CIVIL DEFENSE PERSPECTIVES
May 1997 (vol. 13, #4) 1601 N Tucson Blvd #9, Tucson AZ 85716 c 1997 Physicians for Civil Defense
Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring is a celebration of Russian paganism, rhapsodized the conductress at a recent performance of the Tucson Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. During these rites, a young maiden danced until she dropped dead from exhaustion, after which the ice broke up and spring arrived. The maiden was greatly honored as the Chosen One.
How beautiful such rites were, the conductress seemed to think. And how wonderful that Stravinsky revived memories of the glories of that Old Time Religion, which reigned in Europe before the conversion of Emperor Constantine to Christianity.
The end of European paganism brought a number of dramatic changes, which flow logically from the Judeo-Christian concept of the nature of humankind: each individual human being is a unique creation in the image and likeness of God and thus has inherent rights and dignity, as explained by M. Stanton Evans in The Theme Is Freedom. Human sacrifice, practiced in the religious rituals of most of the ancient world (including highly civilized Greece and Rome), came to an end. Slavery, the plight of the majority of the population of the ancient world, was called into question and gradually disappeared.
As the worth of individual human beings was recognized, so was the value of their work. Pagans believed that all forms of labor were for slaves. The elite had no interest in tools to lighten the burdens of slaves, and slaves were not potential customers for inventors. But as human ingenuity was unleashed by liberty, the greatest advances in labor-saving technology in the history of the world followed (see Otto Scott's Compass, Apr. 1, 1997, published by Uncommon Media, PO Box 69006, Seattle, WA 98168).
Technology was the greatly undervalued contribution from what historians call the ``Dark Ages.'' (Scott believes that many historians, such as Gibbon, were blinded by an anti-Christian bias; moreover, a disdain for technology is an entrenched failing of many intellectuals.) While Rome made many contributions to civilization (literacy, the Latin language, and political organization), its technology was mostly inherited from the Stone, Bronze, and early Iron Ages.
Innovations of the Middle Ages harnessed energy to supplement human muscle power. The padded, rigid horse collar converted the horse into an efficient draft animal. The wind and watermill, invented ages before, came into extensive use. The Age of Iron really began; a high standard of metallurgy was reached to meet the needs of the iron industry. Water-powered bellows could raise the temperature of a furnace enough to liquefy iron ore. The nailed iron horseshoe, a new type of plow, the harrow, the scythe, and the pitchfork were tools that enabled the clearing of forests and the expansion of tillage. And perhaps as important as the tools themselves was the ability of people to make use of new developments without waiting for orders or permission from the authorities.
Western Europe benefited not only from great advances in cultivation but also from natural climate change: the global warming called the Medieval Climatic Optimum. The southward drift of glaciers that had commenced in the fifth century reversed itself in the middle of the eighth.
Today, all the elements of Western civilization are under attack: starting with Western religion.
In his book The Lost Gospel of the Earth, Tom Hayden lists tenets of organized religion that he thinks need to be overcome. These come directly from the Hebrew Bible: ``the doctrine of an external, original creator,'' along with ``a moral hierarchy of being, with the human community placed at the top of the ladder in the image of God, who occupies an external dimension.'' Hayden objects to the ``desanctification'' of nature, which leaves it ``to the uses of science and technology at the hands of humans.''
Hayden clearly espouses the Green anti-human agenda, although when Kathleen Marquardt suggested that his entire book seemed to promote earth worship, he angrily hung up in the middle of a talk-radio debate (The DeWeese Report, April, 1997, 13873 Park Center Rd. #316, Herndon, VA 20171).
In America, attacks on Western religion are often legalistic, couched in terms of defending ``separation of church and state.'' Elsewhere, as in China, they may involve brutal persecution of Christian believers, largely ignored by Western media and even Western churches. ``Government officials of the largest country in the world recognize the power of belief in Christ to undo the power of the state'' (World, 3/15/97).
What will be the end result of undermining Western traditions and glorifying the pagan past?
Although calling the human race a cancer on the planet, even the more extreme and violent Green activists do not overtly call for human sacrifice or the reinstitution of slavery. Sacrifice is what industrialized nations purportedly do to the Environment for the benefit of the ``economy'' (human standards of living). Slavery was experienced only by American blacks in ante-bellum days and is otherwise unmentionable now.
The decline of human sacrifice and slavery accompanied the flourishing of agriculture and technology in the Middle Ages. But now, agriculture is deplored by Western university professors, precisely because it allows the human population to increase. And technology is considered ``out of control.'' Increasingly restrictive regulation prevents individuals from adopting innovations without the approval of the authorities.
Already, more than half the labor of Americans (194 days/year) is taken by government through taxes, regulations, and depreciation of the currency (``inflation''). That labor will be far more burdensome and far less productive if international agreements forcibly curtail emissions of ``greenhouse gases.'' And the total product of an individual's labor may be seized, even if he is never convicted of a crime, through continued expansion of forfeiture laws. (The EPA wants this power to use against those suspected of violating environmental regulations.)
At least Stravinsky celebrated the occurrence of spring. The Union of Concerned Scientists complains of it. When satellites showed Arctic plants appearing a week earlier than usual and growing more lushly, the UCS called for strong governmental action to reduce emissions from cars, power plants, and factories, even though nobody knows what caused a slight Arctic temperature increase in March.
Let the maidens forgo technology and work themselves to death, lest the ice melt and the spring arrive!
Most political proposals these days have an obligate applause line: ``we need to protect the children'' (and other vulnerable persons, sometimes even the women).
How about a call to stop sacrificing the children for a political agenda, as in:
Stealing from the Unborn. The younger generation is both disenfranchised and impoverished by deficit financing for current consumption. The ``generational contract'' is a ``euphemism of unrivalled cosmetic camouflage,'' according to Wilfried Prewo in From Welfare State to Social State (Centre for the New Europe, October, 1996): ``There is no contract spelling out a binding formula with individual responsibilities firmly tied to benefits; one contracting party is not yet alive or has not yet grown up; and the actively employed may violate the contract with impunity-by not generating the offspring as the payers of the future.'' Thus, the next generation is sacrificed to (or enslaved by) the desires of those now in power.
Heavier Burdens on Children. Regulations that increase the cost of everything we buy are the functional equivalent of a highly regressive tax on those with lower income, which includes most young persons who are beginning families. For example, the Superfund program by itself imposes a cost of about $1,600 per family per year (National Center for Public Policy Research): more than enough to buy medical insurance for the children. These costs should not only be measured in dollars, but in human lives. According to Bernard Cohen, the life-shortening effect of poverty is about 3600 days, compared with 0 to 4 days from toxic waste sites and pesticide residues (John Stossel, Wall St J 1/9/97).
The children are also victims of the increasingly harsh penalties sought by Green law-enforcement agents. As Richard Henry Dana wrote in Two Years Before the Mast, ``When a convict is confined to prison, the distress consequent to his inability to earn a livelihood falls upon a poor wife and helpless children or an infirm parent.'' (The EPA initiated 562 criminal cases in fiscal 1995, a new high, though by almost all measures the environment is cleaner than before.)
Actual Deaths. Indirect, due to U.S. ``safety'' requirements: To date, airbags forced upon American consumers by the federal government have killed 30 infants and children and 19 adults who were too close to the bag when it inflated in low-speed crashes (Investor's Business Daily 11/13/96).
Direct, due to ``population control'': In 1990, the sex ratio for children born in China was a highly abnormal 111.3 to 100. Most of the ``missing girls'' were maidens sacrificed without religious ritual to the governmental policy of one child per family.
Remnants of Civil Defense Salvaged
Physicians for Civil Defense recently acquired the State of Arizona stockpile of equipment for the now-defunct RADEF (radiologic defense) program, with the cooperation of state emergency preparedness officials. A limited number of meters will be distributed to science teachers; the remainder will be stored for possible emergencies.
Most of the U.S. radiation monitoring equipment, purchased with hundreds of millions of dollars taken from taxpayers, has been returned to FEMA, to be stored for a period of time prior to ultimate disposal. Groups such as the American Nuclear Society are attempting to acquire some of the meters for educational use.
Preparing for War
The nation that threatened to bomb Los Angeles if the United States made a false move in the Taiwan Straits might not actually have to launch a missile across the Pacific, although it does have nuclear-tipped missiles targeted on the U.S. China now has bases of action in the Western Hemisphere. The former U.S. naval base at Long Beach has been leased to the China Ocean Shipping Company, Cosco, which is an arm of the Chinese government and an auxiliary to the People's Liberation Army. As Beijing takes over Hong Kong, it also will gain control of the ports of Balboa at the Pacific outlet of the Panama Canal and San Cristobal on the Atlantic. Bill Clinton personally promoted the deal in Long Beach, and the Administration professed surprise that the Chinese beat out American rivals for control of ports on the Panama Canal (Insight 4/21/97).
China is engaged in a multi-billion dollar strategic military build-up, subsidized by the U.S. bond market. Huge sums are being borrowed from American pension funds and insurance companies and may never be paid back. A U.S. Dept. of Defense report claims that China will have the capacity ``to produce as many as 1,000 new [ballistic] missiles within the next decade,'' and is developing land-attack cruise missiles as a high priority. A Chinese aircraft carrier could be deployed by 2010. The Chinese are being assisted by 10,000 Russian scientists and technicians (Insight 5/12/97).
Bill Clinton has told Congress that China probably maintains an offensive biological weapons program. Taiwanese intelligence sources report that ex-Soviet nerve gas stocks have been transferred from Ukraine to China (Intelligence Digest 3/7/97).
Apparently, China is not merely a benevolent giant satisfied with the status quo but cherishes expansionist ambitions that are of grave concern not only to Taiwan but to Japan and others (Intelligence Digest 4/25/97).
Preparing for Surrender?
Apparently determined to remain naked unto our enemies, the U.S. is not only completely dismantling civil defense but slowing deployment of minimal anti-missile defenses. Members of Congress had to sue the Executive Branch in an attempt to force it to abide by the Ballistic Missile Defense Act, which mandated a timetable for development of the Thaad and Upper Tier systems. Then Clinton negotiated a deal with the Russians in Helsinki to limit the capability of U.S. theater missile defense systems: not to develop, test, or deploy space-based systems (the most effective) and not to test any system against enemy missiles with a range greater than 3,500 km or a speed greater than 5 km/sec (Wall St J 3/29/97).
While Russia has been quietly upgrading its submarine fleet (to a quieter and more effective force than that of the West, see Intelligence Digest 7/12/96), Clinton may offer the Russians a deal to reduce U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missiles (Insight 2/24/97).