population, if allowed to breed at all, beyond the need to maintain a class or caste of basic physical workers.

    The education system was overhauled to eliminate leftist influences. School and University appointments and curricula were strictly supervised to prevent the recurrence of lefty influence. Persons who could even imagine behaving in the uncouth, unkempt, slovenly, noisy, insolent, arrogant, riotous,immature,immoral, brazen, criminal, coarse, disruptive, drunken, drug-crazed, degenerate, contemptuous and contemptible, irresponsible, wasteful, anti-intellectual, unaesthetic and uncivilised manner that had characterised earlier generations of American students and academics, would of course never have been permitted near such an institution, except possibly to clean the drains and even then only under stringent supervision in case they left a mess or made things worse or offended decent people by their presence and continued existence. The administrators who had allowed and encouraged such degeneracy were no longer in existence. Perversion and immorality and filth of every kind, especially the  love and lure of filthy lucre were no longer allowed to exist in those responsible for such positions. Academic virtue was to be no longer prostituted to sport or money and their associated perversions. As 'more' had meant 'worse', so 'less' was expected to produce 'better' as higher education regained it's intended function of producing a morally developed ruling class and a technically competent upper administrative class, rather than producing a debased parody of these things as a consumer good for a greedy and unqualified lower class who thought that aping virtue was better and certainly easier than attaining the real thing - which in any case was always denied and derided by the evil ones who were in control of the society.

 It had long been noted that the extension of the franchise in America (and abroad) went hand in glove with a coarsening and debasement of standards. Rightly had Franklin (or was it Madison?) predicted that the Republic would be doomed as soon as the electorate found that they could vote themselves money. The extension of the franchise speeded the process of corruption, most of the population came to believe that they were entitled to live at someone else's expense, and that arranging this was the business of politics and the sole concern of their political representatives. In a way, the vile venal politicians they elected were a reflection of their voters, although like toxic pollution, evil concentrated ever more at higher levels of the political food-chain. Had there been  a lottery of random penalties assigned to politicians, few would not have deserved the harshest penalties that could have befallen them. Madison had remarked that the constitution of the United States would only serve for the government of a moral and religious people and would be insufficient for any other, and as the people became less moral and religious and less like the original American citizens, so their society and government had changed and become increasingly debased to match the nature of the people and the scope available to the corrupt nature of their rulers.

    Soon after the forces of the South secured each Northern state they set up an occupation administration, which was kept occupied dealing with claims, many of them genuine, from people who had fled or been driven out of the state. They wanted restoration of their property, compensation for losses - and vengeance. Some of this was reasonable and feasible and was done. Sometimes property had been destroyed or had disappeared, compensation from dead, fled or destitute people was not possible and vengeance was not possible or acceptable to the new authorities.Sometimes, as is ever the way in times of confusion when force and connections outweigh truth and justice, property was transferred and punishments meted out by means which were less than godly.

    The victorious South did not wish to continue in permanent occupation of the North. Nor did they wish to risk allowing a new generation of troublemakers to arise. They were willing to let Northern states go their own way and manage their own affairs, provided hostility to the South and interference with it were not what they made their business.The previous Northern political class and the public attitudes they promoted had been a moral abomination, and this could not be allowed to recur.In addition to the judicial and moral cleansing of the society and control of it's educational and media institutions to prevent the spread of evil attitudes, a constitutional and political change was needed. Their (very classical) solution was to purge the franchise and limit it to those who would have held it in early America. It was known that had this franchise been maintained the more lefty party would never have dominated more than a few small states, even in the North. They hoped to get civilised leaders, who even if not friends of the South would not be rabid foes. Political influence was to be limited to right-thinking god-fearing property-owning and tax-paying white males. It was too soon to allow the Northern states to re-create armed forces of their own, so the new political order fronting the Southern occupation was to be protected by a new institution to root out malcontents, plotters and remnants of the old America v1 or v2, which soon came to be known as the American Inquisition. Reconstruction, Mark Three.

Not Back to Africa

    By this time the population of the North had become trash, physically and morally the refuse of the planet, it's most degraded detritus, a miscegenated morass of mongrels manifesting the worst rather than the best characteristics of their forebears, a melting pot from which the better metal had escaped or been removed and where only the worthless waste residue remained. By this time, also, the predominant attitudes in the world had changed. They had become much more conservative. The reduction and elimination of American influence in the world had enabled a revival of decency. Decent people were proud of their race, they were not like the miscegenated Americans, vile Orcs bred from perverted Elves. Proverbially it was the fox which had lost it's own brush which wanted others to lose theirs. It was the foul and degenerate Americans who had pushed destructive nonsensical concepts like 'racism' and 'sexism' to degrade the rest of the world to their level. Now the world was less tolerant of such nonsense and quite happy to quarantine the Americans in a hell of their own making, where their stooges or acolytes were welcome to join them.

    Thus, when the South suggested that black Americans should be transported back to Africa, the Africans refused to accept them. The OAU indignantly pointed out that most of them were not fully black, and they did not want even those that were. In Africa most of the population had to be humble, good humoured, uncomplaining, patient and enduring; there was only room for a few insolent, arrogant, corrupt rulers with vast senses of entitlement and  absurdly inflated views of their own worth. American blacks were not like the common people, they shared the attitudes of rulers. That could not be tolerated. The Africans did not feel much fellowship with these 'brothers'. They thought that their ancestors had got the better end of the deal when they had sold the ancestors of American blacks; they did not want their descendents back. They had enough trouble already and did not want to import any more. Whites were no longer very important in the world, indeed all white countries had been swamped by black immigrants so there were hardly any whites left. Blaming them for everyone else's natures and misfortunes was about played out, but the African rulers enjoyed 'playing  the race card' for the last time. They pointed out that American blacks had been spoilt by soft and crazy American whites. They had created the problem for themselves and should solve it themselves. The North could continue rotting as Haiti North as far as the rest of the world cared. If they disappeared, no one would lament them. 

Darkness falls

    Darkness fell even whilst the war continued. It was an aspect of General Shortage's campaign that the electricity supply had become erratic, and eventually failed, disrupting production and making domestic and public life more difficult. This resulted partly from the bombing and destruction of facilities, but  also from the economic chaos and confusion which the war had worsened. War Socialism government by decree had not managed to keep the lights on and the machinery working. The purges, murders, military conscription and flight of skilled staff had also made it difficult to find people with sufficient skill to keep things going. The disruption of the systems of education and training, by similar causes meant that skills were lost as competent people were no longer trained to replace their predecessors. In any case, much of the old technology was no longer feasible, lacking the resources and skills to create and maintain it or the wealth to pay for it or it's products had they been available.

    At the start of the First World War the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, had made the famous remark that 'the lights are going out all over Europe, they will not be re-lit in our generation'. In America the failure was literal, and the lights never were re-lit.

    The South had similar problems, but they were less severe. They managed to keep a sufficient, if sketchy, supply of munitions and domestic products in production, and their shortages were eased by 'voluntary' religiously inspired renunciation and adoption of simpler lifestyles. In the North the simplification became compulsory as the areas under Northern control that had produced oil, coal, gas, electricity, metal, food and even firewood were lost. Urban gardens could only supply  a portion of the food that the population really needed, so disease resistance  diminished, illness and starvation thinned the population, and the total population declined drastically.

    The ravages of war reduced the population of the rural areas, but most of the deaths came in the cities. In effect the cities died, or were greatly reduced to the level that could be supported by the hinterland which provided food for them and which they supplied with goods and services in return. That level in turn was reduced by the social and material destruction. After the war the north had relapsed not just to a pre-industrial level, but to little better than subsistence farming with a culture to match.

    The internet had first ceased in the North, strengthening it's isolation from the rest of the world. Lack of electricity, equipment and skills had contributed to this, but lack of time and freedom to do anything but obey the commands of the government was more important. The Northern government disliked it intensely. It encouraged individualism and privacy rather than collective action at the behest of the rulers. It made information and views available that those rulers did not like. It was subversive and counter-revolutionary, so it was shut down. This left those few in the rest of the world who had any interest in American events, dependent on Southern news sources. Obviously, radio and television and publishing had been completely under government control, and had withered away along with the Northern state. At least Marx had been right about that one!

    In the South greater technical capacity and the ability and willingness to use it efficiently and relatively freely lasted longer. Although not destroyed like the North, they had been greatly damaged by the war, the social upheaval and the diminution of available resources. There were fewer people than before the Dissolution, and a much more sober and parsimonious attitude to the use of scarce resources, so they lasted longer. The change to a very religious and serious society was also important. Frivolity and waste was frowned upon, and could be penalised. Keeping immense numbers of streetlights on all night, and large empty buildings lit was definitely wasteful. It had tended to attract enemy attention, so it was imprudent as well as wasteful. Motor vehicles were now rare, apart from use by senior officers, administrators and clerics, and there was little night-life. Night life apart from godly prayer or useful study was definitely frivolous in the eyes of the godly. It was prudent not to come under searching scrutiny from the eye of the godly, although it was not Sauron's. Mark Twain's quip about Americans having three great blessings, the right to speak freely and to assemble freely - and the good sense to know when not to exercise them, gained point. The old American expectation that people were free to say and do things that offended their neighbours and public order and decency had passed away. In the North it had passed into a socialist tyranny. In the victorious South, those in charge were still too busy to bother about discreet dissidence, but the institution of the Inquisition to scour the North, and the historical parallels as well as common prudence, made people who were less than fervent in their Christian adherence keen to disguise the fact under a hypocritical show. There were no more openly proclaimed covens of satanists or witches or druids, for instance, any more than there were openly proclaimed groups of criminals, or moslems or socialists. Consequently, no campaigns to identify and burn them had yet been proclaimed. Discretion had it's uses, sweeter than those of adversity.

    Thus, communication between the South and the rest of the world remained open for longer, but dwindled as interest on both sides waned. People adapted to a more sober and industrious lifestyle, rising and setting with the sun, as their ancestors had done, concentrating on their immediate lives and aiming to increase their families and circles of godly friendship rather than spending time on electronic amusements. There might be quite a lot of people still living in North America, but as with North Korea of old, they didn't show on night time satellite views from space.

Moving on

    The rest of the world was too busy to bother with whatever was left of America. The attitudes that it had expressed seemed outdated. The Age of Democracy had ended. It required a type of citizen which was no longer common. Even in America the attitude of the public had changed. In the South it had reverted to a pre-modern religiosity. In the North it had 'advanced' to post-modern nihilism and destroyed itself. The rest of the world had already had more than enough American sermons on the virtues of Democracy and was no longer listening. Perhaps fortunately, the South, although it offered many sermons on the virtues of Christianity, now kept them for home consumption. The rich and powerful may assume more liberties than the poor and weak, whose messages are more likely to be scorned.

    The other messages that had come from the old America were also being successfully ignored. Talk about 'human rights' had ceased to be trendy, and humans were managing about as well or badly as ever. The scare stories that the world was running out of resources and cheap sources of energy and would smother in it's own waste had not proved true. New understandings of science and new technologies and new sources of energy had emerged and the rest of the world was profiting from them. Ironically, some of them had been pioneered by Americans, but suppressed by big business, until implemented beyond their reach. The prophecies and intimations of doom may however not have been entirely wrong; the application seems to have been to the old America and it's worldview rather than to the whole world.
     The loss of America had not been all gain to the rest of the world. Evil remained, and in their better days the Americans would have tried to stand against it. There had been much generosity and goodness of heart, and some greatness of mind and spirit. The world was the poorer for their loss.


    One of the curiosities of that worldview around the time of the Dissolution had been a strange materialistic religion known as 'environmentalism', practiced and promoted by people known as 'greens'. This appears to have been a cult for materialistic atheists, who experienced spirit apparently mediated through nature rather than through the more usual religions. Their divinity was the earth itself, as a living entity. Their holy object was the element carbon. Humanity displeased the earth goddess and disordered  her natural manifestations through the sin of excessive use of carbon, inseparable from a modern, and especially a modern American, way of life. This sin was to be punished by their version of Hell, 'global warming', rendering the earth much hotter and basically uninhabitable. The chief sinners were - of course - the notorious 'evil-racist-white-men', without whose diabolical inventions and activities interfering with the state of nature, the much smaller number of humans on earth would be living in a state of pristine savagery; although it is not clear just which aspect of life in the Hobbesian state of nature 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish - and short' most attracted them. Their more extreme theologians were frankly anti-human and preached a great reduction in the number of humans. This doctrine became very popular as Christianity declined, especially in the North and among Lefties in Europe and worldwide. As with 'scientific socialism', it claimed to be scientific. Science was the great god of Truth at the time, although the pronouncements made in his name often lacked the consistency and objective evidence usually expected of both Truth and Science. This was no problem to some of the more fervent believers. Like those medieval monks whose pious forgeries were justified as supporting the faith of weaker brethren by supplying them with copies of evidence which was not available but must surely have existed because the doctrine so intensely believed in must obviously be true, their 'scientific' successors did not scruple to falsify and manipulate data, suppress contrary evidence and intimidate opposition, whilst seeking the power of the state to punish heretics and to subsidise themselves and advance their programmes.  After all, 'the science was settled' so who could object- apart from those old fashioned scientists who objected that it was not 'settled' but 'fixed', and they were probably 'evil-racist-white-men' who could be suppressed for a while.

    This movement seems to have been a decadent derivative of Romanticism. Many of its features were obvious copies or parodies of Christianity. The Mother Goddess aspect lacked the emotional warmth and personal connection experienced by worshipers of her competitors, and therefore lacked their ability to become more generally popular.The words of the old hymn, 'where every prospect pleases and only man is vile' already expressed their main tenet. Their exhortation to personal austerity was very mild and 'milquetoast' compared to the earlier practices of other religions, including Christianity; involving no hair-shirts, scourges, group or self flagellation or death fasts, and no threat or opportunity for martyrdom.Personal austerity did not extend much beyond feeling good by consuming - a bit - less. No attention was paid to the fact that this did not reduce total consumption, merely re-distributed it, by means of the price system. Voluntary abstention may have appeared more noble and sacrificial than admission of having been priced out of the market by not-so-voluntary poverty.

     Their main ritual activity was preaching doom if their injunctions to consume less were not heeded. Again, nothing really novel in this, many medieval friars would have agreed with them. They would have differed however in the desired salvation, and in the range of sins abhorred. The Greens were fixated on material consumption; they ignored everything else which their precursors would have regarded as sinful. They particularly hated travel, especially if it was comfortable travel by other people. This appeared to be especially displeasing or disturbing to the earth goddess, although for some reason she allowed her followers, or at least the more senior and voluble among them, an exemption or indulgence, to travel the world spreading their gospel and attending conferences with each other.

    It should be no surprise by now to discover that the people whose consumption and 'carbon footprint' - a very unholy icon - most displeased the earth goddess were of course those evil-evil-evil-racist-white-men. Somehow she was more forgiving of the carbon sins of yellow people, who by then were actually doing the majority of the carbon consuming and emitting and whose resistance to this doctrine was much stronger. Bluntly, they had no intention of allowing the Americans to impoverish them by accepting their new religion. Misery loves company it is said. As the Americans declined they were suspected of seeking to take the rest of the world with them, although at least they didn't do it in the obvious way of nuclear suicide.

    The Greens' notion of salvation was also different from those of other religions. Rather than a comfortable after-life in 'heaven' for the masses and union with divinity for the mystics, they looked forward to controlling the climate of earth for the general good of the earth. There was no questioning the need of the earth for this service or the ability and wisdom of the Green priesthood in performing it. Otherwise the personal benefit was  to be the acceptance that virtue is it's own reward. The requisite austerity to achieve this was to be attained through their holy sacrament of 'carbon trading', which amounted to a modern version of the medieval sale of indulgences. Not altogether co-incidentally, the big oil companies were enthusiastic supporters of this idea, because they expected to make even more money from trading in these indulgences than from selling the diminishing supply of oil. St. Augustine had prayed to God to make him chaste - but not yet. For the Greens the requisite austerity, beyond their feeble personal efforts, was to be enforced on other people by the power of the state, preferably a global super-state, guided by their wisdom, whose power and reach and depth of interference in the lives of individuals would far exceed that of the most repressive Pope or Emperor. Thanks Greens, but 'No Thanks'.


    It used to be said that the secret name of Roma, it's inner essence, command of which would affect its external manifestation, had been Amor. Love was not a concept usually regarded as a prominent feature of Rome, but the great loyalty which it had inspired and it's strong attraction to outsiders, who more often wanted to become Roman than to overthrow Rome, and the long nostalgia for Roman laws and culture,the great hold of it's ruins and achievements on the hearts and minds of first the educated and then the popular culture of more recent times, and the revival of the civilising influence of it's literature and culture by the Renaissance humanists shows that there may be much in that supposition. Theoderic the Great famously said that a good Goth wanted to be like a Roman, but only a bad Roman would want to be like a Goth.

    America was often compared to Rome, and indeed it attracted much admiration while it was strong, although more for it's material than it's cultural achievements. Many people  wanted to go there and become Americans. At first this was beneficial as it attracted vigorous and ingenious people who were in sympathy with the nature of it's founders and their culture. As it decayed it became the prey of parasites and wolves in sheep's clothing. Unlike Rome it lacked the spiritual power to renew itself for many centuries and finally to rise again as a new and long-lasting religious empire emerging from the husk of the old political empire, a religion whose essence if not it's external manifestation, was claimed to be Love.

    The spiritual essence or polar opposite of the external manifestation  of America turned out to be nothing coherent or meaningful. 'Acirema' made no sense, but senseless incoherence was what it eventually became, and was the effect of the supposed idealism which perverted it and turned it against itself and made it the opposite of what it had aspired to be. From a guiding and illuminating light unto the Nations, a visionary holy city set on a hill, it became the city of the Pit, Dante's Dis, model of dis-cord, dis-unity, dis-order and dis-aster, gathering place and guiding force for the refuse of humanity preying upon and dragging down all around them until they destroyed themselves. The world was a better place without them as they had become, but it was a pity that they had come to that. Shakespeare told us how it would be:

    For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
    Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds

Tennyson also, in the Morte D'Arthur:

    The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
    And God fulfills himself in many ways,
    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.

Let no more be said. After two great poets have pronounced a requiem, silence suffices.


    This, then, is what I told her. It's a longer, more considered version, the best I can manage; but my skill is small, my knowledge fragmentary, my sources incomplete and partisan. May I be forgiven for garnishing my poor efforts with 'other mens' flowers'. Some of it I saw myself, mostly from the comfort of a good hotel. More I heard from those who were where events happened or had good accounts from those who were. Much was common rumour and report at the time. The interpretation and the sardonic tone are all my own. I had good occasion to know and to seek out those who knew more, for I was a journalist, a foreign correspondent, at the time. There's a debt owed to Clio and those who were there must pay their share of it. My granddaughter's right though, it's years since there was much, if any any, notice taken of the Americans. The  world has moved on, their place in it's affairs has been taken by others,and even their name is slipping from the memory of humanity. That's a pity, for they were a great people once, the Americans. It may be true, as Shakespeare also said,'the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interr'd with their bones', but their memory should not be altogether of evil, for there were great men and many good people among them, although evil had most rule over them in their latter days.

    That evil, though, is part of the reason why we don't hear about them any more; it had become too like the One Ring of Sauron. It had not been destroyed, evil can never be destroyed, or uprooted from the heart of Man, but it's bearer of the moment had been destroyed and it's remains shut off from human contact lest from an ember the flame should leap forth again in the same form. Perhaps the Northmen of old were wrong to be so driven by the goad of fame, thinking that a  reputation for courageous deeds would last forever. Munin may remember them, but accurate memories are not long preserved in the mouths and records of men. Those old Northmen would, however strange they found the Americans to be, have quickly identified one of their besetting vices, 'gullveig' an insatiable thirst for wealth, at the expense of everything else, carried to self destruction. Nor would they have admired that end, it was not noble; they would have scorned it as the end of people of no honour and no worth. Straight to Hel, they would have said, straw-deaths, none fly to Valhalla from that fray.

    I'm astonished how apt to unsuspected circumstances can be the words of poets. Before there was an America, here're words to herald it's decay, from that other famous playwright of Shakespeare's day. Marlowe's Jew of Malta foreshadows the covetous greed which did so much to corrupt America and the world over which it's moneymen presided.

    And thus methinks should men of judgment frame
    Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade,
    And as their wealth increaseth, so enclose
    Infinite riches in a little room.

    Here have we little room for so great a reckoning as the Decline and Fall of the American Empire. To attempt it leaves me but the ape of an historian, the butt of japes. Yet Prospero hath broke his staff and Ariel is fled. Here's only Caliban to tell this tale. May it please you well, my masters.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.    

    A fair enough epitaph for any people, and may those who deserve it, Rest In Peace.