I published a draft Chapter 10, "The Weaponization of Lind's Fourth Generation Warfare," on academia.edu. The draft chapter can be found at: https://www.academia.edu/27275737/PART_2_CHAPTER_10_WEAPONIZATION_OF_BOYD_MORAL_CONFLICT.pdf
Below are the Introduction and the Conclusion of the 111-page chapter. Footnotes are in published paper.
UPDATE: On page 10, it was the 1989 article, not the 1994 article, that laid out the basic principles for the Patriot militia that is discussed more fully in Chapter 17.
Political stability depends upon two inter-dependent variables—legitimacy and effectiveness. Legitimacy is an evaluative variable, while effectiveness is generally instrumental, though it too has an evaluative component. Marty Lipset wrote that effectiveness meant “actual performance, the extent to which the system satisfies the basic functions of government as most of the population and such powerful groups within it as big business or the armed forces see them.” On the other hand, legitimacy “involves the capacity of the system to engender and maintain the belief that the existing political institutions are the most appropriate ones for the society.” Groups “regard a political system as legitimate or illegitimate according to the way in which its values fit with theirs.” Lipset also indicated that crises of legitimacy could have two causes: “the status of major conservative institutions is threatened during the period of structural change” or “all the major groups in the society do not have access to the political system in the transitional period, or at least as soon as they develop political demands.” Major conservative groups included the military, churches, the civil service, the monarchy, and the aristocratic class. Lipset noted that the place of churches in the United States was a settled matter: “In some, the United States, for example, the church was disestablished and accepted the fact.”
But, as demonstrated in Book I and throughout Book II, the broad Christian Right—Christian Reconstructionist, and biblically inerrant, pre-suppositionalist and dominionist types of fundamentalist, evangelical, Pentecostal, charismatic, conservative Catholic and conservative Jewish religious segments, and the non-denominational New Apostolic Reformation—do not accept their status within their larger polity and do not believe that their conservative religious values, which they contend are “traditional Judeo-Christian values” that have existed for centuries preceding the actual constitutional founding of the present political system, and the values of what Lipset considered essential for political stability, the development of a “common ‘secular political culture’” are congruent with theirs or morally acceptable. Intellectually, this current contemporary crisis of legitimacy rests upon two fundamental beliefs of the broad Christian Right: society must follow the laws of God as revealed in the Old Testament or face God’s wrath; and, Christians of a certain religious persuasion have a biblical duty to take dominion of all the major institutions of society and cultural niches and reconstruct them into conformity with God’s law.
As Frederick Clarkson so aptly summarized, the broad Christian Right’s attack is “rooted in struggles between advocates of democratic values and the established theocracies of 17th and 18th century colonial America. Much of the contemporary Christian Right is looking back to what their religious and political ancestors lost when the Constitution was ratified—now they seek a different outcome…. For 350 years, the struggle has been about power, about beliefs, about the definition of what it is to be human. It is about the definition of democracy and religious freedom, and how to avoid religious warfare. These issues…are at the center of the country’s identity.”
In short, the Christian Right is attempting to provoke a severe crisis of legitimacy. And, one of the major weapons of the Christian Right, following its own strategic doctrine of Fourth Generation Warfare, is Fox News, conservative talk radio, Christian broadcasting, and the conservative blogosphere.
The rhetoric of Fox News hosts and contributors and the rhetoric of conservative radio talk show hosts are in line with what one would expect to find with stage three of impositional fundamentalism, stage three of a crisis of legitimacy, or a cosmic war which has reached the stage of satanizing the enemy and positing the enemy as an existential threat. In short, the rhetoric of the broad Christian Right and the rhetoric of the conservative media establishment or echo chamber are remarkably and dangerously similar.
Thus, not only should conservative talk radio be added, but as demonstrated throughout Book I, the broad Christian Right has been endeavoring to divide Americans along a false divide: conservative dominionist Christians (both in the religious and political senses) versus the ungodly, the demonic, and/or the satanic—meaning “liberal” Christians, non-dominionist conservative Christians who do not agree with them, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, other believers and spiritualists, and free thinkers, plus the scientifically literate, non-whites, those who advocate for reproductive rights and equal rights for women, those who advocate for civil rights and voting rights, and those who advocate civil rights for the LGBT communities.
Frederick Clarkson in his seminal 1997 book Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy examined the rhetoric of Christian Reconstructionist strategists and theologians, Christian Right leaders, pastors linked to the Patriot militia, and various “stealth,” “infiltration,” and “deception” tactics and concluded that there is indeed a “war of aggression by the Christian Right against beliefs of which they do not approve and against the expression of those beliefs.” Because much of this war is couched in religious language there is a tendency for progressive and Democratic analysts to not know how to respond without appearing vulnerable to charge, however spurious, of “‘religious bigotry.’” Nevertheless, Clarkson observed that the Christian Right was “a political movement that sees demons where others sees citizens—a movement that characterizes religious, political and sexual diversity as demonic activity…If opponents are demons, then shooting people working in abortion clinics—or gays and lesbians—is not a matter of killing people, but ridding the world of evil. Moreover, it is likely that the trend towards seeing people as demons, not just different, fosters the growing view among the Christian Right that religious warfare is on the horizon, if not already underway.”
Jean Hardisty, the executive director of Political Research Associates, wrote in the preface to Chip Berlet’s 1995 book Eyes Right! that “the right’s agenda—[is] the complete defeat of liberalism and the left, the silencing of progressive opinions, the restoration of Christian hegemony, and the re-marginalization of all cultures other than that of European Americans.” And, in Hardisty’s own 1999 book Mobilizing Resentment she attributed the success of the Christian Right to a “well-funded and well-organized network of right-wing organizations working in collaboration; a conservative religious revitalization;…the strategic funding of individuals and institutions…[and] the careful planning for the long term” as among the factors to be taken into account.
Frank Cocozzelli at the start of his exhaustive series of reports at the Talk to Action website on the Opus Dei-linked “Catholic Right” concluded that “If the traditionalists’ logic were to become the basis of governance in our society, let alone that of the Catholic Church, both free thought and the common good would be marginalized…The obvious conclusion is that their narrow definition of proper religious behavior is a more useful tool to further create an American society free of thoughtful dissent than a path to a more virtuous life. Unadulterated obedience appears to be the common themes in both the religious and secular spheres of radical movement conservatism. And a citizenry that more easily submits to religious authority will be less likely to question governmental authority.”
The evolution of the Republican Party into an anti-system party is supported by scholars from different political persuasions, almost noting the influence of the Christian Right on the party.
John Dean, the former White House counsel for President Nixon and a self-described “Goldwater conservative,” noted that the Republican Party had “incorporated…an undemocratic mentality into its governing philosophy” and that conservatives ruled “callously and ruthlessly.” Dean’s 2007 book Broken Government detailed how “the conservative-based Republican Party in fact excels at everything in modern politics except governing the nation” and had “simply dismantled or ignored countless well-established processes found in the rules, customs, norms, traditions, laws, and constitutional mandates” in order to “destroy [the federal government] branch by branch.” In his other 2007 book that was to have been co-authored with former Senator Barry Goldwater, Conservatives Without Conscience, Dean wrote that under the strong influence of “conservative authoritarianism” which dominates both the conservative movement and the Republican Party, that conservatism as a philosophy had “regressed to its earliest authoritarian roots” and was best described as “moralistic, negative, arrogant, condescending, self-righteous…[and] authoritarian.”
Kevin Phillips, a former leading political strategist for the Republican Party, observed in his 2006 book, American Theocracy, that the Republican Party’s coalition consisted of the oil, natural gas, and coal industries; the financial-industry complex that achieves wealth through the socialization of risk backed by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System; the Christian Right which is driven by the dominionist Christian Reconstructionists; and, a neo-Confederate movement driven by the collaboration of pro-Confederacy southern heritage groups and the Christian Reconstructionists, as well as the domination of the region by the fundamentalist Southern Baptist Convention which reinforces the cultural and political dimensions of the neo-Confederate movement. As Phillips put it, the elections of 2000 and 2004 “mark the transformation of the GOP into the first religious party in U.S. history.” Phillips noted that state-level Republican parties “most conspicuously in the South and Southwest, endorsed so-called Christian-nation party platforms. These unusual platforms, as yet nationally uncataloged, set out in varying degrees the radical political theology of the Christian Reconstructionist movement, the tenets of which range from using the Bible as a basis for domestic law to emphasizing religious schools and women’s subordination to men…. By 2001 theology…began to displace logic and realpolitik in official Washington, especially within the Republican Party.” Theological positions determined social policy related to “birth, life, death, sex, health, medicine, marriage, and the role of the family,” as well as policy efforts by both the “Bush White House and the religious right to reduce the current separation between church and state.”
Thomas Frank’s 2008 book The Wrecking Crew detailed how the conservative Republican Party in Washington, D.C. enthralled with the free market has a guiding philosophy that views the “liberal state as a perversion.” In power, the Republicans oppose the very idea of a “public interest,” declared “war on public workers,” “made a cult of outsourcing and privatizing, they wrecked established federal operations because they disagreed with them, and they deliberately piled up an Everest of debt in order to force the government into crisis. The ruination they wrought was thorough; it was a professional job.”
Sam Tanenhaus, a Burkean conservative, observed that the dominant strand of modern conservatism was Jacobin in that movement conservatives “routinely demonize government institutions” and are “revanchists committed to a counter-revolution.” He complained that movement conservatism was based on orthodoxy which vigorously opposes compromise, whereas the Democratic Party’s governing principle is consensus which “implies compromise.” According to Tanenhaus, conservatives “subordinate governance to politics and ideological certitude….Practically, this vision of orthodoxy amounts to war fought by other means.” He lamented that conservative “intellectuals and political leaders mounted a crusade against civil society—its traditions, its mores, its mutual obligations” while pursuing a “relentless drive for ideological purity.”
Mike Lofgren, a former Republican staffer in the U.S. Senate for twenty-eight years, complained that the Republican Party had been “increasingly under the influence of theocratic fundamentalists” and had become a “radical right-wing party” and an “oligarchy with a well-developed public relations strategy designed to soothe and anesthetize its followers with appeals to tradition, security, and family…” Lofgren also echoed Dean when he wrote that the loss of American confidence in Congress is “the result of deliberate political engineering to make Americans lose faith in their government.”
Historian Geoffrey Kabaservice observed that conservatives were able to drive moderate Republicans out of the party, in part, due to their “funds beyond the wildest dreams of moderates” that created an “infrastructure of think tanks, publishing houses, media outlets, PACs, and pressure groups.” Within the party, especially during Bush II’s presidency, the definition of an acceptable Republican narrowed considerably to the point where Goldwater “was accused of being a RINO” (Republican In Name Only). Kabaservice noted that conservatives dominate the Republican Party and its infrastructure and are increasingly intolerant of ideological diversity. He feared that if only the Democratic Party is orientated towards moderation, then “the consequences are likely to be dire [and] may prove toxic to government effectiveness and perhaps even to America’s social stability.” Kabaservice concluded his study by noting that “[o]ne of the likeliest ways America might be destroyed would be if one of its two major parties were rendered dysfunctional, and yet this seemed to be the direction in which the GOP was heading…. Its leaders showed little interest in appealing to moderates, repudiating extremism, reaching out to new constituencies, or upholding the party’s legacy of civil rights and civil liberties.” In other words, the Republican Party jeopardizes both the effectiveness and legitimacy of the federal government.
And the bipartisan scholars, Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, came to the very unwelcome but similar conclusion in their 2012 book It’s Even Worse Than It Looks that the “Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier—ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; un-persuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition, all but declaring war on the government.” Mann and Ornstein suggested that in order to begin making the American political system functional, it was a necessary but not a sufficient condition to bring “the Republican Party back into the mainstream of American politics.”
Taken cumulatively, all of these ideas could be fit under Seymour Martin Lipset and Earl Raab’s definition of extremism, which they also called monism: “Extremism is… monism. And the operational heart of extremism is the repression of difference and dissent, the closing down of the market place of ideas. More precisely, the operational essence of extremism, of monism, is the tendency to treat cleavage and ambivalence as illegitimate” [emphasis in original]. In discussing the moralism of the right-wing in 1970, Lipset and Raab noted that this moralism is “absolutistic by nature” and this “moralistic note is regularly associated with Christianity…. The use of Christianity to validate the moralism also provides an apocalyptic framework within which the absolutism itself is validated.” Lipset and Raab also observed that “political moralism” not only recasts public policy issues as a “doctrinal struggle between good and evil,” but “historical moralism” is the “tendency to believe that human events are totally shaped by the supremacy of good intentions over bad at any given moment, or vice versa.” In their analysis, the “conspiracy theory is an extension of historical moralism, peculiarly designed to legitimate the closing down of the ideational market place…. The conspiracy theory caps the model of monism and legitimates the forceful suppression of pluralism and pluralistic processes.” Two crucial elements missing from their formulation is that the Christian Right increasingly believes that God accounts for everything good and bad that happens in the world, and, human history is actually a war between the forces of God and the forces of the Devil.
Consistent with Lipset and Raab’s observation that extremism was an effort towards monism—the reduction of the intellectual space to one theology/ideology, the political space to one party, and the social space to one dominant racial group—John George and Laird Wilcox in their review of the literature on extremism reported 22 “traits or behaviors” that made up an extremist “style” which was completely independent of the content of their views and location on the ideological spectrum including: character assassination; inadequate proof of assertions; viewing opponents as essentially evil; having a Manichean worldview of a contest between absolute good and evil; advocating censorship or repression of opponents; using argument by intimidation; assuming a moral superiority over opponents; doomsday thinking; emphasizing emotions rather than reason and logical analysis; the use of supernatural rationales for beliefs and actions; and, a belief in far-reaching conspiracy theories.” This extremist style is readily apparent and more prevalent throughout the broad right-wing, including some in the Republican Party, than on the left-wing in American politics.
Now, my conclusion on the prevalence of the “extremist style” could be biased and wrong. But, the political scientists Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler have shown that authoritarianism—the very psychological concept that John Dean attributed to the current incarnation of conservatism—is prevalent in the Republican Party and correlated with conservative Christianity. And, the “extremist style” is consistent with authoritarianism. Their measure of authoritarianism has no ideological content to contaminate it. Rather, it is based upon values that parents prefer in child rearing: “independence versus respect for elders, obedience versus self-reliance, curiosity versus good manners, and being considerate versus being well behaved.” They found that authoritarianism is correlated quite strongly with a low need for cognition, low factual political knowledge, the high need for order and an aversion to ambiguity, a low degree of political tolerance for out-groups, and, racial resentment of African Americans. They found that evangelical Protestants were more likely to be authoritarians, as were those who attended church weekly or more, from the South, from rural areas or small towns, and those with a high school degree or less. They also found that Republican Party elites adopted public policy issues related to race, law and order, feminism and family structure, and American militarism that enabled the two political parties to sort out their members according to authoritarianism. This did not mean that all Republicans were authoritarians or that all Democrats were non-authoritarians. Authoritarianism is not a fringe phenomenon. Authoritarianism had large independent effects in predicting opposition to gay rights, civil liberties related to the war on terrorism, and, the use of military force in foreign relations.
Jonathan Weiler has written that the Republican Party suffers from two major defects: its base and its public policies appeal to authoritarianism, and the base and the Party suffer from an epistemological break with reality.
On authoritarianism as the core of the base of the Republican Party Weiler wrote: “One party, the GOP, has attracted, at its base, a large subset of individuals with a greater tendency to see the world in black and white terms, rather than in shades of gray, colored by greater suspicion of people who look and sound different and grounded in the conviction that hand-wringing and hesitating in the face of clear, categorical threats to well-being is a recipe for disaster.” And, Republican Party elites structure public policy preferences to appeal to these authoritarians: “Specifically, the Republican Party base has come to be dominated by authoritarian core whose worldview is deeply informed by emotional antipathy both to out-groups and, perhaps more fundamentally, to uncertainty and complexity…. But perhaps more than ever before, Republican policy proposals are now almost entirely reducible to these same interconnected antipathies.”
And, the Republican Party’s authoritarian elites and base are engaged in a war against reality. As Weiler put it, “The American right, increasingly dominated by an authoritarian worldview that is highly averse to diversity, difference and complexity has created a self-contained information environment to nurture and buttress that worldview. And its favored public figures are, in response, gravitating toward increasingly wacky and extreme ideas about how the challenges we face and what should be done about them. It’s made for great ratings for FOX and extravagant riches for Beck, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and the like. But it's a dead end for thinking seriously and cogently about reality.”
And, echoing other political scientists who have reported how the extremism of the Republican Party threatens the stability of the political system, Weiler wrote: “The growing contempt of large swaths of the American right for science, facts, probability theory—for the most basic understandings of truth as it’s been established across the enlightenment era makes the possibility of finding any common ground for solving problems in the real world a near-impossibility.”
America’s political, economic and social systems today are under assault from within by a Republican Party beholden to and enthralled by a conservative Christian movement linked to armed paramilitary groups holding correlated theological and ideological beliefs that are authoritarian. By almost any definition, the broad right-wing is extremist in the sense that it is opposed to any sort of compromise and believes that differing political and economic ideas and organizations are illegitimate, if not evil, and that the vast majority of Americans are evil and unwanted.
Almost all of this was foreseen in a prescient book, Holy Terror, written in 1982 by two experts on communications, Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, who examined hundreds of tapes, transcripts, books, tracts, notes, letters and press clippings in their investigation of the “unprecedented” “mental and emotional manipulation” of a “new and potentially destructive pattern of communication.” Written before the explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox News and the Internet—which broadcast messages consistent with the Christian Right messages—and the even greater growth and penetration of conservative think tanks which also support Christian Right messages, Conway and Siegelman wrote in Holy Terror: “In our view, the assault on secular society by the fundamentalist right constitutes such a threat [the seizure of power]…. The fundamentalist right model may be the most comprehensive of all, comprising classic elements of total propaganda: a mammoth mass-communications network, a tightly coordinated political machine, a fiercely independent education system—all predicated for the first time, on the deep structure of religion and suffused to grassroots levels through a coalescence of separatist churches, Bible studies, para-church and missionary organizations. Its expressed objectives…to Christianize the nation, to fill all government positions with ‘Bible-believing’ Christians, to gain ascendancy over the national media, to have fundamentalist beliefs taught as science in public schools, to dictate the meaning of life, and, ultimately, to convert every person on earth.”
Anticipating the findings of Lakoff, Mooney and others, and the practitioners Weyrich, Gingrich and others, they wrote: “In their attacks on homosexuals, feminists, Communists, liberals and members of minority religions…[the] fundamentalist right leaders fuel hatred and prejudice. In their use of symbols and code words such as ‘pro-life,’ ‘conservative’ and ‘secular humanism,’ in their adoption of fetus emblems and attempts to usurp the banner of the American flag, they play on intense and automatic emotional responses.”
And, their 1982 book captured in essence what the Christian Right would call their dominionist Seven Mountains campaign and Joel’s Army, and be expressed most clearly in the Coalition on Revival’s outline of a strategy for conquest and dominion (see Chapter 11): “And in their myth of the all-powerful Super-Christian, they ordain the ‘saved’ fundamentalist as a being beyond sin, possessing eternal life, inerrant truth, magically at one with the indwelling supernatural Jesus—and now singularly qualified to hold office.” They noted that this Super-Christian “may be the most potent mythical image of modern time…. It appeals, not only to the ancient religious images that continue to hold sway over most Americans, but to modern themes of morality and patriotism, to the urge to surrender in the face of overwhelming change and complexity, and to untapped spiritual and psychic potentials many Americans are reaching to explore.”
Colonel Doner who helped mid-wife the Coalition on Revival and shape the Christian Right’s strategy later claimed in his 2012 book, Christian Jihad: “Christian conservatives, long the dominant wing of the Republican Party, are increasingly falling under the spell of theocratic utopianism with its goal of establishing ‘God’s law’ as the law of the land…. Some even call it a second civil war…. [for] Control of our culture…. Culture is nothing less that defining our national identity—our values and purpose as a people.”
As this chapter has documented, the strategies of the Free Congress Foundation—Fourth Generation Warfare and the New Traditionalist Movement—have openly declared the contestation of the morality and legitimacy of the current secular political order with the sole objective being the destruction of the present secular political order. Fox News, with its roots in the Coors-Weyrich Television News Inc. (TVN), and conservative talk radio represent the weaponization of Fourth Generation Warfare. Lind was correct when he told a U.S. Marine Corps and Department of Defense audience in 1994: “The next real war we fight is likely to be on American soil.” We have now seen the real body count and the real effects.
Footnotes in published article.